Onto its 4th year of production, the little CX-3 has been slowly improving with every year. Being the smallest vehicle in the Mazda lineup, it has a lot of live up to. Based on the discontinued Mazda2 the little CX-3 is one of the smallest CUV you can buy.
You can read our review of the 2018 CX-3 here.
While 2019 is a mild refresh, it is one of the best updates yet. From the outside, there’s not much there that separates this from the previous years. On the front, there’s newer front bumper with more chrome on the lower bumper and sides skirts. Out back there’s a new set of LED taillights that sets off the rear end. But that’s about it, but it doesn’t really need much. The CX-3 is very attractive looking little ute, there’s not too much that needs to be done to add to this already exciting CUV.
On the inside is where the CX-3 get’s the most of the updates. The dash is now padded in a nice soft suede material that stretches across the centre of the dash, and around the vents, there’s a red trim ring which makes it look just a bit better than black from previous years. The main change is the shifter area and the media control buttons. The CD player has been removed, giving a bigger cubby for loose items. The shifter looks to be lifted from the other Mazdas like the 3 or Cx-5, moving the sport button from the bottom to the left and moving the entire assembly up allows for more room. The media controls were also moved up, similar to other Mazda models its now bigger and easier to use, most likely for the future Apple Carplay/Android Auto Support. There’s also a revised two teir cup holder that can hold different size drinks. And the most important update of all, an armrest for the occupants.
While some updates are nice overall, it’s more or less the same. The seats are a bit updated with a different pattern than before, and it’s quite nice, heated for the winter months these seats offer plenty of support for the average driver. For the rear occupants, space is tight, with limited leg and knee room it’s not the most comfortable for taller passengers. Behind the rear seats is another place where the CX-3’s smaller size shows. There’s limited space in the back for groceries and whatever else you need to stow. Mazda could make this a bit better if they were to take out the spare tire and gave the owners an inflation system instead. This would help the CX-3 gain some precious cargo space that’s needed to compare with the likes of the spacious HR-V.
Power from the CX-3 is the same as previous years, the 2.0L 4 cylinder makes 148hp and 146 lb-ft of torque it’s enough for the weight of the vehicle. It’s no powerhouse, leave that for the Hyundai Kona with its turbocharged engine, but it’s more than sufficient for this little CUV. But the Mazda has never been about the power, it’s all about the feeling that it delivers.
On the road, the CX-3 is not only agile but nimble. Steering is precious, and it darts at the direction you point. The steering wheel was updated last year now it’s a bit smaller than before and in this GT trim, it’s even heated, and leather wrapped. Mazda has always been about that “zoom-zoom” feel, if you were to jump into a comparing CUV like the Toyota CHR or the Honda HR-V, it can’t compare to how it simply makes the driver feel.
Overall the 2019 CX-3 is still a pretty good vehicle overall. Limited by space, the CX-3 makes an excellent vehicle for couples that may not require the additional space offered by its other competitors. Consuming about 8.5L/100km in the week I’ve been driving it it’s on par with the EPA rated at 8.6 City and 7.4 highway.