2024 Mazda CX-3 Touring SP car review

2024 Mazda CX-3 Touring SP

Danny Baggs

Posted April 03, 2024

The Mazda CX-3 is the entry point into Mazda’s SUV range. It’s a best-selling light SUV that’s heavily based on the Mazda2 hatchback, and competes against similar SUVs from Toyota, Nissan and Volkswagen.

This year, Mazda has trimmed its CX-3 range down from 13 models to five. The entire range is now a front-wheel drive with a six-speed automatic transmission. We tested the Mazda CX-3 Touring SP, available from $38,791 driveaway in Victoria.

The CX-3 Touring SP makes for a competitively priced and well-handling light SUV, but its outdated infotainment system and underwhelming transmission may make you opt for a competitor like the Toyota Yaris Cross, Nissan Juke or Volkswagen T-Cross instead.

The 2024 Mazda CX-3 Touring SP has been on sale in Australia since September 2023.

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The Mazda CX-3 Touring SP is a great light SUV. Images: Ben Weinstein
The Mazda CX-3 makes for a comfortable ride for driver and passengers.

How much does a 2024 Mazda CX-3 Touring SP cost?

The 2024 Mazda CX-3 Touring SP costs approximately $38,791 driveway in Victoria at the time of publishing.

The 2024 CX-3 range comes in five model grades:

  •  Mazda CX-3 Sport (previously Neo Sport) - $30,976. 16-inch alloy wheels, Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Wireless Apple CarPlay (along with wired Android Auto), and auto-folding power mirrors are new in 2023.
  • Mazda CX-3 Pure (previously Maxx Sport) - $33,581. Adds LED lights, Lane Departure Warning, Driver Attention Alert, and a heads-up display (HUD).
  • Mazda CX-3 Evolve (previously Maxx Sport LE) - $35,403. Adds 18-inch machined alloy wheels, front parking sensors and premium leatherette and suede upholstery.
  • Mazda CX-3 Touring SP (previously sTouring) - $38,791. Adds Radar Cruise Control, 10-way power adjustment driver seat, and darker, sportier styling.
  • Mazda CX-3 Akari - $43,292. Adds premium Bose audio, power-sliding glass sunroof, adaptive LED headlights and a 360-degree camera.


There are five model grades in the Mazda CX-3 range.
The Mazda CX-3 Touring SP costs $38,791 driveway in Victoria.

2024 Mazda CX-3 Touring SP exterior design

The 2024 Mazda CX-3 Touring SP fits into the light SUV category, with a 2570mm wheelbase and dimensions measuring 4275mm long, 1780mm wide, and 1535mm high.

The Mazda CX-3 Touring SP’s dark, sporty styling includes 18-inch black machined alloy wheels, a black-painted roof, black chrome signature wing, and gloss black front grille.

Paint options include Platinum Quartz, Aero Grey Metallic, Soul Red Crystal or Polymetal Grey Metallic, all of which can be paired with the Touring SP’s signature black roof. Note that Soul Red Crystal and Polymetal Grey Metallic will cost you an extra $595.

A chrome exhaust extension, LED headlights, fog lamps and taillights, and black auto-folding wing mirrors (with heating and power adjustment) finishes off the CX-3 Touring SP’s classy look.


The Mazda CX-3 Touring SP features dark, sporty styling.
The CX-3 Touring SP boasts 18-inch black machined alloy wheels.
The CX-3 Touring SP is an attractive light SUV.

What is the 2024 Mazda CX-3 Touring SP like inside?

Seating, Space and Comfort

Inside, the Mazda CX-3 Touring SP looks and feels generally more solid and luxurious than you’d expect for its price. Colours are muted – mostly black, with copper highlights around the air vents, which feature slick modern dials. The drinks panel features flip-up cup holders so that you can store smaller gear in the space if you don’t have a drink – but they are flimsy and liable to flip back down when you try to put in a water bottle.

There’s a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shift knob, and black leather and grey suede seats with adjustable headrests. Front seats also feature a chevron design that seems a little too sporty for a decidedly non-sporty SUV.

