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The Mazda CX-3 has finally made its official launch debut here in Malaysia, a year after the crossover made its global debut at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show. Available in just a sole variant, the fully-imported (CBU Japan) crossover is priced from RM131,218 (on-the-road without insurance).

On offer here is the SkyActiv-G 2.0L that can be had with a choice of five colours – Soul Red Metallic, Crystal White Pearl, Jet Black, Meteor Grey and Deep Crystal Blue. Each purchase will also include a three-year warranty and free service from Bermaz as well.

If the variant name isn’t a dead giveaway already, under the hood of the CX-3 you’ll find a 2.0 litre SkyActiv-G petrol engine that outputs 154 hp at 6,000 rpm and 204 Nm of torque at 2,800 rpm. By comparison, the Mazda 3 and CX-5‘s 2.0 litre mill outputs 162 hp/210 Nm and 154 hp/198 Nm, respectively.

The SkyActiv-G engine is mated to a SkyActiv-Drive six-speed automatic gearbox, directing drive exclusively to the front wheels (2WD). The engine also benefits from Mazda’s i-Stop engine idling stop system, which automatically shuts down the engine when the vehicle is stationary in order to save fuel.

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Proudly wearing Mazda’s signature Kodo styling, the CX-3 is quite the looker, measuring 4,275 mm in length, 1,765 mm wide and 1,535 mm tall. The B-segment crossover rides on the same SkyActiv-Chassis that underpins the smaller Mazda 2, and has a kerb weight of 1,211 kg.

On the exterior, the CX-3’s standard equipment list includes automatic LED headlights with adaptive front lighting system, auto-levelling and LED daytime running lights. The rear tail lights are LED as well, as are the front fog lamps (rear fogs make do with halogen bulbs instead).

The CX-3 also gets a bump in aesthetics thanks to gunmetal trim pieces located at the front, sides and rear of the crossover – something not found on lower variants of the Thai-spec model. Wheel options are limited to just a sole 18-inch five twin-spoke option, wrapped in 215/50R18 tyres. Other standard equipment include automatic wipers, power-folding side mirrors (with turn indicators) and a sunroof.

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Moving inside, the cabin layout is nigh identical to the Mazda 2, save for a few differences in trim colour pieces. Here, the brand’s MZD Connect 7.0-inch touchscreen multimedia system dominates the dashboard. The system can either be controlled via touch or the Commander Control dial.

Like the Mazda 2, the system can be upgraded with navigation functionality for an extra RM1,270. Other highlights in the cabin include the leather-suede combo seats (60:40 split folding at the rear) and single-zone automatic air-conditioning (front vents only). Boot space is rated at 350 litres.

As for the driver, there is Mazda’s Active Driving Display (heads-up display) and a multi-function (multimedia and cruise control) leather steering wheel (electric power assisted) that comes with paddle shifters. There is also a drive selection switch (Sport mode), reverse camera and keyless operation (entry and engine start).


West Malaysia price list, East Malaysia price list, spec sheet (click to enlarge)

The safety suite on the CX-3 is pretty comprehensive as well, with DSC electronic stability control, traction control and ABS with EBD and BA all being present. The crossover is fitted with six airbags as well (dual frontal, side and curtain). Hill launch assist and emergency stop signal are also part of the package, but there’s no i-ActivSense suite (Smart City Brake System, Rear View Monitoring, Lane Departure Warning etc.) here. For RM1,900 extra, Mazda’s Skytint (safety tint) can be specified as well.

As we were previously told, the initial batch of CBU models total up to just 2,000. After this first run of cars, considerations are being made to locally-produce (CKD) the model. This could see a reduction in price for the CX-3, although whether the spec sheet will remain the same is yet to be known. In the event that Bermaz continues importing CBU models, it will not be from neighbouring Thailand.

The Mazda CX-3 comes into the Malaysian crossover market to directly rival the Honda HR-V. With the top spec HR-V 1.8L V being priced well below the Mazda at RM114,744, does the CX-3 and its distinct styling warrant the premium you’ll need to pay? Let us know which you prefer, or if have another alternative altogether in the comments section below.

Want to know how the new B-segment crossover drives? Read our full review, or leaf through the Bahasa Malaysia version. Also, you can browse full specifications and equipment at CarBase.my.