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Mazda CX-3 in the driving report: This is how the new compact SUV drives

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Mazda CX-3 in the driving report
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There are several reasons for this: The new little M azda debuts in a flourishing market. New models in the so-called B segment are booming, provided they give the small car concept a special touch - like the Mazda CX-3. It belongs to the SUV category, which is currently almost guaranteed to sell.

And within the high-seat model category, it has a strikingly dynamic design, which is even popular with older buyers. Even if the manufacturers' marketing philosophers rave stereotypically about the young, dynamic and urban-oriented target group, in reality an astonishingly large number of pensioners belong to the SUV customers. You want a car that is easy to get into and comfortable to sit in - but that is not specifically branded as a retirement car. In the Mazda CX-3 you just get in and sit comfortably. Fits. In this context, only the lack of clarity towards the rear is negative.

Mazda CX-3 optically in a different league

Another point: The Mazda CX-3 could be constructed relatively cheaply; It is based on the Mazda 2, shares its wheelbase, but with clever design tricks and significantly more length, it tends to optically more towards the Mazda 3. Parked on the roadside would therefore be classified one class higher than competitors such as a Nissan Juke, Opel, without direct comparison Mokka, Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur.

That the bluff of the Mazda CX-3 is exposed at the latest when it comes to legroom at the rear and the trunk volume with only class-standard space is a free gift - most interested parties sit in front and there is anyway ample freedom of movement. As well as a good material impression with a love of design, which is often sorely missed in the B segment. If you take some money into your hand, you can configure the SUV right down to leather upholstery including color-contrasting seams.

Speaking of configuration: Of course, the Mazda CX-3 does not beat the digital habits of smartphone Generation stop and thus addresses the young as well as the technically young at heart. They look forward to the second offour equipment lines via a seven-inch touchscreen, which can alternatively be operated via a rotary push button on the center tunnel. Anyone who docks their internet-enabled cell phone via the Bluetooth interface can have messages read aloud and access the world wide web - above all the unavoidable social media offers and internet radio.

Mazda CX-3 starts with three different engines

In general, the Mazda CX-3 presents itself on the level of the technical possibilities: The start-stop system is standard, there is a head-up display for an extra charge (the information is played on a small plastic window) as well as LED headlights and a whole battery of helpers: an emergency braking function up to city speed, lane keeping and blind spot assistants (the latter also warns of cross-traffic when parking out) and a radar-based cruise control.

Many However, options will only be available in packages - a peculiarity of Japanese manufacturers who keep the possible combinations small. This also applies to the drives. In principle, three engines are at the start: a 105 hp 1.5-liter diesel and a two-liter petrol engine in the two power levels 120 (only as front-wheel drive) and 150 hp (only with all-wheel drive). Front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive are only available for the compression-ignition engine.

When it came to the first possibility of driving with pre-production models, the diesel engine was particularly convincing with spontaneous and sufficient power delivery and exceptionally smooth running. With its crisp shift lever, the manual six-speed gearbox fits perfectly with the lively character of the 1.5-liter. On the German market, however, the 120 hp gasoline engine is likely to be in greater demand. At the presentation it was only available with the six-speed automatic transmission. This combination doesn't work particularly well; Although the machine changes the levels comfortably, there seems to be a lot of energy stuck in the converter. If you choose the sports program, the Mazda CX-3 shifts jaggedly, but organizes uncomfortably long in the low gears even at the same speed.

Minor corrections by Mazda required

For the dynamic design of the Mazda CX-3, the engineers thought a sporty chassis set-up was appropriate, which should surely bypass the driving habits of most buyers. Especially in connection with the 18-inch wheels, which are subject to a surcharge, clearly noticeable bumps come through again and again and there is hardly any calm in the chassis - the balance of spring rate and damper hardness is not yet perfect. In addition, the steering reacts noticeably jagged from the central position, which ensures a slightly restless straight-line stability. Mazda should improve on both points by the start of production.

The base price of 17,990 euros for the 120 PS engine should be oneIn contrast, do not stand in the way of sales success, rather the big leap to better equipped diesel (from 21,990 euros). Although the most suitable variant, the calculation is likely to greatly reduce sales opportunities. The plan for the coming year is 38,000 units for Europe; 12,000 of them could come to Germany.

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