Mazda is taking on the Nissan Juke with a new compact crossover that will go on sale in June priced from £17,595 to £24,510
Matt Burt
3 March 2015

Mazda is gunning for the Nissan Juke, Renault Captur and Vauxhall Mokka with the new CX-3 crossover, making its European debut at the Geneva motor show.

The CX-3 draws heavily on the recently launched Mazda 2. It retains many of that car's styling cues, having a similar cabin and using one of its engines. However, unlike the 2 and almost all of the new baby SUV's obvious rivals, it is available with a choice of front-wheel or four-wheel drive.

Read the full Mazda CX-3 review

The new model looks like a natural mix of the latest generation of 2 and its larger stablemate, the CX-5. It features blacked-out C-pillars that are designed to make the roof appear as if it's floating, as well as prominent plastic wheel arch cladding that's more reminiscent of the CX-5. In addition, it gets the 2's prominent front grille, crisp surfacing along its flanks and slim tail-lights.

The CX-3 uses the same basic platform as the Mazda 2, while its 2.57m wheelbase is the same. However, it features 10mm longer front and rear overhangs, a taller front firewall and a 50mm higher driving position. As a result, it is considerably longer (by 21.5cm) and slightly taller (a 5.5cm increase).

The new model also shares 80% of its parts with the new Mazda 2 supermini, a high proportion that shows how sophisticated engineers have become in spinning new variants off humble hatchback platforms. "We have worked hard on commonality, but also making the two versions very different," CX-3 project manager Michio Tomiyama said.

Mazda has carried over the suspension from the Mazda 2, while beefing up the rear twist beam axle and cleverly modifying the lower arms of the supermini’s front struts to give a raised ride height. The conventional, hydraulic power steering is carried over, too, albeit retuned to suit the soft-roader.

Our Verdict

Mazda CX-3
Mazda CX-3 shares much with its Mazda 2 baby brother

Mazda goes Juke hunting with its Skyactiv-generation baby SUV, but the rapidly expanding segment has other rivals to keep in mind now too

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A choice of 118bhp or 148bhp 2.0-litre SKYACTIV-G petrol engine is available in the CX-3, while the 1.5-litre 105bhp engine from the 2 is carried over. This engine emits 105g/km of CO2 in 2WD manual guise. The higher-powered petrol engine is available only as a four-wheel-drive manual variant in Sport Nav trim.

Strangely, Mazda will offer the CX-3 with only diesel power in Japan, positioning clean diesel as a competitor to petrol hybrids in the absence of a Mazda petrol hybrid powertrain.

The standard transmission is a six-speed manual, but a six-speed automatic is available with the lower-powered petrol and diesel engines. The four-wheel drive system gets the same torque vectoring technology we've already seen on the CX-5. It's standard on the diesel auto CX-3 and optional on all other models.

The interior design is close to the 2's. It has the same slim fascia architecture and a 7.0in colour touchscreen that is controlled by a dial between the front seats, and which is able to offer sat-nav and internet-streamed services. The new model gets the same range of safety technology as well, including a lane-departure warning system, blind spot monitoring and city emergency braking.

Five trim levels are available: SE, SE Nav, SE-L, SE-L Nav and Sport Nav. Entry-level SE trim comes with 16in alloys, and heated and electric folding wing mirrors. SE-L adds rear privacy glass, front LED foglights, heated seats, automatic wipers and rear parking sensors. Range-topping Sport Nav comes with LED headlights, LED rear lights, 18in alloys and chrome door sills. It also adds an upgraded Bose stereo, keyless entry, a reversing camera and a head-up display.

The CX-3 will go on sale on 19 June this year. UK prices position it in the middle of the market and above cheaper rivals’ entry-level models. Petrol versions will range from £17,595 for the entry-level 2WD in manual guise with SE trim, to £22,495 for the AWD 148bhp 2.0-litre manual in Sport Nav trim. Diesel prices will range from £18,995 for a 2WD CX-3 in SE trim to £24,695 for the AWD Sport Nav CX-3 with an automatic gearbox.

"We know there are new premium entrants coming and we will position the CX-3 against premium rivals, not entry-level competitors," said Jeremy Thomson, Mazda UK boss.

Read our full road test on the Mazda's baby SUV - the CX-3

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28 October 2014
How far Mazda's facelift for the 6 and CX-5 goes. I've held off purchasing a 6 in the hope that they will offer an improved dashboard design and more interior trim options. It will also be interesting if there are any updates to the engines. Volvo appear to be making great strides with their new Denso supplied injectors. I'm sure Mazda could get greater economy/emmisions/power from their SkyActive engines.
As for the main topic of this story; the CX-3 will be entering a busy market sector, lets hope Mazda can produce a car that stands out from the usual suspects, but doesn't sacrifice sales.

28 October 2014
It's good to see Mazda so actively releasing new models one after the other. I have always liked Mazda's design language over other Japanese car makers like Toyota and Honda.

28 October 2014
...but I just wish the dashboard design of the CX-5 and 6 were more like the new 3. It seriously lets these cars down and looks so dated that it has put me off buying a CX-5. An interior facelift for both these cars can't come soon enough. Anyway, this CX-3 looks good and I'm sure the interior will follow the simpler design of the new 2 and 3.

19 November 2014
please put the external rear-vision mirrors back on the side-windows. where they belong IMO. They look so out-of-place on the doors and destroy the design "flow" - - ?

19 November 2014
I've just suggested to my wife that she may want to swap her CX-5 for this; she agreed. I reckon the 2 litre petrol will offer better performance and real world economy than the small capacity turbo's in the rival cars from Vauxhall, Renault etc.. Nice work Mazda!

19 November 2014
this could be a breakthrough model for Mazda, just like Marv and no doubt many others, I have not committed to actually buying a Mazda because of one small niggle or other about its design but I think this could finally tick all the boxes.

Also I completely agree with spiceballs about door mounted mirrors, are they there for aerodynamic/fuel economy reasons or just the latest fashion? Either way they are the carbuncle on so many otherwise great looking cars.

19 November 2014
Fantastic they are going to sell a lot of these.
Might consider one myself.

19 November 2014
by far....exterior looks good too, but the proportions give it quite a 'snouty' look, which is OK on the bigger Mazdas, such as the 6, but not quite so integrated on the smaller cars.

19 November 2014
Love this! I really like the Mazda 2, and this just improves on it IMO. The interior is lovely as well. Mazda really are on a ball at the moment. They seem to be doing much better than Honda are at the moment in design terms

19 November 2014
Mazda are pulling out all the stops at the moment. Interior looks great (hope it isn't too scratchy-plasticky) although the CX-3 nameplate is a little confusing, given that this is actually based on the 2 and rivalling the likes of the Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008, both of which are based on modified versions of their supermini siblings. The Captur is the biggest seller in Europe in this segment so it'll be interesting to see how the Mazda fairs. I think it looks great and potentially makes the Juke look a little dated?


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