The 2017 Mazda CX-3 Review: The 2017 CX-3 is Mazda’s entry-level car, it’s a cute UTE. Sitting below the Mazda3 wagon and the popular CX-5 crossover, it offers a fun little runabout with lots of practicality and efficiency, at a low price. With loads of competition now, it flaunts its Mazdaness to compete.
Mazda has featured some overall styling themes over the years. The latest is called Kodo - Soul of Motion, and the CX-3, new last year, displays it like a poster child. The look is active and sporty, with boldly drawn curves that evolve into sharper edges in strategic places. With a 168-inch length sitting on a generous 101.2-inch wheelbase, and minimal overhangs, the CX-3 looks poised to pounce. The side panels sweep up with a feel of controlled motion, and the tail lamps mirror the slim peepers up front.
Inside, you might think you were sitting in a Miata roadster, until you looked around and saw the space for passengers behind you. You’d recognize the Miata’s sports car hooded instrument panel, and the simple, but effective flip-up dash panel that projects a head-up display on the windshield. Choose your entertainment options using the iPad-like touch panel.
One thing you won’t find in this car is a manual shifter, as you will in a Miata. I’m sure this is driven by sales statistics and demographics. Only about 18 percent of people can even drive a stick anymore, and the millennial sales target certainly has little use for one. So why complicate things? The shift lever teases you by looking like a standard transmission, but sorry, it’s not.
Like other Mazda’s, the CX-3 features SKYACTIV Technology. Every facet of the car is carefully considered for efficiency. Excess weight is pared away and the engine and other moving parts are fine-tuned. That means lighter weight and improved fuel economy. It’s not revolutionary, but it makes everything a little better. Mazda has no electric or hybrid cars in its portfolio, so they must do something to meet increasingly stringent fuel economy standards.
The sole engine choice is a 2.0-liter SKYACTIV-G inline four, which puts out 146 horsepower and 146 lb.-ft. of torque. That’s enough oomph to get the 2,809-pound car down the road with sufficient alacrity to maintain the brand’s zoom-zoom reputation. It accelerates with a satisfying growl. As mentioned above, the transmission is a six-speed automatic with Sport Mode and paddle shifters on the steering wheel. It works just fine.
EPA numbers are 29 City, 34 Highway, and 31 overall, nothing to complain about here. As a crossover, all-wheel drive is an option, but if you choose it, the fuel economy numbers drop slightly to 27/32/29. In my front-wheel-drive test car I averaged 29.3 mpg. Green scores are 6 for Smog and 7 for Greenhouse Gas.
The top-level Grand Touring, like my Dynamic Blue Mica test car, loads up with leather and Lux Suede seats, LED headlights with the Adaptive Front-lighting System, fog lights, and daytime running lights. You also enjoy a navigation system, Bose premium audio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, automatic climate control, and the head-up display mentioned earlier.
At 60.7 inches high, the Mazda is a little taller than a small sedan, but rear seat room is very tight, and cargo capacity is not that generous for a crossover. There’s only 12.4 feet behind the second row, expanding to 44.5 cubic feet with the seats folded. That’s plenty for normal living, but you can get more space in competing models.
Pricing begins at $20,900 for the Sport, bumps up to $22,900 for the Touring and tops out at $25,960 for the Grand Touring. All prices include destination charges. My Grand Touring tester had the I-ACTIVESENSE package ($1,170), which includes Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC), Smart Brake Support, lane-departure warning, high beam control, automatic on / off headlights and rain-sensing wipers. The package is reduced by $750 this year. The total MSRP sticker was $27,260.
Fun to drive, great looking, and affordable, Mazda’s hoping that’s a winning combination. By Steve Schaefer © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
The 2017 Mazda CX-3 Bottom Line Review provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
The Bottom Line: For 2017 the easiest to own Mazda CX-3 is the Sport model which comes pretty well equipped with features including 16-inch alloy wheels, power windows and locks, cruise control, air conditioning, and pushbutton start.
The seven-inch MAZDA CONNECT screen is your gateway to Bluetooth connectivity for your phone and music streaming. You also get a six-speaker audio system with AM/FM/CD player with a USB input.
Step up to the Touring model to jump to larger 18-inch alloy wheels, an upgraded audio system, and heated exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals, fold-down armrest, and leatherette seats. You can opt for more options, including leatherette upholstery and a power glass moonroof.
For safety, there are Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic Alert. These are great in any car, but when you’re a smaller one on the road, these are essential features. And maybe, just for those reasons alone, you should “Drive one, Buy one, Today ©”. This Bottom Line Review is provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
“Tony the Car Guy” is an automotive writer, editor and publisher in the San Francisco Bay Area. If you have a question or comment for Tony send it to TonyLeo@pacbell.net or visit AutoWire.Net at www.autowire.net - And remember: “You Are What You Drive ©”
Column Name: If Crossovers were Sports Cars
Topic: The 2017 Mazda CX-3
Word Count: 948
Photo Caption: The 2017 Mazda CX-3
Photo Credits: Mazda CX-3 Internet Media
Series #: 2017 - 11
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