A hot entry into a new catigory
Date Posted: July 4, 2016
By Zack Spencer
Canadian's love compact crossovers, now Mazda introduces a subcompact crossover called the CX-3. Will Canadians embrace these smaller SUVs and crossovers because they provide all wheel drive traction and they sit a bit higher.
Mazda has a new entry into the utility race with the subcompact CX-3. This vehicle is built off the subcompact Mazda2 car that isn’t available here in North America, however this utility version is more in keeping with market trends. Mazda always puts emphasis on driving dynamic and this new CX-3 exhibits all the right characteristics. There are some people who might find this new product too small for daily life.
The CX-3 performs by fitting it with a large 2.0L 4-cylinder engine. This engine has direct injection and a high compression ratio for good power and efficiency. Rated at 146hp and 146lb.-ft. of torque, this engine can make this little crossover hustle down the road and combined with the Skyactiv chassis it does carve through the corners and makes it the vehicle of choice, in the class, for driving enthusiasts. The CX-3 is available only with a 6-speed automatic, no manual is offered. All the automatics get a sports setting, once again providing a sporty experience but the higher trim levels also get paddle shifters on the steering wheel.
It is rated at 8.8L/100km (27 MPG) in the city and 7.3L/100km (32 MPG) on the HWY when equipped with AWD.
The interior of the CX-3 is as dynamic as the vehicle looks and drives. The interior can be equipped with a stunning two-tone interior, even leather seats. The CX-3 comes with a 7-inch screen accessed through a centre control unit. This type of design is usually found in cars costing much more. The screen also doubles as a backup camera. Navigation is available but not on all trim levels. The materials used inside the cabin are, once again, class above, making this small crossover look and feel more upscale. What holds this fun to drive crossover back is the space. The front seats offer ample room but the back seat is tight and the cargo area is not as big as some competitors. This doesn’t mean this car doesn’t have a market. This might just be the perfect utility for a single person, couple or empty nesters. Families might better be served with the larger, and very capable CX-5
Safety comes from standard front, side and curtain airbags and standard stability and traction control. For the Canadian market Mazda offers advanced safety features like Blind spot warning and, forward collision warning with low speed auto braking and these features are kept for the top model.
The CX-3 is also a value story, starting at roughly $20,000 and the most expensive AWD model is just under 29,000. (US $27,000)
The CX-3 is helping to pioneer this new batch of even smaller crossover vehicles. It is a winner out on the road, with above average handling, good power and fuel economy. It is the driver’s choice. While some manufacturers have gone to a CVT, the CX-3 sticks with a good old 6-speed.
The only downside is the size of this CX-3. It is rather tight in the back and the cargo area is limited too. If you want a good driver though, this is your crossover.
It is a winner out on the road, with above average handling, good power and fuel economy