I must say I’m not a big fan of Small SUVs. Have driven Crosslands, Capturs and 2008’s but none of them could get me impressed even by a tiny little bit. Those are just taller versions of reasonable hatchbacks like Corsas, Clios and 208s, not necessarily roomier, usually also FWD and the offroad ability is not that greater than their cousins, so if you just want to look loftier than everyone else on the road, those are the perfect buy for you.

But I believe Mazda decided to bring some excitement to an, otherwise, dull segment.

On my way to São Miguel, to attend the 57th Azores Rallye and watch the legend himself, Sébastien Loeb, flying through one of the most beautiful rally stages in the world, I asked my friend André from Way2Azores Rent for a car to accomodate 5 people and he promptly told me I would have a Mazda CX3 ready and waiting for us. I got excited because one, it’s a Mazda and two, I always wanted to try the CX3!

For a while the CX3 was very popular on the island and I had a great feedback about its performance, even though I knew that it wouldn’t be a sports car killer or something even close, but that being said about a small SUV got me curious. Besides, the looks were different from every other brand and Mazda never disappoints when they go to the sketch board.

The interior is very cozy and after a few minutes to get to know where all the controls are, it turned out to be very easy to interact with audio and navigation without having to get my eyes of the road. The seats are very confortable. I mean, I’m 1.84m tall and I felt wrapped and in place, corner after corner, on our way to the stages, through b-roads, so driving for long distances won’t be a problem. Also, the build quality is on high standards, this is a rental with 4 years of service and around 83000Km and the leather seats were still in great shape!

Engine wise, this one has a 1.5 L Skyactive-D 4×2, with a great low end, but starts to lose all that initial humpf half way down the rev counter. It feels so smooth though, and having plenty of torque available very early, at around 1600rpm, it got me cruising, high geared and at low speeds without any effort at all. We did almost 700Km in total, getting an average of 5.5l/100Km, so the fuel economy department deserves a gold medal as well.

They usually say the best race car is a rental but to treat others’ property with respect is also true and thats what we did. With that said, the car was full all the time with me, my girlfriend and our friends, but even at low and LEGAL speeds, I could notice that the CX3 has a very fun chassis to tackle all the twists and turns if one goes in a hurry too.

A special thanks to Way2Azores Rent for providing a great service!

Used Car Market Price Range*: 18800€ – 22990€

*by the time vehicle was tested 

Text: César Melo (@cesarmelors530r)

Photography: César Melo (@cesarmelors530r) / João Melo (@joaomelo1991)

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