2024 Mazda CX-3 Review

By Alexi Falson on 05 May 2024
image for 2024 Mazda CX-3 Review
Overall Rating
out of 10
  • Attractive interior layout
  • Zippy handling around town
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay added for 2024 models
  • Decent fuel economy
  • Pint-sized boot
  • Limited second-row accommodation
  • No upgraded screens for higher-spec variants
  • Expired ANCAP safety rating
Mazda CX-3 G20 Sport Specs
    • 48L
    • 143
    • 6000 / 2800
    • Unrated
    • Automatic
The Mazda CX-3 remains the best-selling small SUV package available in Australia in 2024, asserting itself as a go-to option for buyers.

For 2024, Mazda’s CX-3 lineup has been simplified, accompanied by some technology and equipment upgrades that make it more compelling than ever in the ever-competitive compact SUV segment.

Just how well does the Mazda CX-3 stack up as a small SUV for Aussie buyers in 2024? Let’s take a closer look to find out. 

Mazda CX-3 Competition

Mazda CX-3

Kia Stonic
Hyundai Kona
Toyota Yaris Cross
Honda HR-V
Toyota C-HR
Hyundai Venue

How Much Does It Cost?

The Mazda CX-3 lineup is priced from $26,800 for the entry-level CX-3 Sport, with prices rising to $29,300 for the CX-3 Pure, and up to $31,050 for the CX-3 Evolve.

Stepping up to the CX-3 in Touring SP form brings the price up to $34,300, while the range-topping CX-3 Akari is priced at $38,620.

Keep in mind that these are retail prices, which do not include on-road costs.

How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You?

Using OnlineAuto’s car purchasing service, one of our car specialists can help you save and find the best value model for you.

Mazda CX-3 (G20 SPORT) Specifications

Model Date 2024
Model CX-3
Series CX3I
Variant G20 SPORT
Transmission 6 SP AUTOMATIC
Drive FWD
Engine EDI
Engine capacity 1998
Engine configuration VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 6000 / 2800
Cylinders 4
Torque 195
KW 110
Fuel tank size 48.0
Fuel usage specs 6.3 / 0
CO2 143
ANCAP security rating Unrated

What Features & Specs Does the Mazda CX-3 Have?

Mazda’s entry-level CX-3 Sport comes riding on a set of 16-inch alloys, and receives halogen headlights, a rear-view camera with parking sensors, cruise control, push-button start, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts.

Upgrading to the CX-3 Pure adds a set of LED head & tail lights, a head-up display, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear lever, climate control, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror and some added safety tech we’ll cover later in this review.

Moving up to the CX-3 Evolve adds a set of 18-inch alloys and front-mounted parking sensors and white synthetic leather upholstery with faux suede highlights.

The CX-3 Touring SP receives 18-inch alloys, a black grille and roof, adaptive cruise control, heated seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, black leather upholstery and keyless entry.

Finally, the range-topping CX-3 Akari receives adaptive LED headlights, a panoramic sunroof, surround-view camera, black leather upholstery, chrome exterior highlights, a special set of 18-inch alloys and a seven-speaker Bose sound system.

Connectivity & Infotainment Features

Mazda’s CX-3 range receives an 8.0-inch infotainment system that is paired with a six-speaker sound system for the majority of the range, while the flagship CX-3 Akari picks up a seven-speaker Bose sound system. 

Does the Mazda CX-3 have Wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto?

One of the major updates for the 2024 CX-3 range has been the addition of wireless Apple CarPlay connectivity across the range.

This will come as good news for owners of an iPhone, though owners of an Android phone will still be required to connect their phone via a USB cable, with Mazda’s infotainment system offering wired Android Auto.

Is the Mazda CX-3 Comfortable to Drive?

The driving experience on offer in the latest Mazda CX-3 range is incredibly user-friendly around town, proving itself as one of the leading city car options in the small SUV segment.

Under the bonnet, the CX-3 has a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine pushing out 110kW of power and 195Nm of torque to the front wheels via a six-speed automatic transmission.

This gives the CX-3 acceleration that can be politely described as modest, and more bluntly put- underwhelming.

Having said that, there’s enough motivation to keep up with traffic and make an overtake when needed, though it’s clear the CX-3 is no speed demon.

Underneath, the CX-3 is based on the Mazda 2 hatchback which, on the road, gives the CX-3 some particularly fun and nimble handling to compensate for its lack of outright pace.

