Mazda Cx-3 variants
Total price
Monthly payment
Figures are based on a 20% deposit

Finance representative example (PCP)

Total cash price £18,799. Borrowing £15,039 with a £3,760 deposit at a representative APR of 9.9%.

49 monthly payments
Fixed interest rate
Total amount payable
Cost of credit
Optional final payment
Annual mileage limit
6000 miles

CX-3s come with a selection of trim and engine choices. We’ll guide you through them so you can choose the version best suited to you.

Mazda CX-3 buying guide

What Mazda CX-3 trim levels are there?

There’s three trim levels in the CX-3 lineup, with all models getting a built-in sat nav as standard – denoted by the ‘Nav’ part of their names.

SE Nav trim includes 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, air conditioning, and a touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth and DAB radio.

SE-L Nav is the mid-range option. It adds automatic lights and wipers, climate control, rear parking sensors and heated front seats. Active safety is boosted by lane-departure warning and automatic emergency braking.

Sport Nav trim sits at the top of the range. It gets slick-looking 18-inch alloy wheels, full-LED headlights and extra chrome styling accents on the outside. Inside, there’s part-faux-leather upholstery, all-round parking sensors, a reversing camera, keyless entry, a heated steering wheel and an upgraded Bose stereo.

Mazda CX-3 interior and technology

Take a seat in the CX-3 and you’ll notice Mazda’s put a lot of effort in to make the car feel upmarket. The dash is dominated by a big slab of soft-touch material with neat stitching, and clean-looking physical climate controls beneath it. Cute eyeball-style air vents also help the CX-3 feel distinctive up front, although there’s a little more black plastic used than some more colourful rivals employ.

Sadly, the CX-3’s infotainment system isn’t a particularly strong point. The seven-inch screen looks tiny in comparison to newer rivals and the graphics look similarly ‘last generation’. It includes useful functionality like Bluetooth calling and audio streaming, along with DAB radio and sat nav, but lacks the all-important Apple CarPlay/Android Auto features that are ubiquitous in modern setups. On the plus side, you can control the system using a rotary dial on the centre console, making it easier to use while on the move.

If you’re hoping the CX-3’s SUV body imbues it with Tardis-like practicality, you’re likely to be disappointed. The car’s compact dimensions and taut, sporty looks mean there’s only a modest increase in space over the mechanically related Mazda 2 hatchback. Despite this, you can fit adults in the back seats if you don’t have very tall passengers up front, and the boot should be able to handle a big suitcase or several cabin bags.

What’s the best engine for the Mazda CX-3?

Most CX-3s on sale use a 2.0-litre petrol engine. They don’t use turbochargers so lack the gut punch of some heavily boosted rivals, but are smooth and sweet to drive. Diesel options are available for high-mileage drivers, but the petrols will make more sense for most CX-3 buyers.

Mazda CX-3 engine range explained

Mazda CX-3 2.0 121 petrol

This is the entry-level petrol engine for the CX-3 and is only available with two-wheel drive. With only 121hp on tap and no turbocharger to count on, performance is acceptable rather than inspiring. That said, it’s a pleasant engine to rev out and the snappy manual gearbox makes it fairly fun to do so – the optional automatic ‘box is fine but robs some of the car’s sportiness. Around 45mpg should be possible if you drive gently.

Mazda CX-3 2.0 150 petrol

This is the same 2.0-litre petrol engine as the 121hp CX-3, but with the wick turned up higher, resulting in 150hp. All 150hp petrol include all-wheel drive for better grip in slippery conditions, although this does mean it's effectively no faster than the lighter 121hp car. Expect around 40mpg if you drive with a light right foot, or less if you take the optional automatic gearbox.

Mazda CX-3 1.8 115 diesel

This became the sole diesel engine option in the CX-3 lineup from 2018 onwards. It makes 115hp so performance is nothing special but you should be able to average more than 60mpg if you drive efficiently.

Mazda CX-3 1.5 103 diesel

This is an older diesel engine offered in the CX-3. It was discontinued in 2018 in favour of the slightly more powerful 1.8-litre version.

Mazda CX-3 FAQs

There’s just one version of the Mazda CX-3 – a five-door, five-seat SUV with a hatchback boot lid. It’s essentially an SUV version of the charming Mazda 2 supermini, but with dimensions that bring it closer to the larger Mazda 3 hatchback.

As a small SUV, there’s loads of competition facing the CX-3. Models like the Volkswagen T-Roc, Nissan Juke, Audi Q2, Skoda Kamiq, Peugeot 2008, Citroen C3 Aircross and Ford Puma are all popular choices the Mazda must face off against.

The CX-3 measures in at a little over 4.2 metres long. That puts it among the smallest SUVs you can buy in the UK, taking up a similar amount of road space as a Volkswagen Golf.

Mazda’s ethos is usually led more by style and sportiness, so the CX-3 doesn’t quite match the likes of the Skoda Kamiq or Peugeot 2008 for outright practicality. Nevertheless, there’s enough room for a pair of adults in the back seats provided neither front passenger is especially tall. The 350-litre boot, similarly, is big enough for most day-to-day tasks but isn’t as spacious as the most practical cars in this segment. Top-spec cars with a Bose sound system have a little less boot space.