Pieter Voges, Dealer Principal and Sales Manager of Mitsubishi and Mazda Menlyn has been in this industry for the last 12 years, 8 of which has been dedicated to these two brands. He believes I getting things right the first time round, and as a result, is enthusiastic about sharing his experience with me regard the Mazda CX 3. At his Dealership, he feels the family environment is part of the reason for it’s success. Having lead this Dealership for the last 5 years, Pieter is excited about the future of the brand.
Handing me over to Michelle-Mari, Sales Manager for Mazda Menlyn, I learn that this strong and feisty young woman has been in the industry for the last 3 years, and has found her passion in assisting and dealing with people. Michelle counts herself lucky to be part of this Dealership, as she believes the time is ripe for this brand to be finding a new directing and moving towards a more innovative product. Michelle is excited by what the brand is trying to achieve and believes that by giving the best of herself to help each client obtain what they want – but also what they need – she is serving in her best capacity possible. Michelle’s opinion of the Mazda CX 3 is that this fresh and new car represents the direction which the brand is striving to establish itself as: making a strong statement about technology, innovation and dynamism, the CX 3 is the epitome of what Mazda seeks to provide to the public.
Carel Landsberg, the Workshop and Service Manager at both Mazda and Mitsubishi Menlyn, has been in the industry for 22 years. With a fiery passion for cars and both brands that he serves, Carel shares with me that he started as an apprentice with these brands many years ago, and moved up to the service sector, then to workshop advisor and ultimately into Management. With his favourite Mazda tipped to be the CX 5, he believes that the vehicle is superb value for money and (although a little too technologically laden for his liking) is really well-specced in comparison to competitors in the segment. Working with a superbly knowledgeable team (under a Master Technician for each brand, equipped with latest training and knowledge) the workshop does extremely well to produce the highest quality work available, to ensure your vehicle stays in tip-top shape.
The Mazda CX 3 2.0 litre Individual Auto is, without a doubt, one of the best-looking crossover SUV’s on the market. As mentioned in the past, I am a fan of the new Mazda signature grille, and the sleek and shapely curves of this car are perfectly proportioned to encapsulate the concept of an SUV crossover. On the inside, the CX 3 boast high-end finishes and some great leather inlays, colour-coded accents that touch on the vehicles sporty-personality, as well as a lovely circular-design theme which blends in beautifully.
In the driver’s seat, I note there is more than ample head and leg room, and the seat itself is one of the best I have sat in, in terms of comfort and support. Although leather is an additional expense (in the entry level variants) the dual cloth/suede upholstery is elegant and has a sporty theme with colourised stitching. The dash is an aesthetic dream, with a 7-inch infotainment screen at centre-stage, and the rest of the dashboard laid out ergonomically. All controls are easy to reach and easy to understand, and I find the adjustable steering wheel makes me feel fully in control once seated.
Mazda has shown impressive consistency in terms of safety features on their vehicles; the new CX 3 range is no difference and possesses advanced safety features that have been noted on a global level for their innovation. This includes Smart City Brake Support, Adaptive LED Headlights, Lane Departure Warning, Driver Attention Alert and Blind Spot Monitoring, all of which promotes driver-focus and safe driving. Six airbags, ventilated disc brakes, ABS/EBD, Dynamic Stability and Traction Control (and a host of other impressive abbreviated features to add to this list) all come together to complete my checklist for a vehicle of above-average safety standards.
On start up, the CX 3 gives a nice surge of power (the sound of which is effectively dampened in the cabin, I must note) coming from the 2.0 litre, four-cylinder engine. Naturally aspirated, the engine cranks out a pleasing 115 kW and 204 Nm of power to the front wheels. Boasting a 6-speed automatic gearbox, the CX 3 shifts through gear changes with ease and minimal fuss, making it one of the slicker gearboxes I have reviewed thus far. Engine efficiency is maximised and fuel-consumption reduced through the brilliance of Mazda’s Skyactiv Technology, and Michelle notes that as a result, the CX 3 has proven to be an affordable vehicle to drive.
Driving the CX 3 is a pleasant, smooth and hassle-free experience, with the vehicle showing superb handling and great feedback from the electric power steering. A nice sense of gravity creates the feeling of solid road-holding ability, and both bumper-to-bumper traffic and open freeway were a pleasure to navigate.
Mazda is a brand that has shown great innovation and expansion recently, and the growth of safe, reliable and efficient vehicles at affordable price, remains their philosophy. The CX 3 range starts with entry level vehicles priced at R290 800, and can be customised to suit your best needs. Looking forward to a CX 3 facelift later this year, there seems to be a lot to look forward to from this brand for the rest of year.
Back at the Dealership, the evident teamwork that exists in this Dealership is unique and professional, and I find the sense of openness and honesty very refreshing. The opportunity for each staff member to reach out and ask for help and support is very reassuring and culminates in a sense of excitement about what is on the horizon for this brand.
Journalist: Desh Bechan
Reporter: Inge Stols
Editor: Belinda Anderson