On its launch in 2015, the CX-3 marked Mazda’s entry into the growing small SUV segment and the firm’s designers created a unique, progressive and stylish crossover that combines a go-anywhere SUV character with a rear-leaning coupe inspired roof line. A sporty SUV expression of Mazda’s KODO: Soul of Motion design philosophy, the Mazda CX-3’s taut proportions and bold lines are highly reminiscent of the Shinari concept car that first showed the world Mazda’s vision of KODO design.
While the Mazda CX-3 shares an identical wheelbase with the Mazda2, the CX-3’s stylish exterior design demonstrates the individual character of each Mazda product. At first glance the CX-3 has a striking presence that belies its actual size, using the extra height of a crossover body to create attractive proportions that embody freshness and beauty.
In profile the CX-3’s short overhangs, large diameter wheels and rich door contours ensure the Mazda CX-3 has a planted and dynamic stance on the road. Rearward positioned A-pillars work with the flowing bonnet profile to emphasise a sense of forward speed, while the sweeping coupe-like roofline continues that sense of motion to and beyond the back of the car.
The bold KODO: Soul of Motion body lines of the Mazda CX-3 mean this is a compact SUV that has the visual dynamism of a coupe. Flowing from the bonnet past the A-pillars, before tapering downwards across the front doors, the first body line forms an axis with a strong shoulder line that builds from the point of the rear light clusters. Together these lines and contours create the sense of movement that is at the heart of KODO design.
Well considered but subtle changes to the styling on the 2018 Mazda CX-3 see the introduction of a revised grille and new wheel designs, while the darker side pillar treatment enhances the sweeping coupe-like profile of this dynamic small SUV.
In range-topping Sport Nav+ trim the side-profile is enhanced with chrome-accented door sills that run along the ridge of each side garnish trim and there’s also a new chrome front bumper garnish.Well-matched to the shine of these machined outer surfaces, the Sport Nav+’s standard silver 18-inch wheels are another feature that give the range-topping CX-3 an unmistakably premium appearance. SE Nav+ and SE-L Nav+ versions of the Mazda CX-3 come with smart 16-inch alloy wheels.
From the front, the 2018 Mazda CX-3’s bold face and revised grille complements its stylish proportions. Thanks to the taller compact SUV body, the familiar Mazda signature wing and grill is positioned higher, which combined with the CX-3’s predatory headlamp styling give’s Mazda’s smallest SUV a bold look that’s reminiscent of the award-winning Mazda CX-5. SE Nav+ and SE-L Nav+ models feature halogen headlights, while from Sport Nav+ trim onwards the 2018 CX-3 features LED headlights with rear signature lights that provide the flagship CX-3 with a stylish and recognisable lighting signature.
Viewed from behind, the Mazda CX-3’s shapely shoulder contours extend from the side profile to give the CX-3 a sporty rear-end and a strong stance on the road. The black D-pillars create a visual continuity between the side windows and the tailgate glass, while the tailgate spoiler blends seamlessly into the sweeping roofline. Twin exhaust pipes emphasise the CX-3’s sporty character, while the slim, sharply tapered and laterally aligned rear lights echo the predatory headlamp styling at the front.
Ensuring that the Mazda CX-3 has a high-class nocturnal signature each rear light cluster features an upper line and three-dimensionally contoured brake light, while Sport Nav+ models feature LED lights. Combined with a shapely rear bumper design, a short rear overhang and sleek tailgate, these details underscore the Mazda CX-3’s sporty character and premium appeal.
A stand out example of Mazda’s KODO: Soul of Motion design philosophy, the Mazda CX-3’s exterior styling announced Mazda’s arrival in the ever-growing small SUV sector and today this class-leading premium offering retains the kerb appeal that set it apart on its launch. Matched to the head turning looks there’s a choice of eight exterior colours including Mazda’s flagship Soul Red Crystal Metallic. This innovative new colour features a completely new shade that changes in different lights: cooler under normal conditions, it becomes more radiant and glossy in bright sunlight. Even better, thanks to Mazda’s unique three-layer TAKUMINURI painting technology it increases brightness by approximately 20 per cent and depth by 50 per cent, compared to previous Soul Red Metallic paint.