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2017 Mazda CX-3: Which spec is best?

By David Bonnici, 16 Sep 2017 Car Advice

2017 Mazda CX-3: Which spec is best?

Which Mazda CX-3 variant offers the best buy based on features, performance, and value?

The Mazda CX-3 is one of the best-selling small SUVs in the country thanks to its sporty styling, car-like handling, and sharp entry-level pricing. A recent update addressed some of its few shortfalls including noise levels and ride refinement, while adding automatic emergency braking as standard across the range.


Like the Mazda 2 hatch on which it’s based, the CX-3 has four main specification levels starting with the entry-level Neo which kicks off the range at $20,490 for the six-speed manual version. A six-speed automatic is also available for an extra $2000 with that premium in place across all variants with both FWD and AWD drivetrains.

Priced to draw people into Mazda showrooms, the front-wheel drive CX-3 Neo (below) is sparsely equipped by today’s standards but does come with automatic emergency city braking, cruise control, hill-launch assist cloth seats, and 16-inch steel wheels with hubcaps.

Entertainment is rudimentary with no touch screen infotainment system, but you do get auxillary and USB inputs and Bluetooth connectivity should you tire of AM/FM radio. Having no centre screen means there’s no reversing camera but it does have rear parking sensors to help you into tight spots.

Next up is the CX-3 Maxx (interior below) which adds some decent kit for an extra $2400. The extras include a 7.0 touchscreen with rotary controller, Mazda’s MZD Connect entertainment system with digital radio, satellite navigation, reversing camera, and better sound via two extra speakers. The Maxx also has 16-inch alloy wheels, leather-wrapped steering wheel, blind-spot monitor, and rear-cross traffic alert.

The Maxx specification is also available with AWD auto or with a 1.7-litre turbo diesel engine with FWD.

Next up is the sTouring, which adds 18-inch alloy wheels with sporty low-profile tyres, LED headlights and daytime running lights, fog lights, head-up display with speed sign recognition, keyless start, auto wipers, climate-control air-conditioning, and a choice of cloth or faux leather trim. 

The CX-3 sTouring (above) has the same petrol and diesel choices as the Maxx though the diesel is AWD. There’s also a petrol AWD option.

The range-topping CX-3 Akari (interior below) has the same engine and drivetrain options as the sTouring plus more luxury features including black or white leather upholstery, heated front seats, power adjustable driver’s seat with two memory settings, and a sunroof.

Additional safety measures include adaptive headlamps and lane departure warning. 

  • CX-3 Neo manual - $20,490
  • CX-3 Neo auto - $22,490
  • CX-3 Maxx manual - $22,890
  • CX-3 Maxx auto - $24,890
  • CX-3 Maxx AWD auto - $26,890
  • CX-3 Maxx diesel auto - $27,290
  • CX-3 sTouring manual - $26,990
  • CX-3 sTouring auto - $28,990
  • CX-3 sTouring AWD auto - $30,990
  • CX-3 sTouring AWD diesel auto - $33,390
  • CX-3 Akari manual - $31,490
  • CX-3 Akari auto - $33,490
  • CX-3 Akari AWD auto - $35,490
  • CX-3 Akari AWD diesel auto - $37,890


The Maxx is a great little car for the money if you’re on a budget. However, the sTouring and Akari AWD petrols bring plenty of great features for the price as well as a dynamically engaging ride.


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