Mazda CX-3

CX-3 is one of Australia's best SUVs

CX-3 is one of Australia's best SUVs

Need to know

The Mazda CX-3 is one of the smallest SUVs on the market. (Funny thing is, it looks bigger in the photos - so you might get a shock the first time you see it in the flesh. It's tiny.) It's actually a development of the Mazda platform, with the 2.0-litre engine from the Mazda3 and CX-5 for motivation. There is also a great little 1.5 diesel with astonishing fuel economy.

Typically Mazda - which means built really well, but with a few quirks - the CX-3 looks great but probably isn't as good value as a Mazda3. Still, if you have your heart set on an SUV but you really don't want to - literally - step up into the larger SUV league then the Mazda CX-3 certainly is worth a look.

Check out the CX-3's bigger brother, the Mazda CX-5 >> 


  • It's a real point of difference from other, larger SUVs
  • Both engines do a great job in this small package
  • 1.5 diesel is amazingly efficient
  • 12-month service interval beats many Japanese competitors
  • Great packaging and ergonomics
  • Excellent dynamics
  • CX-3 Atari packs a ton of standard equipment for about the same price as a Mazda3 SP25 Astina


  • Space saver spare tyre is unsuitable for much Australian driving
  • CX-3's i-Stop system (automatic engine shutdown and re-start) is badly implemented and can't be permanently switched off by the owner
  • Warranty and service package can't match Hyundai or Kia
  • It's only 265mm shorter than a CX-5, and much less practical as an SUV
  • Great styling, but hardly any luggage room with all seats occupied, and rear-seat vision for passengers is very limited
  • Lower spec 2WD models are merely pumped-up Mazda2s - and the Mazda is unbelievably better value
  • 2WD diesel isn't a happy combination - too much low-rpm power overwhelms the front end too easily

IMAGES - click to enlarge


Power: 109 kW @ 6000 rpm
Torque 192 Nm @ 2800 rpm
Economy: 6.7 L/100km

Power: 77 kW @ 4000 rpm
Torque 270 Nm @ 1600-2500 rpm
Economy: 5.1 L/100km

Transmission: 6 sp auto (or 6 sp manual on 2WD Neo)
Preferred models: Maxx or sTouring (but not the 2WD diesel)
Manufactured: Japan
Length: 4275 mm
Width: 1765 mm
Height: 1550 mm
Kerb weight: 1193-1368 kg (model dependent)
Maximum tow capacity: 1200 kg
Seating Capacity: Five
Safety: Five-star ANCAP
Warranty: 3 years / 100,000 kilometres
Service interval: 12 months or 10,000 km (whichever comes first)
Roadside assist: -
Spare wheel: Space-saver


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