Petrol is making a comeback! Latest petrol units are more frugal than ever and avoid all those well publicised issues with DPF’s (Diesel Particulate Filters).
SUV’s are now selling better than ever and that is because innovative as always the motor manufacturers are building lighter, more frugal SUV’s and they are now often no more expensive to run than a similar sized family car. Manufacturers also realised that four wheel drive was not always a necessity and therefore there are now more two wheel drive SUV’s than four wheel drives.
So it is with this petrol powered Mazda CX-3, their gorgeous compact SUV.
As these vehicles have evolved manufacturers seem to have recognised that there is little point in placing great emphasis on their off-road ability and that it is better to concentrate on the appeal of an SUV from it’s versatility standpoint. That has been reflected in how these cars are changing and the Mazda CX-3 also follows this trend.
This week I am testing the new Mazda CX-3 2WD GT powered by a low emission petrol 2.0 litre.
So Has It Got Street Cred?
This in my opinion is one of the best looking compact SUV’s on the market.It has that distinctive Mazda “face” sweeping lines, bulging wheel arches, gorgeous alloy wheels and as a result has real presence on the road. Its a cracker!
So What’s it like inside?
The cabin is equally impressive with clear logically laid out instruments, a very intuitive central touch screen with multi-media command controller and multi-function steering wheel.
The high driving position gives an excellent view of the road ahead while the level of standard equipment is simply excellent. As well as the usual electrics and safety features we have come to expect the new CX-3 GT has some lovely features worth highlighting such as Lane departure warning, Smart City Brake, parking sensors, auto wipers and lights, privacy glass, a BOSE sound system, Aux and USB ports, Bluetooth, Auto stop/Start, Keyless entry, a rear view camera and even a head-up display.
I look the light beige and black two tone leather upholstery too, it all feels very upmarket.
What’s under the Bonnet?
Power comes from a very refined low emission SKYACTIV 2.0 litre petrol which is mated in this case to a manual 6-speed gearbox. Performance is very good in every gear and it proves equally impressive on the fuel and emissions.
CO2 emissions are just 137g/km resulting in a road tax of €280.00. Over my weeks test it burned on average just 6.5 litres per 100km.
Will I enjoy driving it?
The new Mazda CX-3 is generally nicely set up with a decent level of ride comfort and solid safe handling, however sometimes on an undulating country road it feels underdamped and this can result in a somewhat bouncy ride and even sometimes the suspension hits the stops.
Noise levels are commendably low and the car generally feels pretty refined.
Accommodation is quite good for a compact SUV with reasonable head and legroom front and rear. Its cosy for four! The boot is small with a high floor so really only accommodates a standard size suitcase and a few smaller items.
The Final Verdict?
Overall then the new Mazda CX-3 petrol is a real winner. I do feel the suspension set-up on poor roads is its only vice, that said this a most attractive, beautifully styled, well built, superbly equipped and practical.