Both front seats have heating available for cold weather. The driver’s seat has 10-way power adjustment, including lumbar support, plus a memory function for two different set positions. It can take a while to set up to your specifications, but once you’ve spent the time on it, you’re in for a very comfortable experience.

Rear occupants aren’t treated to such a luxe experience, however. There isn’t a whole lot of shoulder room if you’re trying to pack three passengers in the back. There’s also no rear air conditioning or charging ports – although there is a centre fold-down armrest.

Cargo Space

There’s minimal cargo space in the Mazda CX-3 Touring SP, with a mere 264L boot with rear seats up to the cargo cover, or 1,174L with rear seats down up to the roof. It’s usable on most daily drives, but poor if you’re trying for a road trip or giving your friends a lift to the airport with luggage.

Infotainment Display

The infotainment display is what lets the Mazda CX-3 Touring SP down. It still uses MZD Connect, a somewhat outdated and clunky system that’s been eliminated from higher-end Mazda vehicles.

While the infotainment display is a full eight-inch, full-colour touchscreen, its touchscreen functionality is blocked when the car is moving. Instead, drivers are given an array of centre console controls which don’t give an instant response.

The entire Mazda CX-3 range comes with wireless Apple CarPlay and wired Android Auto, and you’re very likely to avoid the MZD Connect system in favour of your smartphone’s. I was disappointed to find that only Apple users received a wireless option – without a wired USB connection, I was forced to use the inbuilt satellite navigation that struggled for several long minutes to find my car’s location and made navigating difficult.


The Mazda CX-3 Touring SP feels well finished inside.
The Mazda CX-3 has fairly minimal cargo space.
The CX-3 Touring SP's front seats feature sporty chevrons.
Air con controls are sleek and modern.
A series of buttons and dials must be used instead of the touchscreen to control infotainment during drives.
The inbuilt navigation system isn't great; many drivers will prefer using their phones.

Is the 2024 Mazda CX-3 Touring SP good to drive?

Handling, ride and performance

Push-button start, electric power steering, and plenty of grip around corners makes for easy, intuitive drives in the Mazda CX-3 Touring SP. The vehicle's ride is firm, but not uncomfortable.

The Mazda CX-3's gearbox and engine isn’t the most responsive, just like the Mazda2. It’s fine enough until you need to merge quickly onto a freeway, or you have a heavy load like adult passengers in the back. Then you can feel the car struggling to accelerate with any promptness, and it revs hard leading to lots of cabin noise. Flipping on the Sport mode beside the gear shift goes some way towards helping this, but still doesn’t make the CX-3 Touring SP always confidence inspiring.

Highway driving, however, is a delight thanks to the adaptive cruise control system that was previously reserved for the range-leader Akari model grade.

Braking is smooth and firm. i-stop technology switches the engine off when you come to a complete stop for more than a few seconds, and automatically starts the car again when you lift your foot from the brake. This saves on fuel and keeps the cabin nice and quiet during stop-start traffic. 

The CX-3's Hill Launch Assist feature is a great help when driving from a full stop on inclines – especially helpful in heavy traffic over hills.

An electric parking brake with auto hold may make drivers used to a stick lever hand brake nervous at first, but it holds the car perfectly.

Engine and fuel efficiency

The Mazda CX-3 Touring SP runs on a 2L, naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine. It develops 110kW of power at 6,000rpm and 195Nm of torque at 2,800rpm.

The 48L tank drinks a claimed average of 6.3L per 100km, although, as always, lots of stop-start city driving will see you use up more.

Unleaded (91RON or higher) or E10 fuel is recommended for the CX-3.


The Mazda CX-3 Touring SP rides beautifully.
Hill Start Assist makes taking off on inclines easy.
The CX-3 Touring SP may struggle with gear changes if it's carrying heavier loads.
The Mazda CX-3 Touring SP runs on a 2L, naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine.

