Find a car review

Make
Model

Mazda CX-3 review – A crossover with the spirit of an MX-5? - Ride and handling

High pricing may deter some, but the CX-3 is appealing to both drive and to behold

Evo rating
Price
from £17,595
  • Good dynamics; frugal; most stylish car in its class
  • Steering lacks involvement; quite expensive

While anyone expecting a kind of ‘MX-5 on stilts’ might come away disappointed, the CX-3 is still the best-driving vehicle in its class, and therefore the one we’d recommend if your family circumstances dictate that a compact crossover serve as your daily driver.

Its main skill is pairing relative agility with welcome pliancy, even on 18-inch alloy wheels and tyres of skinny profile. It’s not immune to bumps and pot holes, but it does a good job of minimising their intrusion, whether you’re tackling a B-road or ferrying your kids to school and back. It’s on the softer side of sporting, and not quite as nimble as a regular supermini with its lower centre of gravity, but the damping seems perfectly appropriate for a car like this.

Subscribe to evo magazine

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

In the B-road scenario the CX-3 also feels nicely balanced. Ultimately the front will wash away first – as it should, in a car like this – but before that point the car reacts predictably to throttle and steering inputs. We’d even go as far as saying it flows down a road similar to an older hot hatchback, before huge performance and uncompromising suspension stiffness became the norm.

Where it can’t match up to an old hot hatch is in feel and feedback. Like the new MX-5, the steering is light and allows little of the road surface to filter back through the rim. There’s also an inaccuracy around the centre mark, though bite improves after a few degrees more lock.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/spy-shots/201770/porsche-cayman-gt4-rs-spied-718-to-receive-rennsport-treatment
spy shots

Porsche Cayman GT4 RS spied – 718 to receive Rennsport treatment

More power, more aero and less weight are already on the cards for Stuttgart’s fastest Cayman
19 Sep 2019
Visit/volkswagen/golf/21122/volkswagen-golf-mk8-spied-near-free-of-camouflage-before-october-debut
Volkswagen Golf hatchback

Volkswagen Golf Mk8 spied near-free of camouflage before October debut

All-new eighth-generation Golf is only weeks away from its reveal – this is all you need to know.
18 Sep 2019
Visit/mclaren/201759/new-mclaren-gt-review-woking-muscles-in-on-aston-martins-home-ground
McLaren

New McLaren GT review – Woking muscles-in on Aston Martin’s home ground

Is McLaren’s first grand tourer just a toned-down supercar, or something more nuanced and special?
17 Sep 2019
Visit/features/22773/goodyear-eagle-f1-supersport-chosen-by-those-in-the-know-advertisement-feature
Advertisement Feature

Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport - chosen by those in the know

The perfect choice for those looking to extract every last drop of performance, we run down Goodyear's Eagle F1 SuperSport range
12 Jun 2019