Because we needed a new range-topper and a 16-strong lineup.
Japanese luxury marque Mazda have announced a new flagship variant for their popular CX-3 compact crossover range. Dubbed the CX-3 Akari LE, it sits (obviously) above the former-flagship Akari grade, and adds a handful of premium touches that frankly put it in contention with proper luxury players in many regards.
Based on a FWD automatic Akari-grade model, the CX-3 Akari LE is just $500 more than a regular Akari. For that premium you do get quite a bit of nice kit though, starting with the dark-chrome 18-inch alloys on the outside that to this writers’ eyes, definitely set off the already-pretty CX-3. Step inside and you’re greeted by ‘Dark Russet’ Nappa leather upholstery with Pure White faux-leather accents, with the latter material also employed on the dash & door trims.
The Pure White continues on the dash air-conditioning vents, which feature the hue on the border surrounds. If white’s your thing you can have the CX-3 Akari LE in Snowflake White Pearl, though Jet Black Mica, Soul Red Crystal Metallic, Ceramic Metallic, and Machine Grey Metallic are also available.
Power comes exclusively by the 2.0-litre naturally-aspirated SkyActiv petrol mill, producing 110kW and 195Nm, sending power to the front wheels via a 6-speed automatic gearbox. All-wheel drive can be had if wanted, but that’ll add $2000 to the purchase price.
As it’s based on an Akari, the new CX-3 Akari LE benefits from existing niceties like the 360º camera system, AEB, and adaptive cruise control with traffic jam functionality.