What safety features does a 2024 Mazda CX-3 Touring SP have?

The 2023/2024 Mazda CX-3 vehicle range is currently unrated by ANCAP, but the previous edition (CX-3s built prior to 1 January 2023) received a five-star ANCAP safety rating. The new CX-3 comes with front, side and curtain SRS airbags, a traction control system, emergency brake assist, whiplash-minimising front seats, and a Triple-H safety construction with front and rear crumple zones.

Drivers with children will appreciate the childproof rear door locks and ISOFIX child restraint anchor points and top tethers.

The 2024 Mazda CX-3 Touring SP’s suite of safety features includes:

  • Smart City Brake Support – warns you of high collision risks and brakes automatically if required when travelling between 4-80km/h, or 2-8km/h when reversing.
  • Blind Spot Monitoring – alerts you when vehicles approach in your blind spot, for example when you’re changing lanes on a motorway.
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert – alerts you when vehicles approach from either side behind the car when you’re reversing.
  • Lane Departure Warning – monitors road markings and alerts you if your vehicle strays from its traffic lane when travelling over 65 km/h.
  • Front and rear parking sensors – uses audible alerts to help you avoid nearby obstacles when manoeuvring at low speeds.
  • Reversing camera – a rear-mounted camera projects onto your digital infotainment screen to show your rear view when reversing.
  • Traffic Sign Recognition – detects stop signs, no entry signs, and speed limit signs, and projects the sign onto your Active Driving Display.
  • Radar Guided Cruise Control – maintains a set distance from the vehicle ahead, with the ability to bring you to a complete stop in traffic and take off again once traffic moves.
  • Driver Attention Alert – this system provides a visual warning if it detects signs of fatigue in the driver when driving above 65km/h for longer periods.
  • Dynamic Stability Control – automatically takes control of the vehicle when skidding is detected.

Traffic Sign Recognition is a real bonus when driving, as you can immediately check what the speed limit is and adjust your speed accordingly.


An extensive suite of safety features in the Mazda CX-3 Touring SP will keep driver and passengers feeling safe.
The 2024 CX-3 is unrated by ANCAP, but the previous edition received a five-star safety rating.

How does the 2024 Mazda CX-3 Touring SP compare?

The Mazda CX-3 has some serious competition in the light SUV category. Despite topping the light SUV sales charts, its rivals are gaining better tech and space for a similar price.

The Kia Stonic is a less powerful car, with only a 1.0L engine compared to the CX-3's 2.0L, and it pays for it with reduced power and torque. But it does feature the option to connect two smartphones at once, plus more cargo space (332L) and a sunroof – all for a lower price.

The Nissan Juke is also not as powerful as the CX-3, but it has a lower fuel consumption – 5.8L/100km compared to 6.3L/100km – and has some extra features, like a more informative instrument cluster and a rear USB charging port.

But the Mazda CX-3's biggest threat is the hybrid Toyota Yaris Cross, despite its +$4K price tag. The option of going hybrid electric means it consumes only 3.8L/100km, and its optional all-wheel drive (AWD) may be alluring to some drivers. The Toyota Yaris Cross also has 390L of boot space compared to the CX-3's 264L, making it much more viable for shopping and road trips 

If you’re after a less expensive light SUV, the Hyundai Venue and Suzuki Ignis are also good options.

Should I buy a 2024 Mazda CX-3 Touring SP?

If you’re after a decently priced light SUV for mainly city driving, the Mazda CX-3 Touring SP is worth a test drive. Aesthetics and ride are key wins for this model, while cargo space and infotainment could use some work. Make sure to check out competitors like the Toyota Yaris Cross before you make your decision.



The information provided is general advice only. Before making any decisions please consider your own circumstances and the Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determinations. For copies, visit racv.com.au. As distributor, RACV Insurance Services Pty Ltd AFS Licence No. 230039 receives commission for each policy sold or renewed. Product(s) issued by Insurance Manufacturers of Australia Pty Ltd ABN 93 004 208 084 AFS Licence No. 227678

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