Mazda CX-3 shakes up small SUV segment with sub-$20k pricing

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In what is one of the most highly anticipated launches of the year, Mazda’s newest nameplate – Mazda CX-3 – has arrived Down Under and is set to shake up the fiercely competitive small SUV segment with its sub $20,000 starting price.

Mazda believes the first-ever Mazda CX-3 will fill a gap in a market searching for a small SUV with a broader range of grades and a greater choice of features.

The segment saw record growth last year, with 87,237 small SUVs sold. And it’s not showing any signs of stopping, as sales are already 35 percent up Year-On-Year in 2015. However, Mazda is confident its latest SUV will be strong presence in this competitive segment.

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Starting from an impressive $19,990 – a significantly sharper price than any of its competitors – the Mazda CX-3 comes in four grades including the entry-level Neo, the Maxx, sTouring, and the range-topping Akari.

The CX-3 launches in Australia with two engine choices including the all-new 1.5 litre SKYACTIV-D diesel and the snappy 2.0 litre SKYACTIV-G petrol, mated to a 6-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission. Both petrol and diesel variants are available in Front-Wheel Drive (FWD) or All-Wheel Drive (AWD) format.

Fuel economy is not far off the mark, with the 1.5 litre diesel FWD automatic rated at 4.8L/100km on the average cycle, and the 2.0 litre petrol FWD alternative sipping as little as 6.1L/100km.

First appeared at last year’s Los Angeles Auto Show, Mazda’s entry-level SUV is the latest interpretation of the brand’s highly acclaimed  ‘KODO – Soul of Motion’ design language. With an overall length of 4,275mm and 2,570mm wheelbase, the CX-3 boasts flowing proportions that are not bounded by styling preconceptions for any particular genre or category.

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Inside, Mazda’s MZD Connect infotainment system includes a seven-inch touch screen operated by a centrally located commander control, and a segment-first Active Driving Display, available across selected grades. For those with the petrol powered 2.0 litre engine, Drive Selection feature switches the powertrain into a more sporty mode, while two USB ports an reverse camera are fitted to Maxx models and above.

Riding on Mazda’s SKYACTIV-Chassis, which employs MacPherson struts in the front and a lightweight torsion beam rear suspension system with carefully tuned dampers to iron out vibrations and frictions, Mazda says the CX-3 offers a comfortably flat ride with sharp steering response.

A range of protective measures including, Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Traction Control System (TCS), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) and front, side and curtain SRS airbags are standard across the range, while i-ACTIVSENSE Technologies like Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring (ABSM), Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) are optional on all grades, but standard on the top-spec Akari.

Available in eight contemporary colours including Soul Red Metallic and the newly introduced Ceramic Metallic, the range comes with four interior trims including the stylish white leather option on the Akari.

Read ForceGT’s 2016 Mazda CX-3 Review here.

Mazda CX-3 Pricing (Excluding on-roads)

2.0L Petrol FWD 
 Neo6MT$19,990
6AT$21,990
Neo Safety6MT$21,020
6AT$23,020
Maxx6MT$22,390
6AT$24,390
Maxx Safety6MT$23,420
6AT$25,420
sTouring6MT$26,990
6AT$28,990
sTouring Safety6MT$28,020
6AT$30,020
Akari6MT$31,290
6AT$33,290
1.5L Diesel FWD 
Maxx6AT$26,790
Maxx Safety6AT$27,820
2.0L Petrol AWD
Maxx6AT$26,390
Maxx Safety6AT$27,420
sTouring6AT$30,990
sTouring Safety6AT$32,020
Akari6AT$35,290
1.5L Diesel AWD 
sTouring6AT$33,390
sTouring Safety6AT$34,420
Akari6AT$37,690

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