Experienced by Adrian McQueen
Photos by Adrenaline Lifestyles
The crossover market is booming within the automotive industry and Mazda has stepped up in creating a vehicle to cover each segment of that market. The Mazda CX-3 is the baby of the group, classified as a subcompact crossover SUV. I was excited to get some drive time in the CX-3 to see what it had to offer.
The CX-3 was revealed to the public at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, as a production vehicle for the model year of 2016. The CX-3 has a blend of value, style, and comfort. It is offered in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. The model tested was the 2019 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring AWD.
Upon first look the CX-3 comes across as a hatchback on a raised suspension. You will also notice the new grille, piano black and chrome exterior accents, rear roof spoiler, new LED taillights and 18-inch allow wheels. The CX-3 shares styling is reminiscent of the Mazda. The soul red crystal metallic paint is a beautiful color and goes well with the black body panels.
Inside the CX-3, the leather sport seats are stylish and plush. In addition, the front seats are heated and power-adjustable driver’s seat. The heated leather wrapped steering is a great upgrade as well. The center console was redesigned to provide more storage space. The new rear center armrest has built-in cupholders. The rear seats leave you kind of cramped for space. The front seats are spacious enough for adults, but the rear seats are best left for children. The Mazda CX-3 seats up to five people. Cargo space is small in the CX-3 as well. This is not necessarily the vehicle one would choose for a family road trip.
Mazda fit the CX-3 with a great infotainment system. The CX-3 has a 7.0-inch touchscreen that sits on top of the dashboard. The rotary-knob controller on the center console is the easiest and most efficient way to operate the system. The Grand Touring model tested had a head-up display that rose from the top of the instrument panel showing speed and navigation directions. The CX-3 offers Bluetooth, USB port, HD Radio, Navigation, SiriusXM, Aha, Pandora and more. The seven-speaker BOSE audio system sounded so crisp that it often turned driving trips in karaoke parties. The BOSE upgrade is an option worth investing in.
The CX-3 has a Skyactive 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine pushing out 148-hp and 146 pound-feet of torque. The six speed transmission kicks CX-3 into gear faster than many subcompact SUVs. CX-3. The CX-3 accelerates quickly off the line and delivers enough power for both cruising around the city and jetting on the highway. It did well when passing, merging, and cornering but the engine was a bit loud when pushed. The CX-3 has strong brakes, great steering and swift maneuvering that make it fun to drive.
Mazda is high on safety and made the sure CX-3 measured up to the brands standards. Key safety features include, lane-departure warning, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, a rearview camera, low-speed automatic emergency braking, full-speed forward collision warning, automatic high beams, adaptive headlights and a traffic sign recognition system is available in the Grand Touring model.
Installing child safety seats is a key component me and the CX-3 made it an easy task. The CX-3 has two full sets of LATCH connectors on the outboard rear seats, with an additional upper tether anchor on the middle seat. The CX-3’s LATCH system earned a second-place “Acceptable” rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) for its ease of use. The IIHS named the 2019 CX-3 a Top Safety Pick. The 2019 CX-3 received a five-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
J.D. Power gives the CX-3 an average predicted reliability rating of three out of five. Mazda covers the 2019 CX-3 with a 3 year – 36,000-mile bumper to bumper warranty and a 5 year – 60,000-mile powertrain warranty. There is also a 3 year – 36,000-mile roadside assistance warranty for the CX-3 as well.
Fuel efficiency is extremely important when it comes to determining which vehicle to purchase. The CX-3 delivers 27 mpg in the city, 32 mpg on the highway and 29 mpg combined. EPA rating places it near the top of its class for fuel economy in both the front- or all-wheel drive models.
The 2019 Mazda CX-3 is a good subcompact SUV. It’s priced competitively and offers a great driving experience. Mazda’s Skyactiv 2.0L engine makes the CX-3 one of the more efficient subcompact crossovers on the market. A few drawbacks are that the CX-3 does not offer Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and wireless charging. The CX-3 is among the slowest-selling options in the subcompact SUV class. The CX-3 is in a highly competitive class, going up against the Subaru Crosstrek, Kia Soul, Hyundai Kona, Toyota C-HR, Nissan Kicks, Honda CRV and the Fiat 500X. Overall the Mazda CX-3 looks good, fun to drive and a quality infotainment system. Please enjoy the photo gallery.