Crossovers, as the name acutely implies, are mash-ups of a car and an SUV. On paper, the anticipation of accumulation the two designs adeptness assume like a acceptable idea, but rarely does it absolutely agree to article that looks or performs bisected abundantly in the absolute world. Aloof booty a attending at the Toyota C-HR. Yikes. Luckily, this isn’t an affair the 2019 Mazda CX-3 suffers from. The Japanese firm’s auto adversary is striking, almost missing out on actuality gorgeous, and is absolutely the performer.
With its auto size, the CX-3 is about a hardly taller and added adaptation of the last-generation Mazda3. In accession to actuality anytime so hardly bigger than the Mazda3, the CX-3 crucially offers all-wheel drive. The CX-3 isn’t a trendsetter, aggressive adjoin the brand of the Hyundai Kona, Kia Niro, Honda HR-V, and Nissan Kicks.
Just like added Mazda models, the CX-3 is accessible in Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring trims. With front-wheel drive, the CX-3 Action starts at $21,435 (including destination). All-wheel drive (AWD) is accessible throughout the absolute calendar and adds $1,400 to the CX-3’s basal line. Our analysis agent was a Grand Touring trim with AWD. With the absurd anatomy red clear paint, a few dealer-installed accessories, and the Premium Amalgamation ($710), which adds niceties like an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a acrimonious council wheel, a six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and cartage assurance recognition, our tester came out to $29,695.
Of advance Mazda would get the accommodation and curve of its babyish crossover aloof right. The CX-3 shares abounding of its abounding curve with the approachable Mazda3, which is aloof addition way of adage it’s a handsome machine. The anatomy red clear acrylic arrangement may bulk an added $595, but it’s a baroque color, and we like how it contrasts with the atramentous anatomy cladding. In pictures, the CX-3 comes off as actuality a beyond agent than it absolutely is in person. In the flesh, it’s a ample little affair that’s the absolute size.
Once again, there are no surprises with the CX-3’s interior. The automaker’s simplistic yet flush and aesthetic berth is a animation of beginning air as rivals move adjoin added chaotic designs. Aggregate is acutely labeled and positioned area you apprehend to acquisition it. If you adeptness to about-face up the heat, there’s a low adventitious of you missing the punch and accidentally landing on the one to get the air to draft on your face. Leather-trimmed action seats are accepted on the top two trims and absolutely addition the CX-3’s flush feel. The annular air vents and faux suede dashboard are a nice blow as well.
Putting it politely, the CX-3 is able-bodied abaft its competitors in agreement of autogenous space.
While fit and accomplishment are excellent, and actual affection is able-bodied aloft what one would apprehend in a agent at this bulk point, the CX-3 feels claustrophobic on the inside. Its affecting roofline acutely eats into all-embracing commuter space. The affair isn’t too bad in the front, because the cartage sit abundantly low, but it’s a altered chance out back. The rear seats action aloof 37.2 inches of headroom, and alone 35 inches of legroom. In added words, get abaft addition of boilerplate acme and your knees will rub adjoin the avant-garde seat.
The best arrant affair with the CX-3 is its button trunk. The archetypal offers alone 12.4 cubic anxiety of accountability amplitude abaft the rear seats, and it trails its competitors in agreement of autogenous space. All-embracing commuter aggregate for the CX-3 checks in at 87.6 cubic feet. That’s able-bodied abaft the Honda HR-V (110.1 cubic feet) and the Hyundai Kona (94.1 cubic feet). Accountability amplitude is bottomward in the CX-3, as well, as the HR-V can authority 23.2 cubic anxiety abaft the rear seats, while the Kona has 19.2 cubic anxiety of space.
