The Mazda isn’t a particularly cost-effective option. It’s expensive to buy, for starters, particularly if you’ve gone for one of the higher-specification models.
Mazda expects most buyers to opt for a PCP scheme, rather than buying the car outright, but even then the CX-3 is still more costly than many rivals. It’s more costly to insure, tax and service than many alternatives, although it holds its value adequately, if not as well as the likes of the Skoda Yeti.
The diesel offers the lowest emissions and highest claimed economy of the range, so it’s likely to appeal to company car drivers the most, but don’t overlook the petrol models – especially if your annual mileage is quite low.
No version of the Mazda is VED-exempt, mind, but the costs aren’t outrageous.
In the Mazda’s favour, it comes with a three-year fixed-price servicing scheme to help mitigate the high running costs elsewhere.
Mazda CX-3 equipment
Go for SE Nav specification
There are effectively three trim levels in the CX-3 range: SE, SE-L and Sport Nav.
Standard SE models come with a decent amount of kit, including air-con, DAB, Bluetooth, cruise control and a 7.0-inch touchscreen media system.
Go for a mid-spec SE-L version and you’ll build on that kit list with the likes of climate control, heated seats and rear parking sensors. The upgrade cost a fair chunk but it’s totally justified, given what’s on offer.
Flagship Sport Nav models are expensive but get cosmetic tweaks, such as bigger wheels and silver trim accents, as well as part leatherette trim, sat-nav and a Bose premium sound system.
The SE and SE-L models don’t include sat-nav, however; it’s an optional extra but it doesn’t cost an outrageous amount.
Mazda CX-3 reliability
Major problems should be rare
Mazda has a good record for reliability, coming joint fourth in a recent survey of 37 manufacturers. Many of its cars have also performed well in previous ownership satisfaction surveys, so shouldn’t suffer from too many problems.
Lots of the components in the CX-3 have also been well tested in Mazda’s other models, which should bolster its reliability.
A three-year/60,000-mile warranty is standard, which is par for the course in this class, and extended warranties are available. The Mazda also features a three-year paint and surface corrosion warranty, as well as a 12-year anti-perforation warranty.
Mazda CX-3 safety & security
Mazda has a good reputation for safety
Every CX-3 comes as standard with a decent amount of safety equipment, including six airbags, stability control, hill-hold assist, tyre-pressure monitoring and a speed limiter.
SE-L and Sport Nav models feature an emergency city braking system and lane-departure warning, further boosting the CX-3’s safety credentials. A tyre-repair kit is standard across the range.
A Thatcham Category 1 alarm is fitted across the range.
The entry-level CX-3 is a well-equipped car. Standard kit includes electric windows, heated folding mirrors, cruise control, air-con, a 7.0-inch media screen and system, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, a DAB radio and wheel-mounted audio controls.
Opting for SE Nav adds, predictably, sat-nav. It doesn’t command much of a premium so it’s well worth choosing, particularly if you’re a private buyer – it’ll make the car easier to sell later. You get free map updates for three years, too.
Our pick SE-L
This trim level benefits from the addition of climate control, heated seats, rear parking sensors and automatic lights and wipers. It also gets more safety kit, including lane-departure warning and automatic low-speed emergency braking.
Pick this trim level and you’ll get Mazda’s sat-nav system as standard, as well as free map updates for three years. It’s not an expensive upgrade but it’s worth keeping an eye on the final price, lest other options become more sensible.
The flagship trim level adds lots of cosmetic tweaks, such as 18-inch wheels, as well as upgrades including LED headlights and keyless entry. It also comes with a reversing camera, sat-nav and a premium Bose sound system.