Mazda’s sharply styled CX-3 is a compact crossover that majors on performance and handling, rather than outright practicality. It’s based on the Mazda 2 supermini and is roughly the same size inside, making it more of a rival for the quirky Nissan Juke than Skoda’s ever-popular and immensely practical Yeti.
The engine line-up includes petrol and diesel engines, while some versions are available with automatic gearboxes. There’s even the option of four-wheel drive for the diesel and higher-powered petrol options.
The downside is that the CX-3 isn’t cheap. Even the entry-level version costs more than better equipped, and more practical, alternatives such as the Suzuki Vitara. It’s not particularly cheap to run, either. Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a small crossover that’s fun to drive then this is a good choice.
We’d recommend going for the entry-level 2.0-litre petrol engine. Besides being the least expensive, it delivers a decent blend of power and efficiency. There’s little need to spend a fortune on the more upmarket trims, either. The SE Nav version of the CX-3 comes with plenty of kit, including a DAB radio, cruise control, air-con and sat-nav, and it doesn’t push the Mazda’s price to unjustifiable levels.