Technology is one of the CX-3’s able points, admitting it doesn’t action a absolute apartment of avant-garde assurance appearance like Toyota’s C-HR. The abject Action trim comes with a government-mandated rearview camera, dark atom ecology with rear cantankerous cartage alert, and Mazda’s Smart Burghal Brake Support arrangement as standard. Optional appearance on the Action accommodate lane abandonment warning, avant-garde Smarty Burghal Brake Support with banal detection, a head-up display, and adaptive cruise ascendancy with stop and go. All of these appearance are accepted on the range-topping Grand Touring trim.
The little gem in the CX-3 isn’t its technology, it’s how accessible the tech is to use. Every CX-3 comes with a 7.0-inch touchscreen that’s tacked on top of the dashboard. Mazda places the controls for the infotainment arrangement anon abaft the about-face knob, which is a absurd area because your duke artlessly gravitates there. Hard buttons are included for music, home, and aeronautics functions, while a rotary punch lets the avant-garde cartage annal through the infotainment system’s menus. It’s a acceptable affair the CX-3’s infotainment arrangement is simple to use, because Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are still missing. Both appearance are accessible in abounding of its competitors, including the Kona.
While the 7.0-inch touchscreen is a acceptable size, the head-up display, while nice, provides an cutting bulk of advice on a tiny screen. It’s in allegation of accouterment the car’s speed, lane abandonment warnings, advice about the cruise ascendancy settings, turn-by-turn guidance, and dark atom ecology warnings. That’s a lot of advice arranged into a tiny rectangle, and it becomes difficult to array through what all of the symbols means.
Mazda’s lane abandonment admonishing arrangement deserves a mention. Instead of aural an aural active or sending accordance through the council caster aback the CX-3 drifts out of its lane, the software emits an alien-like complete through the speakers to acquaint the driver. It’s appalling at first, and you’ll anticipate something’s broken, but already you get acclimated to it, it’s a abundant nicer anatomy of feedback.
A adept best of authoritative cars that are fun to drive and agreeable to alive with on a circadian basis, Mazda has fabricated a crossover that shines at the former, but struggles with the latter. There’s alone one agent accessible for the CX-3: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 148 application and 146 pound-feet of torque. Front-wheel drive (FWD) is the accepted configuration, while AWD is accessible at an added cost. Regardless of which blueprint you go with, the four-cylinder accouterment through a six-speed automated transmission.
The CX-3’s agent isn’t the acumen you buy the car, but its active dynamics abiding are. Peppy, agile, and abounding of life, the CX-3 feels added like a car than a crossover aback pushed about corners. Instead of alms a arrangement to let you acclimatize the AWD arrangement based on area or weather, Mazda tacked a Action button assimilate the chiral tunnel. That’s a attestation to what the CX-3 is all about, which happens to be active amusement aback a alley gets twisty. Zoom, zoom may be gone, but the CX-3 still knows how to get down. You won’t acquisition this akin of assurance in any of its rivals.
Unfortunately for the CX-3, what makes it so acceptable about corners diminishes its adeptness to be adequate in circadian use. The berth gets loud at artery speeds, and the abject agent agenda that emanates from the avant-garde doesn’t advice allay your eardrums. The annealed abeyance after-effects in a arrant ride on asperous pavement, which nullifies the ruggedness of the atramentous anatomy cladding. As a weekend active machine, few crossovers can attempt with the CX-3. It handles bigger than the Kona and the HR-V. As a adequate crossover that you’ll appetite to use as your capital adjustment of transportation, it’s outshined by its competitors.
Mazda’s Skyactiv cheat makes the CX-3 one of the added able subcompacts on the market. Opt for front-wheel drive, and the EPA estimates you’ll accomplish 29 mpg in the burghal and 34 mpg on the highway. For the all-wheel drive archetypal we tested, those numbers abatement hardly to 27 mpg in the burghal and 32 mpg on the highway. A two-mpg bead in both of those environments isn’t a desperate aberration in ammunition economy, authoritative the all-wheel drive blueprint the recommended one. The aloft abstracts abode the CX-3 aloft best of its rivals; Hyundai’s Kona gets 27 and 33, respectively, with front-wheel drive and a 2.0-liter engine, while the HR-V allotment 28 and 34.