Around town, the CX-3 is happy to dart through traffic thanks to its zippy handling and lightweight steering that makes low-speed turns and parking a simple task, especially with that small footprint.

To match, the CX-3’s suspension is perfect for the urban jungle where it remains quite flat in the corners while offering decent support on smaller irregularities on the road.

Pick up the pace and it’s clear the CX-3 struggles to stay comfortable on some rougher country B-roads, though at highway speeds it's well-behaved enough to tackle road trips.

All up, the CX-3 remains a mighty impressive package to drive in and around town, offering charming handling and a user-friendly nature that is easy to get acquainted with. 

Is it Fuel Efficient?

While the Mazda CX-3 does away with turbocharging and any hybrid assistance, it returns impressive fuel economy figures for a naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine.

Officially, the CX-3 is rated at 6.3L/100km on the combined test cycle.

How Much Fuel Does the Mazda CX-3 Use Around Town?

  • Around town, the Mazda CX-3 is rated at 7.7L/100km. 

How Much Fuel Does the Mazda CX-3 Use on the Highway?

  • On the highway, the Mazda CX-3 returns fuel economy figures of 5.5L/100km.

Is it Practical and Spacious?

The Mazda CX-3 is a pint-sized SUV package that, it’s fair to say, prioritises those sitting in the front of the cabin than those in the rear.

Up front, the CX-3’s cabin is still quite the looker, even as the current model approaches its 10th birthday, thanks largely to Mazda’s attractive interior designs that are both attractive and reasonably practical.

Taller drivers might feel a little bit cocooned, though the roofline is high enough to accommodate a variety of shapes and sizes.

The dashboard layout is nice and clean, with a few physical dials in place for the climate settings, while media controls are taken care of by the rotary dial in front of the gear lever.

Storage options in the front of the CX-3’s cabin include a tray behind the gear lever, a compartment hiding beneath the armrest that offers cup holders and added storage, a glovebox and large door bins inside the doors.

Move to the second row and things are pretty tight for adults, with limited legroom for anyone tall squeezing in the rear, though there’s more than enough for young kids.

The CX-3 receives a pair of ISOFIX anchors and three top tether mounts to accommodate child seats, though misses out on any USB ports or air vents in the rear.

How Big is the Mazda CX-3’s Boot?

The Mazda CX-3’s small stature means it’s not a heavy hitter when it comes to boot space.

Officially, there’s 264L of boot space on offer in the CX-3, though with the help of folding down the 60:40 split rear seats, you’ll extract up to 1147L of boot space when it’s time to move bulky cargo.

Is it Safe?

As standard, the Mazda CX-3 range picks up a long list of safety gear.

The entry-level CX-3 receives forward and reverse autonomous emergency braking, rear cross-traffic alerts, blind-spot monitoring, a rear-view camera with rear parking sensors and driver attention alerts.

Stepping up to the CX-3 Pure adds lane departure alerts, while the Evolve kicks up front-mounted parking sensors and the Touring SP and above receive adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition and pedestrian & cyclist detection for the AEB system.

Does the Mazda CX-3 Have an ANCAP Safety Rating?

The Mazda CX-3 has been around for so long here in Australia that its original five-star ANCAP safety rating has expired.

In 2024, the CX-3 remains unrated by ANCAP.

What Warranty Does the Mazda CX-3 Come With?

Like the rest of its lineup, Mazda packages the CX-3 range with a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty.

Mazda also bundles the CX-3 with five years of roadside assistance, with capped-price services for the first five services.

Service intervals for the CX-3 range are set at 12 months or 15,000km - whichever elapses first.

Our Verdict: Is the Mazda CX-3 Worth it?

While it’s one of the oldest models in the small SUV segment, the Mazda CX-3 is such a rock-solid package that does well to hide any grey hairs.

With zippy handling, a charming styling package inside and out and impressive fuel economy, the Mazda CX-3 confidently ticks many of the boxes that buyers are looking for in their small SUV package.

As a result, we highly recommend adding it to your shortlist and getting in contact with one of our car-buying experts if you’re looking to upgrade to a new small SUV soon.

Five Mazda CX-3 Specs You Need to Know

  1. Five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty

  2. Five years of roadside assist and capped-price servicing

  3. 6.3L/100km combined cycle fuel economy

  4. 264L boot expands to 1147L Expired five-star ANCAP safety rating

  5. 12-month/15,000km service intervals 


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

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