By Clive Funizwe
The simple question we needed to answer from our initial assessment of the CX-3’s package: Is whether or not its suave nature was enough to make the consumer forgo the practicality that can be found in some top selling rivals? And the simple answer is an emphatic yes! This means we can simply wrap up our views with this – but there’s so much more to tell – like that G-Vectoring stuff we mentioned on our Instagram page? (And oh – if you don’t follow us already – our handle is khulekani_on_wheels).
Now back to some sophistication – The Mazda CX-3 Individual auto.
It arrived in a posh looking Titanium Flash Mica colour, which worked well to accentuate the chrome side door garnish trimmings and front grill which is just bang on the money to make the overall mildly updated aesthetics to be classier than borderline aftermarket. The other noticeable change is the type of the 18-inch wheels, an electronic parking brake which is now standard, and the armrest which has been revised to offer more storage space. These may be small updates – but they are improvements to a car that was already a premium player in its segment and did not need much improvements! The rest of the interior remains well laid out and ergonomically intuitive like the infotainment. Yes, it’s a bit dated from a graphics point of view – but it remains functional!
When you are done pairing your phone to the cars infotainment and the Bose system is pumping your favourite jams you can rest assured that you can ZOOM-ZOOM in and around town or the highway – without any hint of being underwhelmed. This car is set-up to be all things to all people from a driving point of view. With a naturally aspirated 2.0l engine that delivers a sporty 115kW of power and 206Nm you won’t be short of power. Torque is good from get go and the gearbox ensures speedy gear shifts up or down. In sport mode the revs are held up nicely and the overall driving dynamics are genuinely good. I thought I would miss the now ubiquitous turbo charged engines – and I did not. Chucking the car around corners never messed up with the CX-3’s composure and this brings me to that G-Vectoring. In simple terms – the system monitors vehicle speed, throttle position and rate of steering wheel rotation. The engine torque is reduced through retarding spark timing which results in an increased vertical load on the front tires. This ‘increased’ load on the tires means more grip and better cornering. The reaction speed of the GVC (G-Force Vectoring Control) is 50 milliseconds. Does it work? Well, since it’s not something you can switch on and off – we can’t say for sure but one thing we can state as a matter of fact is that the handling is a cut or two above the competition.
Speaking of the competition. The CX-3 has a smaller cabin and boot space than the new Eco Sport we test drove several weeks ago and the Hyundai Creta, but none of those cars are as well made and possess such style and class. At R389, 400 it is just shy of R50k more than the Ford Ecosport Titanium, and R10k more expensive than the Hyundai Creta 1.6 Exec AT to name the top contenders from a top selling aspect. So if it is not practicality you’re after – and are within the asking the CX-3’s asking price, it comes highly recommended.
Remember that you also get Mazda’s unlimited kilometer service plan and warranty for 3 years plus a 3 year road side assistance for 3 years. The service and warranty are optionally extendable if you choose to do so.
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