Crossover with the next generation Mazda CX-3


Crossing over with Mazda

 Mazda CX-3 Top and Side View

Mazda CX-3 Top and Side View
Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes


The Mazda CX-3 is a subcompact crossover SUV. The vehicle combines features of a hatchback and that of an SUV.

The first generation Mazda CX-3 entered the market in 2015 and saw an updated model in 2017. South Africa received the face-lifted Mazda CX-3 in 2018 which we tested out at Gerotek Test Facilities together with the rest of the Mazda fleet which was available at the time. 

In 2022 the Mazda CX-3 received a refreshed new look inside and out, which we managed to spend some time with, and this is all you need to know about the new Mazda CX-3.


The Mazda CX-3 is available in 4 Trims and 6 Models:

  • 2.0L Active 6MT
  • 2.0L Active 6AT
  • 2.0L Dynamic 6MT
  • 2.0L Dynamic 6AT
  • 2.0L Individual 6AT
  • 2.0L Hikari 6AT

We tested the 2.0L Individual 6AT (6 Speed Automatic Transmission).


The Mazda CX-3 is available in 7 colours:

  • Arctic White
  • Ceramic
  • Deep Crystal Blue
  • Jet Black
  • Machine Grey
  • Snowflake White Pearl
  • Soul Red Crystal

    The model we tested was the Mazda CX-3 2.0L Individual 6AT in Machine Grey.

    Mazda CX-3 Side and Front View

    Mazda CX-3 Side-Front View
    Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes


    The Active and Dynamic Mazda CX-3 models are fitted with:

    • 16" Alloy Wheels (Silver)

    While the Individual is fitted with:

    • 18" Alloy Wheels (Gunmetal)

    and the Hikari:

    • 18" Alloy Wheels (Bright)

    All the models have a 16" temporary steel spare wheel.

      Standard exterior features through the Mazda CX-3 range are:

      • Power fold outer mirrors
      • Shark Fin Antenna

      The Active trim vehicles are fitted with Keyless Entry, and the Active and Dynamic models have the Halogen Headlamps, while the Individual and Hikari models are equipped with the:

      • LED Headlamps
      • Auto Headlamps Levelling
      • Daytime Running Lamps (DRL)
      • Rear Combination Lamps (RCL)
      • Sunroof: Power slide & tilt glass
      • Auto fold outer mirrors
      • Privacy glass (Rear side & Back)

      The Dynamic, Individual, and Hikari models also have the following features:

      • Headlamps: Auto on/off
      • Front LED fog lamps
      • Front rain-sensing wipers
      • Smart Keyless Entry

      and the Hikari has the Adaptive LED Headlamps (ALH) as an exclusive feature for the top of the range model.


        All models in the Mazda CX-3 range have the following standard safety features:

        • Airbags SRS: Driver, Passenger, Side & Curtain
        • Anti-lock Braking System (ABS)
        • Burglar Alarm System
        • Child restraint anchor points (ISOFIX)
        • Dynamic Stability Control (DSC)
        • Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) 
        • Emergency Brake Assist
        • Engine Immobiliser
        • Auto Hold
        • Hill Launch Assist (HLA)
        • High mount brake lamp
        • Remote central locking
        • Seat-belt occupant sensing (Front)
        • Seat-belt warning: Front & Rear
        • Seat-belts 3-point lap-sash (all seats)
        • Side impact door beams
        • Super Lock System

        Mazda CX-3 Controls

        Mazda CX-3 Controls
        Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes


        The Hikari trim has a few extra features namely:

        • Pedestrian Brake 
        • Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM)
        • Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
        • Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
        • Driver Attention Alert (DAA)

        The Dynamic and Individual models are also fitted with rear Parking Sensors, while the Hikari has Front and Rear Parking Sensors.

        A Reverse Camera is also fitted in the Individual and Hikari models.


          The standard interior features in the Mazda CX-3 are:

          • Cruise Control
          • Electronic Park Brake (EPB)
          • Power windows: Front & Rear
          • Power windows: One-touch system (Driver)
          • Door pockets (Front & Rear)
          • Instrument panel light dimmer
          • Interior illumination: cargo room lamp
          • Map reading spot lamps
          • Tilt and telescopic adjustable steering wheel
          • Multi-function steering wheel with audio controls
          • Trip Computer
          • Rear seat fold down (60:40)
          • Push start ignition
          • Vanity mirrors (Front)

          Mazda CX-3 Interior

          Mazda CX-3 Interior
          Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes


          The Active models have a Manual Air-conditioning system, while the Dynamic, Individual, and Hikari models have an Automatic Air-conditioning system as well as:

          • Auto-dimming rear view mirror
          • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
          • Leather-wrapped gear shift knob
          • Overhead sunglass storage box
          • Rear seat armrest with cupholders
          • Rear centre seat armrest with cupholders

          The Dynamic 6AT, Individual, and Hikari models also have Paddle transmission switches, and the Individual and Hikari models now feature the Head-Up Display (HUD) and Black Leather Seats, while the Active and Dynamic Seat trim is Black Cloth.


