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Mazda CX-3 2021: Maxx Sport LE added to bigger small SUV range


Mazda has refreshed its extremely popular CX-3 small SUV for 2021, adding two new variants while upgrading safety, tech and comfort across the range.

The 2021 Mazda CX-3 small SUV has been refreshed to bolster the compact crossover that has dominated its segment in Australia for several years.

Two new variants have been added to the CX-3 lineup that now spans a broad price range between $22,890 and $38,690.

Mazda CX-3 2021 front
Mazda has expanded the CX-3 range with two new variants for the 2021 model year

Mazda has fitted a more ergonomic seat design across the range, borrowing from the larger CX-30 and Mazda 3 small car. The front seats pick up a new internal structure said to reduce fatigue on long trips and hold the driver in a more supportive posture.

Technology has also been upgraded with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto now arriving as standard across the range. Mazda has also upgraded the CX-3’s old vertical key fob to their new larger and wider design that places the functions on the narrow edge

The safety sensors in the Mazda CX-3 are also now able to detect pedestrians at night which can trigger the Automatic Emergency Braking system (AEB) if needed.

Mazda CX-3 2021 screen
The Mazda CX-3 is now fitted with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard

Meanwhile, this small SUV’s automatic headlights have also been upgraded to be more sensitive to incoming light which also helps detect obstacles in its path. 

In this 2021 CX-3 update, Mazda has seen fit to expand the CX-3 range to seven variants, with the addition of the Maxx Sport LE and 100th Anniversary Special Edition.

The CX-3 Maxx Sport LE will sit in the centre of the range above the Maxx Sport with a price of $27,640 before on roads, with a six-speed automatic transmission the only option.

Mazda CX-3 2021 interior
The seats of the CX-3 have been upgraded to reduce driver fatigue and increase comfort

It gains subtle upgrades over the Maxx Sport such as a tan interior made of a suede-like material combined with white synthetic leather upholstery, along with new 16-inch alloy wheels and gloss black caps for the side mirrors and front grille.

The Mazda CX-3 100th Anniversary Special Edition has been built to celebrate the company’s first century since it opened in 1920, with only 70 units slated to arrive in Australia at a cost of $37,690 before on roads.

Based on the loaded up Akari grade in front-wheel-drive automatic form, the CX-3 100th Anniversary gains correlating badging on areas such as the key fob, floor mats and exterior to help the limited-run SUV stand out.

Mazda CX-3 2021 100th anniversary
Just 70 units of the CX-3 100th Anniversary Special Edition will be coming to Australia

In a throwback to Mazda’s original passenger car in the R360, the CX-3 100th Anniversary will only be offered with snowflake white pearl mica paintwork and a burgundy leather interior. 

The CX-3 range now starts at $22,890 (before on road costs) for the bare-bones Neo Sport FWD manual after a $180 price increase, with the top-spec Akari LE AWD auto setting buyers back $38,690 (before on roads) after a $240 increase.

While it was previously exclusive to top-spec models, Mazda has trickled down the rear-view mirrors auto-dimming function to the Maxx Sport and Maxx Sport LE lower spec models, which are designed to reduce glare from headlights.  

Mazda CX-3 2021 rear badge
Mazda CX-3 received a slight price increase in 2021 and is available with a broad price range starting at $22,890 and topping out at $38,690

Safety has been upgraded for the CX-3 sTouring variant with the addition of a lane departure warning system and automatic high beam control that switches off the secondary lights if it detects an oncoming car.

Mazda first launched the CX-3 back in 2015 and since then it has largely dominated the sales charts in Australia, with its closest competitor in the ‘Light SUV’ category the Toyota Yaris Cross selling just over half the amount in November. 

The Mazda CX-3 continues to be offered with either front or all-wheel drive across all grades, which is coupled to a detuned version of the Mazda MX-5’s two-litre four cylinder engine making 110kW of power and 195Nm of torque.

Mazda CX-3 2021 side
The Mazda CX-3 has dominated the Australia sales charts for years

The power combined with Mazda’s keen handling chassis makes for a surprisingly punchy city car, but the CX-3 struggles to match its competitors for fuel efficiency claiming up to 6.3L/100km when competitors such as the Toyota Yaris Cross Hybrid use just 3.8L/100km in our testing.

A choice of either a six-speed manual or six-speed torque converter automatic continues to be offered for all grades except the Maxx Sport LE and Akari LE. AWD variants, which are only offered with an automatic transmission.

As it enters into 2021 Mazda has slightly raised the prices of the CX-3 by around $180-$250 across the model range

2021 Mazda CX-3 Price List: 

All below prices do not include on-road costs.

  • Neo Sport FWD manual: $22,890
  • Neo Sport FWD auto: $24,890
  • Maxx Sport FWD manual: $24,890
  • Maxx Sport FWD auto: $26,890
  • Maxx Sport LE FWD auto: $27,640
  • Maxx Sport AWD auto: $28,890
  • sTouring FWD manual: $29,090
  • sTouring FWD auto: $31,090
  • sTouring AWD auto: $33,090
  • Akari FWD manual: $34,190
  • Akari FWD auto: $36,190
  • Akari AWD auto: $38,190
  • Akari LE FWD auto: $36,690
  • Akari LE AWD auto: $38,690
  • 100th Anniversary Special Edition FWD auto: $37,690