2016 PIMS: Mazda Launches All-New CX-3, Facelifted Mazda 3

There’s simply no stopping the crossover trend these days. The crossover  category has blurred the line between SUV and hatchbacks so much, it’s hard to tell nowadays if what you see is merely a lifted hatchback, or a proper SUV with off-road credentials and flood wading capability. Let yourselves get even more confused with the launch of the all-new Mazda CX-3 compact crossover.

The Mazda CX-3 is a rival to the spacious Honda HR-V, strange unique Nissan Juke, cheap affordable Ford EcoSport, and the turbocharged Chevrolet Trax, and it is an ever growing segment soon to be filled with competitors, and so far, so good for Mazda, as the CX-3 is perhaps the best looking of the bunch. The Kodo design language works well in this small SUV. As ever with Kodo, it has a cab-rearward design, which carries the typical rear-wheel drive car layout, with a long hood, short overhang design. The front wheel arches nicely to the side of this small SUV, and the blacked-out D-pillar is a nice touch to the CX-3’s eye-catching design. Sport and AWD models get automatic LED headlights with LED daytime running lights, LED rear lights, and 18 inch alloy wheels.

Inside, the CX-3’s interior is very similar to the Mazda 2’s, which it is based on, and it’s no bad thing, as the 2’s interior is a very pleasing and stylish place to be. There are a some hard plastics present, but the graining is nicely done. Mazda’s MZD Connect infotainment system is fitted as standard on all variants, and it comes with navigation, Bluetooth, USB connectivity, and for the AWD variant, an excellent sounding Bose sound system and a head-up display.

All variants are powered by Mazda’s 2.0 liter Skyactiv-G 4-cylinder engine with direct injection and a high compression ratio, the same one found in the Mazda 3, but slightly detuned. It produces 148 hp and 192 Nm of torque, and is mated to a 6-Speed Automatic with paddle shifters. All variants come with a drive mode selector, varying from Sport, Normal, and Eco.

All variants have a rear view camera, ABS with EBD, stability control, while the AWD and Sport get 6 airbags, and for the AWD only, rear parking sensors and smart entry in conjunction with the push button start that is already standard on all variants.

All CX-3 comes from Japan, and since these are not covered by JPEPA, the CX-3 carries a slight premium over its rivals, but are these generous features enough to offset the price premium? For us, it’s a yes.

AWD Activ: P1,480,000
FWD Sport: P1,380,000
FWD Pro: P1,280,000

Apart from the CX-3, the Mazda 3 has been given a facelift. Shown in Speed guise, the Mazda 3 Speed is priced at P1,398,000, and with it comes with a revised face, adaptive LED headlights with LED daytime running lights, and a slightly revised interior, now equipped with an electronic parking brake, which is also standard in the 2.0 R.

All variants, as ever, are equipped with MZD Connect with navigation, but this time, adds the luxury of a rear view camera, which is also standard on all variants.

The 2017 Mazda 3 is also equipped with Mazda’s new G-Vectoring Control, which is standard on all variants. Basically a torque vectoring system, the system brakes the inner wheel when turning, which makes the car even more fun to drive and more agile, and Mazda claims that G-Vectoring Control also improves ride and stability in the process as well. The new feature is also fitted as standard in the 2017 Mazda 6.

1.5 V: P998,000 (Sedan) P1,018,000 (Hatchback)
2.0 R: P1,249,000 (Sedan) P1,269,000 (Hatchback)
2.0 Speed: P1,398,000