Just six days after winning best compact SUV at the Fleet News Awards, this Mazda CX-3 joined our long-term test fleet.
Judges said the car “is a solid all-rounder. It’s stylish and fun to drive, and combines those attributes with strong residuals and competitive running costs.”
Over the next 12 months with the team, we’ll aim to get to know the car a little better, and find out what it’s really like to live with.
Our particular model is a 1.5-litre diesel variant, in mid-range SE-L Nav trim level. The only option specified on our vehicle is the Meteor Grey paint, at a cost of £540 – but the car is otherwise well specified – in fact, there are no other options available on this trim.
With a P11D value of £20,940, the spec includes MZD Connect touchscreen, DAB and sat-nav (with the funky control wheel of which I’m a fan), keyless start, climate control, front and rear electric windows, 16inch alloys, automatic headlights and wipers, heated front seats and city braking.
You don’t get much more with the top-spec Sport Nav – it adds leatherette/cloth interior, head-up display, 18inch alloys, LED lights and a reversing camera. That upgrade comes at a £2,400 premium, but our SE-L model doesn’t feel like you’re missing out.
When it comes to powertrains, this car features a 1.5-litre 105hp diesel. Relatively new to the Mazda range, this smaller engine (up until this year the Mazda3 only featured a 2.2-litre diesel) emits 105g/km CO2.
Overall, the brand says the 2.0-litre 120hp petrol is the best seller – we drove it briefly before taking delivery of this diesel model. It’s peppy and relatively economical (achieving 40mpg on our runs), but emissions of 137g/km will make it a no-go for the majority of fleet buyers.
If a lower-rate company car driver was to opt for the petrol, they would end up paying £53 a year more benefit-in-kind tax.