The least costly CX-3, the Neo, has cloth-covered seats, rolls on 16-inch steel wheels, and has the equipment common to all CX-3s.
Spend more for the Maxx and you get better looking wheels in an alloy of aluminium, the option of all-wheel drive, and the option of diesel power.
The Maxx has a 7.0-inch colour touchscreen with Mazda’s MZD Connect entertainment system, and with the music-streaming apps Pandora, Stitcher and Aha embedded. The radio receives digital (DAB+) signals, and the sound system has two more speakers. There is satellite navigation, a reversing camera, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. And the Maxx gains two rear-focused sensory safety aids: a Blind-spot monitor, and a Rear cross-traffic alert.
The CX-3 sTouring bumps the wheel size to 18 inches, using tyres of a lower profile for marginally more responsive steering and a racier look. It has foglamps, LED daytime visibility lamps, and LED headlamps – which are brighter and longer lasting than conventional lights. There is a head-up instrument display, which lets you view the speedo and the road simultaneously, and Traffic sign recognition, which helps you keep track of speed limits. You can unlock and start the car while the key remains secure in a pocket or handbag. Wipers operate automatically when it rains, climate-control air-conditioning maintains a set temperature, and you can choose Maztex fake-leather seat trim (or cloth).
The most expensive CX-3, the Akari, offers a choice between black or white leather seats, and you can heat the front seats. The driver’s seat is power-adjustable and remembers your settings (so that you can restore them easily after a companion has driven the car). There is a power-opening, glass, sunroof. Adaptive headlamps dim automatically only those parts of the high beam that might dazzle oncoming traffic, maintaining extended vision to either side. And in addition to the active safety of less costly versions, the Akari warns you if you are drifting out of your lane on a freeway.