Mazda CX-3 review – A crossover with the spirit of an MX-5? - MPG and running costs

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

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

It should be no surprise to learn that diesel is the way to go if you want ultimate economy from your sporty family crossover, with up to 70.6mpg combined from the two-wheel drive, manual-transmission 1.5 diesel. You shouldn’t expect to hit that in real-world driving, but the low 105g/km CO2 figure that results means yearly vehicle tax will be low.

The all-wheel drive models are slightly less frugal, at 60.1mpg for the manual and 54.3mpg for the automatic, with CO2 emissions of 123g/km and 136g/km respectively.

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Petrol models are less frugal, though return perfectly respectable figures given their mechanical layout – a 2-litre petrol engine dragging an SUV-style body wouldn’t always have been a great recipe for economy. Best is the 118bhp manual car, at 48.7mpg, with 47.9mpg for the automatic and 44.1mpg for the AWD car. Lowest for CO2 is again the manual front-wheel drive version, at 116g/km.

On-paper numbers are all very well, but the CX-3 turns out to be pleasingly fuel-shy on the road too. We recorded over 50mpg from the 2-litre manual on a dreary motorway slog, a figure that only just dropped below 45mpg after a faster motorway run and tackling some roads in the Yorkshire Dales. It’s enough to make you think twice about the diesel.


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