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Our Fleet Test Drive: Mazda CX-3 - 16th report

Date: 02 June 2016   |   Author: Guy Bird

Equipment: 6 airbags, satnav, DAB radio, auto lights and wipers, climate control, heated front seats, rear privacy glass, rear parking sensors, cruise control, city brake system, lane departure warning
Options: Ceramic metallic paint (£540)

When pleasing design is cited as the key purchasing factor for half of all small crossover buyers, as a carmaker it's sensible to spend plenty of time making your vehicle look good (and function well).

In a segment of sometimes polarising shapes, Mazda's opted for the automotive equivalent of a tailored suit with the CX-3, with contained shapely muscles and a clean face upfront, rather than a hipster beard, lumberjack shirt and bulging biceps, as exemplified by, say, the Nissan Juke's wheelarches and complex front headlamp arrangement.

The Juke is popular no doubt, just like big beards still are in some quarters, but it's hard to know where Nissan goes next with the model, after such an extreme stance. Sometimes you don't want your car to 'shout' - you just want it to help you 'arrive' in considered style.

This is the new Mazda way, especially in our long-termer's subtle light grey colour. The CX-3's interior does need to be kept clean to feel special, and sometimes the echoey dark plastics can feel lacklustre, but overall, there's a rightness to this car's design - and an exclusivity in its relatively small numbers compared with rivals from Nissan, Renault and Vauxhall - that should please drivers who want something different in this now increasingly crowded segment.

Mazda CX-3 1.5 105 SE-L Nav

Mileage 20,789
P11D price £20,940
Forecast/actual cost per mile 44.3p/45.9p
Our average consumption 54.9mpg
Official combined consumption 70.6mpg

Verdict


  • Understated
  • Good-looking exterior
  • Sometimes fiddly satnav

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