Top 25 Most Stunning Cars of the Year 2022

The new Mazda CX-3 responds to customer feedback with design and technology advances in several key areas.

#16

Mazda CX-3

By Staff Writer

Launched globally in 2015, the Mazda CX-3 represent a benchmark for a new type of crossover SUV that transcended notions of vehicle class and segment. Its development focuses on an entirely human-centric approach, resulting in a superbly ergonomic, heads-up cabin and human-machine interface, safe and easy-to-use smartphone connectivity, and a vast array of active safety technologies.

Unsurprisingly, this approach – combined with responsive yet efficient SKYACTIV technology, exceptional car-like handling, and the choice of front or intelligent all-wheel drive as well as manual or automatic transmissions, has seen the CX-3 become one of the best-selling new vehicles in the current Mazda model range globally – and more so, in the grey market locally.

The new Mazda CX-3 responds to customer feedback with design and technology advances in several key areas. In a design which raises the standard of radical styling and eye-catching elegance, Mazda’s compact SUV combines a flexible, driver-oriented interior with superb engineering and painstaking attention to detail, making it a more compelling proposition than ever before.

A new SKYACTIV-D 1.8 litre diesel engine makes its first appearance in the new Mazda CX-3, offering drivers both enhanced responsiveness and improved emissions performance. Two SKYACTIV-G 2.0 litre petrol engines now feature the innovations first adopted in the current Mazda CX-5, including edge-cut piston heads and high-dispersion injectors. These technical developments ensure ample torque throughout the entire rev range and contribute to better real-world fuel efficiency.

Exterior design enhancements include an updated front grille, the adoption of LED rear combination lamps, new aluminium alloy wheels. Making its premiere in the new CX-3 line-up, is Mazda’s unique colour, Soul Red Crystal.

On board, a higher quality interior is free of non-essential elements in keeping with the Japanese aesthetics of eliminating excess to create beauty. A redesigned centre console with an electric parking brake and a multi-box centre armrest enhance comfort and reduce fatigue.

A new special edition model is available, featuring deep red Nappa leather upholstery and 18″ bright silver alloy wheels.

The adoption of the latest developments in Mazda’s next-generation SKYACTIV-vehicle architecture has significantly evolved the CX-3’s driving performance from the human-centred perspective of vehicle-total optimisation. Further suspension system tuning, newly developed tyres and the use of higher-damping urethane in the front seat construction provide a quieter and more comfortable ride, and an even more engaging driving experience.

Exterior

A renewed focus on traditional Japanese design that strips away ornamentation to reveal beautifully honed forms has enabled Mazda’s designers to explore a striking evolution of the company’s KODO-Soul of Motion design philosophy.

The visual connection of the chrome front bumper and side garnish decorative mouldings emphasise the CX-3’s broad, stable stance, and – in connection with a new gloss black finish to the fog lamp bezels, pillar garnishes and side garnish mouldings, give the new Mazda a higher-quality, premium appearance.

To the rear, new LED lamp clusters adopt a ring shape combined with horizontal lines. The mechanical precision and depth of this design marries a more refined, mature appearance with high quality illumination, whilst ensuring the lamps stand out more clearly against the rich, new Soul Red Crystal body colour.

Featuring multi-faceted spokes, the powerful, sculpted design of new 18-inch aluminium alloy wheels provides a sense of depth, speed and increased size. The metallic sheen of the machined surfaces works with the CX-3’s chrome side-cladding to enhance the overall impression of speed.

Interior

The adoption of an electric parking brake has allowed for the centre console to be redesigned in a more elegant form which visually flows into the dashboard. Its comfort and functionality have also been improved: a padded armrest with a console box beneath has been added and the Mazda Rotary Commander moved forwards for improved usability.

High grade models feature genuine leather seats with vertical pleating on the seatbacks and high-gloss piping at the shoulders for a premium look and feel. Soft padding for the armrests and the extensive use of soft surface coverings throughout the cabin have increased both comfort and quality to new levels for vehicles in this class.

The new Mazda CX-3 comes with an optional smartphone control update for all vehicles equipped with the company’s human-centred MZD Connect multimedia system. The connectivity update will enable customers with iPhones to enjoy Apple CarPlay integration – letting them make phone calls, send messages, listen to Apple Music, and get directions with Apple Maps through Siri or the MZD Connect system safely whilst on the move. Android Auto integration is also available as an optional update, offering a similar range of features for customers with Android smartphones through the Google Voice User Interface or the MZD Connect system.

SKYACTIV Engines

The new Mazda CX-3 is available with a choice of three engines: a 115 PS SKYACTIV-D 1.8 litre diesel engine and both 121 PS and 150 PS variants of a SKYACTIV-G 2.0 litre petrol unit. All three powertrains target responsiveness and speed control that match driver inputs as closely as possible to enhance Mazda’s uniquely involving ‘Jinba Ittai’ – car and driver as one, driving experience.

The power plants may be mated to a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions. The SKYACTIV-D 1.8 further features a choice of front-wheel or all-wheel drive powertrains, whilst the 121 PS SKYACTIV-G 2.0 unit has a front-wheel drive powertrain and the 150 PS SKYACTIV-G 2.0 variant is equipped with all-wheel drive.

Safety

The Mazda CX-3 combines a lightweight, high-rigidity SKYACTIV-Body with a wide range of advanced i-ACTIVSENSE safety technologies. Based on Mazda’s proactive safety philosophy, the latter help drivers identify potential risks and reduce the likelihood of damage or injury.

Adaptive LED Headlights in the CX-3 incorporates the following features: Auto-controlled Glare-free High Beams, Wide-range Low Beams that illuminate a wider area, and Highway Mode, which automatically raises the headlamp beams when driving at high speeds.

The new Mazda CX-3 also benefits from all the passive safety features of the previous model, which include a high-strength SKYACTIV body, Supplemental Restraint System (SRS) air bags, seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters, front seats which mitigate shock to the neck, rear seats that prevent luggage from entering the cabin, an impact-absorbing steering column, and ISOFIX child seat fastening points.

Verdict

If you’re shopping with a clear budget in mind, or considering stretching from a used mid-sized alternative, there are plenty of reasons to buy the new Mazda CX-3 from the local franchise holder – CMC Motors Group. Aside from getting a brand-new car, it also offers a great drive, affordable ownership, and pretty design.

Its price point will likely draw the crowd, as the drive-away price keeps it close to that magical mental price barrier, without pushing over the way some cars in the class have. That’s especially so when you consider the size and segment we’re talking about here.

Feel free to visit the Mazda Division of the CMC Motors Group showroom on Lusaka Road, Industrial Area for a closer look at the new Mazda CX-3. Alternatively, take time off and sample the offerings in a number of direct import open air yards that dot the City’s major roads and choose for yourself what represents value for money.

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Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Dr. Hanningtone Gaya

Kenya’s Dr Hanningtone Gaya, holds a PhD in Commerce in Business Management from Nelson Mandela University (NMU), is viewed as an authority in country branding and is the founder chairman of the Brand Kenya Board.

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