MAZDA’S compact cross-over, the all new CX-3 is a popular car on Durban roads. Personally I always thought the larger SUVs would be a leading choice, but I can see why vehicle buyers are opting for this snazzy new offering from the brand. I had the privilege of being a tourist in my own province this month as I was entertaining guests from the UK. This meant I got to travel to some destinations I would not have normally visited. One such destination were the battlefields in Dundee and I could have asked for no better travel companion than the CX-3. The first thing I have to mention is the economy because this is what stood out the most for me. I drove the CX-3 2.0L Individual Auto and was expecting to make this trip on two tanks of fuel as the roads in these parts of KZN are not exactly comfortable to travel on and sometimes we had to travel at 40km. On the national roads, we were able to travel at 120km to 130km. The average economy of the vehicle was 7.5L/100km, which is excellent considering the CX-3 carried four adults and boot loaded with luggage. We made the trip on one tank of fuel which was a huge saving. I did get a bit worried when we had to tackle the dirt roads leading to the Isandlwana Battlefields as it is a little car, but the CX-3 held its ground and would have given any larger SUV a run for its money. The ride was smooth and while we had to travel fairly slow, the journey was not uncomfortable. Mazda has really gone out of their way to offer comfort first for passengers and the driver and once again have paid special attention to details of the new CX-3. It is an easy-to-use system with all buttons at an arm’s length for the driver. The navigation also came in really handy in this foreign town. The only negative as a driver was the head-up display. This is my favourite feature in Mazda vehicles, and I struggled to set my seat and steering wheel in a comfortable position to view the display. At the end of the week, I still didn’t get it right and did not really use the display. The comfort in front for passenger and driver is second to none. There is ample leg and arm room and you can basically set up a picnic in the front seat. However, for those in the back seat, the journey was not as comfortable. I am 1.58cm tall and had to sit at an angle because I really dislike the feeling of my knees knocking the seat in front of me. The driver’s seat would have to be adjusted substantially to be seated comfortably behind the driver. For my not so tall sister-in-law though, the journey was comfortable and she managed to nap even while travelling on bumpy dirt roads. I absolutely love the new look and design of the CX-3 - it is a big vehicle, but at the same time it is easy to manoeuvre. I thought about the animation advert for the CX-3 where a runaway bride makes a quick getaway in the car, and it is nippy in every sense of the word.The CX-3 Individual Auto is available from R325 900.