            The Mazda CX-3 range is well connected with the entire range fitted with:

            • Bluetooth hands free system
            • AUX jack

            The Active trim has a standard AM/FM radio and 1 USB connectivity ports while the Dynamic, Individual and Hikari are equipped with the MZD Connect System which features:

            • 8-inch display screen
            • Commander Dial
            • Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
            • 2 USB connectivity ports

            Mazda CX-3 Navigation

            Mazda CX-3 Navigation
            Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes


            The Active and Dynamic models are fitted with 4 and 6 speakers respectively while the Individual and Hikari boast the 7 speaker BOSE speaker system.

            Integrated Navigation is an option for the Dynamic models, and it is a standard feature for the Individual and Hikari.

            The Individual and Hikari models also enjoy the comfort of Wireless Charging.


              There is only one engine type for the Mazda CX-3 range:

              • 2.0 litre in-line 4 cylinder 16 valve DOHC S-VT petrol (SKYACTIV-G)

              All models except the 2.0L Active 6MT are equipped with i-Stop

              The petrol engine is available in a 6 speed manual transmission for the Active and Dynamic trims, as well as a 6 speed automatic transmission across all trims. Both the manual as well as the automatic transmission produce 115kW of power and 206Nm of torque.

              Mazda CX-3 Skyactiv-G Engine

              Mazda CX-3 SKYACTIV-G Engine
              Photo Credits Ziyaad Plaatjes


              C02 Emissions on the Mazda CX-3 are:

              • 160g CO2 / km for the 2.0L Active 6MT
              • 154g CO2 / km for the 2.0L Dynamic 6MT

              While all the automatic transmission models emit:

              • 146g CO2 / km

              Fuel economy claims for the Mazda CX-3:

              • 6.9L / 100km combined cycle for the 2.0L Active 6MT
              • 6.6L / 100km combined cycle for the 2.0L Dynamic 6MT

              and for all the automatic transmission models:

              • 6.3L / 100km combined cycle


              The Mazda CX-3 pricing is as follows:

              • Mazda CX-3 2.0L Active 6MT - R390 500
              • Mazda CX-3 2.0L Active 6AT - R412 700
              • Mazda CX-3 2.0L Dynamic 6MT - R427 700
              • Mazda CX-3 2.0L Dynamic 6AT - R443 700
              • Mazda CX-3 2.0L Individual 6AT - R511 600
              • Mazda CX-3 2.0L Hikari 6AT - R532 600


                All Mazda CX-3 models come standard with a:

                • 3 year/ unlimited km warranty plan

                Service and Roadside Assistance Plan

                The Mazda CX-3 models also include a:

                • 3 year/ unlimited km service plan
                • 3 year unlimited roadside assistance plan


                  Chery Tiggo 4 Pro from R299 900

                  Citroën C3 Aircross from R429 900

                  Ford EcoSport from R311 400

                  Haval Jolion from R342 950

                  Honda WR-V from R315 200

                  Hyundai Venue from R299 900

                  Kia Sonet from R316 995

                  Nissan Magnite from R296 500

                  Peugeot 2008 from R454 900

                  Renault Kiger from R219 999

                  Suzuki Vitara Brezza from R262 900

                  Toyota Urban Cruiser from R283 200

                  Volkswagen T-Cross from R393 400




                  We tested the Mazda CX-3 2.0L Individual 6AT, and we enjoyed our time with it.

                  Leather seats, head-up display, BOSE sound system, and 3D navigation are just some of the features which stood out for us.

                  The 2.0L petrol engine is more than capable for the subcompact vehicle, and once you switch in to Sport mode, the gear change allows a longer rev count before moving up a gear. 115kW power output with 206Nm of torque from the SKYACTIV-G engine gives the little SUV an edge against competitors in their class.

                  A tilt and slide sunroof, bright new LED headlights and rear lights which are more aligned to the rest of the current Mazda range give the Mazda CX-3 a refreshed new look.

                  Mazda's uniform look and feel through the range together with their Jinba-Ittai philosophy and KODO design make the vehicle a pleasure to drive and easy to navigate.

                  The legroom in the rear is a bit smaller than we would hope, and I did struggle sitting behind the driver's seat as if there was a driver who was the same height as me.

                  Fuel consumption claims of 6.3l/ 100km combined from Mazda, but we averaged 7.6l/ 100km which is not bad, but with the current fuel prices it would be nice if we did get it closer to the claims.

                  The Mazda CX-3 pricing starts from R390 500 which is slightly more than most of it's competitors, but if you take into consideration the premium performance, comfort, and overall look and feel of the vehicle one might say that the Mazda CX-3 is well-priced for the vehicle you receive.

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                  Ziyaad Plaatjes is the Co-Founder of

                  He is a Bachelor of Commerce Honours graduate and has been running businesses since the age of 13. Ziyaad is a registered Financial Advisor, but has taken on many roles in various industries over the years. With his entrepreneurial skills and vast knowledge he assists individuals and businesses to grow and achieve their goals.  

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                  2021 Winner of Brand South Africa's Nation Pride Play Your Part Award

                  2018 Winner of Tech Savvy Boss Award at the Roshgold Young Business Achiever Award

                  Nabihah Plaatjes Accolades:

                  2023 CEO of the Independent Media Association of South Africa (IMASA)

                  2018 Contributing Author to SAFFRON: A Collection of Personal Narratives

                  2017 Recipient of Owami Women & Brand South Africa's Play Your Part Award

                  Ziyaad Plaatjes Accolades:

                  2021 Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans: Arts, Entertainment, Film & Media 

                  2020 Contributing Author to There's a Story in Everyone

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