Engines & Transmissions

Engines & Transmissions

The Mazda CX-3 is offered with both petrol and diesel versions of Mazda’s award-winning SKYACTIV engines.

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  • Choice of SKYACTIV-G petrol and SKYACTIV-D diesel engines.
  • Emissions range from 105 to 150g/km with all engines Euro 6 compliant.
  • Ten front-wheel drive models and three all-wheel drive Sport Nav cars.
  • Choice of SKYACTIV-MT manual and SKYACTIV-Drive automatic transmissions.
  • Flagship 150ps SKYACTIV-G engine matched exclusively to all-wheel drive.

The Mazda CX-3 is offered with both petrol and diesel versions of Mazda’s award-winning SKYACTIV engines. With a choice of manual or automatic transmissions, plus the option of all-wheel drive, the Mazda CX-3 offers a wide choice of engine and drivetrain choice across the 13 model range.

With a focus on ‘rightsizing not downsizing’ Mazda’s innovative SKYACTIV engines deliver superb economy, low emissions and excellent refinement without compromising performance. Featuring extreme compression, lightweight design and i-stop idle-stop, Mazda’s SKYACTIV-G petrol and SKYACTIV-D diesel engines are engineered in the pursuit of achieving optimum combustion engine efficiency.

Mazda’s i-stop idle-stop system was developed entirely in-house and tailored specifically for its application in Mazda’s new generation of SKYACTIV-Engines. It uses combustion energy for restarting the engine, and only requires an electric-powered starter motor to provide a small degree of momentum during the initial restart phase. It’s still the only combustion-powered system on the market.


The well-proven direct-injection and high-compression SKYACTIV-G 2.0-litre petrol engine is offered with 120ps on front-wheel drive models and makes up the bulk of the range.

The flagship all-wheel-drive Sport Nav petrol is powered by a 150ps version of the 2.0-litre SKYACTIV-G and is equipped exclusively with a six-speed SKYACTIV-MT manual transmission - this model also features Mazda’s i-ELOOP brake regeneration system and emits just 150g/km of CO2. With an all-wheel drive system that automatically switches between four and two-wheel drive in response to road conditions, Mazda’s Active Torque Control splits torque between the front and rear axle seamlessly to ensure maximum traction and efficiency. The most powerful CX-3 in the range, it will hit 62mph in just 8.7 seconds.

Front-wheel-drive 120ps CX-3s are offered with either SKYACTIV-MT manual and SKYACTIV-Drive automatic transmissions, which emit 137 and 136g/km of CO2 respectively. With petrol versions of the recently launched Mazda2 powered by the 1.5-litre SKYACTIV-G engine, the Mazda CX-3 marks the debut of the larger capacity 2.0-litre SKYACTIV-G engine in Mazda’s global small car platform.

Designed to deliver ample torque and a positive throttle response both 120ps and 150ps versions produce 204Nm of torque at just 2,800rpm. In the Mazda CX-3, the 2.0-litre SKYACTIV-G features a compact 4-2-1 exhaust system, which lowers the in-cylinder compression temperature to help prevent knocking, improve the scavenging effect and with it combustion efficiency, with the end result of extra torque – especially at low engine speeds.

With a manual gearbox the 120ps CX-3 sprints to 62mph in just 9.0 seconds, while automatic versions reach 62mph in 9.9 seconds. Automatic petrol models feature Drive Selection that at the press of a button delivers extra responsiveness with Sport mode providing faster downshifts and extra torque response when you press the throttle. A kick-down switch prevents undesirable downshifting using a detent to increase resistance at a certain throttle position, enabling the driver to avoid, by not pressing beyond the detent, or instigate downshifts by pressing past.


Mazda’s compact, refined and efficient 1.5-litre SKYACTIV-D diesel engine has been tuned for use in the CX-3. A maximum torque output of 270Nm, results in excellent flexibility at cruising speeds and strong in-gear response.The compact variable turbine geometry turbocharger delivers boost from low engine speeds and uses a rotation speed sensor to maintain output through to higher revs.

With peak torque available between 1,600 and 2,500rpm, the high-pressure exhaust gas recirculation system is supplemented by a low-pressure exhaust gas recirculation system to further enhance engine response, while the water-cooled intercooler is integrated into the engine’s lightweight manifold.

As with other SKYACTIV-D diesel engines, Mazda’s engineers focused on optimising the engine’s compression ratio to achieve superior air-fuel mixture levels and more uniform combustion, which in turn resulted in lower levels of nitrous oxides and a higher expansion ratio for better economy.

As a result, the advanced SKYACTIV-D diesel engine in the Mazda CX-3 features an exceptionally low 14.8:1 compression ratio that not only sets new standards of efficiency and performance but also complies with all global emissions regulations, without the aid of expensive nitrogen oxide after-treatment systems such as selective catalytic reductions or lean nitrogen oxide traps.

When the compression ratio is lowered, compression temperature and pressure at top dead centre decrease. Consequently, ignition takes longer even when fuel is injected near top dead centre, enabling better mixture of air and fuel. This alleviates the formation of NOx and soot because the combustion becomes more uniform without localised high-temperature areas and oxygen insufficiencies.

The engine features high-dispersion solenoid fuel injectors to suppress cooling losses and provide the optimum injection pattern for the given driving conditions. This improves both combustion efficiency and engine refinement levels. In addition, the combustion chamber features a unique ‘shouldered’ design to suppress flow around the lip of the chamber and prevent combustion gas cooling.

Naturally, the engine comes with standard i-stop idle-stop system, which delivers the world’s fastest restarts on a diesel engine.

Smooth, refined, quiet and efficient, the SKYACTIV-D engine is well-suited to the Mazda CX-3 and with emissions of just 105g/km, the manual two-wheel drive models that make up the bulk of the range, are an attractive proposition for company and private buyers alike. And at the top of the range, the SKYACTIV-D all-wheel drive Sport Nav is offered with both a manual and automatic gearbox with emissions of 123 and 136g/km respectively.

Mazda’s smooth and efficient 1.5-litre SKYACTIV-D engine now features Transient Control, which ensures a more positive throttle response by reducing turbo lag and boosting torque to deliver a petrol-like engine feel. The engine has also benefited from the introduction of Mazda’s Natural Sound Smoother (NSS) technology, which thanks to a dynamic damper inside the piston pin suppresses resonance from the piston and connecting rod to reduce knock noise during starting and low-speed acceleration.