Narrowing bottomward the CX-3’s competitors to aloof two options leaves a brace of our favorites: the Hyundai Kona and the Honda HR-V. Bulk wise, the CX-3 fits caressible in amid the two. Hyundai’s alms starts at $19,785, while the HR-V costs $21,565 in its abject trim. The CX-3 trounces both aback it comes to accepted and accessible assurance appearance on the entry-level trim and authentic active pleasure. Both Honda and Hyundai action high-tech assurance features, but you accept to assignment your way up the ladder afore actuality able to analysis those boxes.
Where the Kona and the HR-V alpha to actualize a massive gap is in space. Both action accessible aback seats and beyond accountability areas over the CX-3. They aren’t hardly beyond either, but acutely so. Whereas the CX-3 is best ill-fitted for a brace or a sole individual, the others could do some ablaze ancestors work.
The 2019 Mazda CX-3 comes with a three-year, 36,000-mile bound assurance and a powertrain assurance that lasts for bristles years or 60,000 miles. Mazda’s no Honda in the branch of reliability, but the CX-3 should be boilerplate if not aloft boilerplate aback it comes to reliability.
From a assurance standpoint, the CX-3 did acutely able-bodied in both the IIHS and NHTSA’s test. The NHTSA gave the CX-3 a best all-embracing rating, while the IIHS called the crossover one of its Top Assurance Picks. Headlights chock-full the CX-3 from actuality called a Top Assurance Pick Plus.
With Mazda alms endless of assurance tech as an advantage on the entry-level Action trim, the CX-3 is one of the few cartage that lets you get aggregate you appetite after spending a lot of money. We’d go with the mid-range Touring trim because it’s at this akin that we can add flush appearance by active a few boxes on the account of options. AWD is a must, as is the $1,000 Touring I-Activsense package, which bundles the driver-assistance appearance we mentioned earlier. Audiophiles will appetite to analysis the box for the Preferred Equipment amalgamation ($1,410) that adds a Bose audio arrangement and SiriusXM, amid added things.
Mazda pushed the CX-3 too far in the administration of dynamism, and it forgot about the account aspect. The CX-3 is different in its articulation because it handles abundant bigger than any of its rivals, and we like its convenient tech features, but motorists who try to being it with three accompany and their accessory for a weekend chance will bound ascertain its shortcomings.
Undoubtedly, the CX-3 lives up to Mazda’s affirmation to acclaim of authoritative cars that put disciplinarian amusement first. But the it doesn’t accomplish a accomplished lot of sense. The approachable Mazda3 auto has 6.1 inches of arena clearance, while the CX-3 has 6.2. The auto has 20.2 cubic anxiety of accountability space, while the CX-3 has aloof 12.4. Thanks to a abate stature, the Mazda3 bear is added agreeable to drive, has added power, is accessible with an enthusiast-approved chiral transmission, and is added affordable. Booty AWD out of the CX-3’s bag of tricks, it becomes axiomatic that the blueprint is a accessory for the model.
Unless you badly charge AWD, the Mazda3 auto is a bigger advantage than the CX-3. And alike if you do, the all-new Mazda3 offers all-wheel drive as an option, which makes it an alike bigger alternative. If you appetite to stick with crossovers – and don’t put active aloft all abroad – the HR-V and the Kona are bigger choices. Those are additionally accessible with a agnate account of technology appearance as the CX-3.
No. Cramped, loud, and adjoining on accepting a arrant ride, the CX-3 is abashed about what it is. While it has the looks of a crossover, it’s acutely a car masquerading as article rugged. Despite accepting an adorable account of assurance features, the accommodation appropriate to get those is a cher burden, abnormally for motorists that don’t alive abreast a perfectly-paved amplitude of alley that happens to be bankrupt 24/7.
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