After a very successful first year on the market and winning the title of 2016 Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year, Mazda has kept the CX-3's formula the same. As a result, if you walk into a Mazda showroom, you won't find any changes between last year's model and this year's model.
Rival to the Honda HR-V, Chevrolet Trax, Jeep Renegade, and Fiat 500X, the Mazda CX-3 puts emphasis on a fun driving experience, great fuel economy, and interior ambiance. It's a stylish package too, especially the range-topping GT AWD with its 18-inch wheels, and HID headlamps.
All CX-3s come powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with direct injection. Unusual for a Mazda, the CX-3 is also equipped with an automatic transmission as standard. Both power and torque check in at 146, which is average for the class. On the positive side of the ledger, the CX-3's light curb weight - as little as 1,275 kg with front-wheel drive, and 1,339 kg with all-wheel drive - mean progress isn't as slow as some of its rivals. Selectable drive modes as well as paddles for shifting give the CX-3 add a bit of sportiness to the car's demeanour.
Fuel economy is very good for a small crossover, ranging between 8.2 L/100 km city and 6.9 L/100 km highway for front-drive models and 8.8 L/100 km city and 7.5 L/100 km highway for all-wheel drive models.
The CX-3 is offered in three trim levels, GX, GS, and GT. GX and GS trims come standard with front-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive as an option. The GT comes standard with all-wheel drive.
Standard equipment on the GX includes air conditioning, power amenities, push-button start, a six-way driver's seat, reverse camera, cruise control, and 16-inch steel wheels with plastic wheel covers. All CX-3s have a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with a console-mounted rotary controller. A USB port is standard, as is Bluetooth, but neither Apple CarPlay or Android Auto are available. One nice touch is that Mazda's infotainment screen is navigation ready. The CX-3 can be equipped with blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, and emergency autonomous low-speed braking, but these features are limited to the range-topping GT with the optional Technology Package.
Speaking of the range-topping GT, splurge on this model and you'll find one of the nicest cabins in the segment. Leather and faux-suede upholstery, flashy metal-finish instruments, and contrast stitching elevate the cabin ambience well beyond its price point.
On the grand continuum of crossovers, the CX-3 resides far on the side of the car end. Its ground clearance is minimal, its seating position is quite low to the ground, and cargo space is among the smallest in the segment with just 408 L with the rear seats up when fitted with all-wheel drive. A Mazda3 Sport hatchback is noticeably more spacious with 572 L. Rear accommodations are tight on both headroom and legroom.
Unlike most brands that increase vehicle pricing year after year, the Mazda CX-3's MSRP hasn't budged. You'll pay $20,695 for the base GX, $22,695 for either the GS or GX AWD, $24,695 for the GS AWD, and $28,995 for the top-of-the-line GT AWD.