2015 Mazda CX-3 Tested: Kodo Essence in Crossover Bottle

2015 Mazda CX-3 1 photo
Photo: Florin Profir
They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder but when it comes to Mazda's Kodo design language, we beg to differ. Also, there's more than meets the eye regarding the 2015 Mazda CX-3, and our test wanted to clearly state that.
Looks might be temporary, but that's not the case when you're dealing with sheets of metal, plastic and other materials used to bring cars to life. Also, the CX-3 might be a newcomer in the branch the car world knows as the compact crossover segment, but Mazda did their homework with this one.

While in the US Mazda is offering the CX-3 with a single engine choice - a 2.0-liter SKYACTIV-G petrol unit providing 146 horsepower and 146 lb-ft (198 Nm), European customers can choose between three engine variants: the petrol SKYACTIV-G 2.0 in two power versions and the new SKYACTIV-D 1.5 clean diesel.

There's no hiding behind the finger with the Mazda CX-3, as the crossover is not adapted to off-road environments and at the same time it's not the most spacious four-wheeler out there. But Mazda is not claiming that and calls the CX-3 how they see it: a good-looking car oriented towards a public made of young, small families or single individuals.

The accent here is on 'young' and we have the boot size to attest that, along with the well-designed interior, with several features inspired by German know-how.

Taking the CX-3 on winding roads, highways and urban areas might give you a discrete déjà-vu with the Mazda3, but that's about it. The CX-3 is built on Mazda2 architecture, and that takes a toll on interior space, especially for those sitting in the back.

Our tester came with AWD and a 1.5-liter diesel engine managed via an automatic six-speed transmission, an excellent compromise if you're looking for both decent performances and low fuel consumption figures, as long as you don't mistake the 2015 Mazda CX-3 for a race car. Our full review is available here, all you have to do is read it and discover more about the crossover.
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