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Cost analysis: Mazda CX-3

Date: 11 June 2015   |   Author:

A new car's whole-life costs are the single most critical consideration when it comes to its chances of success in the business car arena. With help from the experts at Kwik Carcost, Paul Barker takes a look at the running costs data for the Mazda CX-3

Small crossovers have come from nowhere to become the fastest-growing area of the UK market, both in terms of volume and in new entrants.

The Vauxhall Mokka and the car that pretty much invented the segment, Nissan's Juke, both sit inside the 15 biggest-selling fleet models for 2014, while the Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008 also made first appearances in the top 50 last year.

The sector continues to grow. Citroen's wacky C4 Cactus was added late in 2014, while 2015 has already seen the introduction of the Fiat 500X and Jeep Renegade siblings, with the new Mazda CX-3 next through the gate and Honda's HR-V still waiting in the wings to arrive later this year.

We'll take a proper look at the CX-5's whole-life costs against a basket of its major rivals in this increasingly influential bit of the market.

The Juke is a logical inclusion, given it pioneered the sector, and the Mokka pipped it to be 2014's best-selling fleet crossover, while we've added the new Jeep Renegade as a rival as it also sits apart from the mainstream volume brands. We've also included the new C4 Cactus as a left-field choice, even in this more radical of sectors. All are diesels to match the CX-3's 105hp 1.5 unit.

The Mazda, in middling SE-L trim, is the priciest here, but with the probable exception of the Jeep, it carries the highest brand cachet. Surprisingly, it also has the lowest residual value of the five cars grouped here, although all get to at least 35% and the Jeep manages a heady 41.8%, according to KwikCarcost.

The Mazda sits third for emissions, but in the same BIK band as the fourth-placed Vauxhall, and the CX-3 also scores well for being the cheapest to insure - two insurance groups below anything else here - and having the lowest SMR cost, more than £200 cheaper than the Vauxhall, which is next-best. The Mazda is also the fastest-accelerating model, despite only the Cactus being less powerful.

Boot space is remarkably close across the five cars, with the Mazda being smallest at 350 litres, yet only 12 litres off the Mokka that heads the pack.

But giving away more than £2300 on P11D to the Citroen is too much to recoup, and the Mazda ends up nearly 4p per mile behind the C4 Cactus, around 2p per mile behind the Mokka and Juke, and 0.5p per mile ahead of the Jeep.

Mazda CX-3 Cost Per Mile: 43.4p

Key rival: Nissan Juke

The car that established the segment now sits right in the middle of it for running costs, from the point of view of the five cars in our basket.

Given a mid-life spruce-up a year ago that improved efficiency as well as the looks, the Juke is the elder statesman of the segment, and others have come in and offered greater efficiency, performance and practicality.

But the middling result means that while the Juke isn't the class best in any one area, it only comes bottom of the five in the performance stakes, with a 0-62mph acceleration time being half a second off the next-slowest Citroen.

CO2 is good, beaten only by the C4 Cactus, and Nissan is the only one to offer an unlimited mileage warranty, while everyone else's expires at 60,000 miles.

Nissan Juke 1.5 dCi 110 Tekna

P11D price £19,110
Vehicle Excise Duty £40
National Insurance £1503
Fuel consumption 70.6mpg
CO2 (tax) 104g/km (18%)
BIK 20/40% per month £57/£115
Warranty 3yrs/unltd miles
Boot space min/max 354/1189 litres

Engine size/power 1461cc/110hp

CPM: 41.6p

Key rival: Vauxhall Mokka

The Mokka, jumped straight into the fleet sales chart at number 13 last year, instantly becoming the number one fleet player in the small crossover segment.  

Being the longest and widest car here, it naturally has the largest boot, although only 12 litres cover all five cars, plus it has the largest fuel tank, which compensates in range terms for three cars here being more efficient than Vauxhall's crossover.

It's the most powerful at 136hp, beating the second-placed Jeep's 120hp, and that predictably means it has the highest top speed, by a clear 5mph. The 0-62mph time, however, is only ranked third behind the Mazda and Jeep.

The CPM puts the Mokka third, while the RV is fourth-best, and P11D, thanks to Vauxhall's Tech Line fleet-orientated trim level, is second only to the Citroen.

Vauxhall Mokka 1.6 CDTi Ecoflex 136 Tech Line

P11D price £18,349
Vehicle Excise Duty £40
National Insurance £1519
Fuel consumption 68.9mpg
CO2 (tax) 109g/km (19%)
BIK 20/40% per month £58/£116
Warranty 3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space 362/1372 litres
Engine size/power 1598cc/136hp
CPM: 41.4p

New arrival: Jeep Renegade

The Jeep had been the new kid on the block until the arrival of the CX-3, and the mini-Tonka toy looks should sit well with those desiring a small crossover.

The residual value is an impressive 41.8%, 2.6 percentage points above the second-placed Citroen, but despite this advantage, the high P11D - cheaper than only the Mazda - and poor CO2, along with an expensive SMR figure, drag it down to fifth spot for cost per mile. It's half a penny behind the Mazda and 4.4p per mile away from the admittedly less prestigious Citroen C4 Cactus.

That emissions figure is 120g/km, while the Mokka in fourth is down at 109g/km. It's a chasm that impacts both fuel and NI costs for the fleet operator, and is not helped by the Jeep being the heaviest vehicle here too.

Jeep Renegade 1.6 Multijet II 120 Longitude

P11D price £20,240
Vehicle Excise Duty £60
National Insurance £2732
Fuel consumption 61.4mpg
CO2 (tax) 120g/km (22%)
BIK 20/40% per month £74/£148
Warranty 3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space min/max 480/1297 litres

Engine size/power 1598cc/120hp

CPM: 43.9p

Alternate rival: Citroen Cactus

Citroen's C4 Cactus is the oddball here, taking the French firm back to its heyday of left-field innovation.  It's not a premium product, but much work has gone into making the interior as interesting and different as the exterior, although it may be a little lacking in creature comforts.

You get what you pay for though, and the Citroen is the cheapest car here by more than £300, and over £1000 less expensive than all bar the Mokka. It's also the most efficient by a clear 12g/km, a huge margin at this end of the market, which means the lowest depreciation, driver BIK payment, National Insurance and overall cost per mile of any car here. Insurance, though, is surprisingly high, and it's the least powerful

Citroen C4 Cactus 1.6 BlueHDi 100 Flair

P11D price £18,035
Vehicle Excise Duty £0
National Insurance £1269
Fuel consumption 80.7mpg
CO2 (tax) 92g/km (16%)
BIK 20/40% per month £48/£96
Warranty 3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space min/max 354/1189 litres
Engine size/power 1560cc/100hp
CPM: 39.5