The CX-3 exists to move about adventurous (usually) young people toting small luggage and maybe a dog. They are urban dwellers. Space in their world is finite and valuable. Potholes seem infinite. They admire bang-for-their-buck buys. They appreciate fuel efficiency, safety, and provocative design. It so happens that I am of this exact ilk. I understand the needs, gripes, and desires of such a city-living customer, which is why I am looking forward to spending a lot of time driving one of the best vehicles of its class. (It placed second in our Subcompact Crossover Big Test.)

Our little 146-horsepower, all-wheel drive CX-3—shall I call it Trizzy, a play on three?—came with amenities galore. As it is the Grand Touring grade (base price: $27,120), the highest grade of them all, it has adaptive LED front headlights, heated power exterior mirrors, a rear roof spoiler, and 18-inch aluminum wheels. The comfortable cabin greets digits with leather-covered surfaces (steering wheel, gearshift, handbrake, dash) and bums with sporty, supportive bucket seats (also wrapped in leather and suede). It has a pop-up head-up display, navigation (officially a no-charge option), and a 7-inch touchscreen to keep drivers on course. Bose’s seven-speaker audio system with Bluetooth blasts clear, loud tunes from SiriusXM, HD Radio, and portable audio sources. It also has a high-resolution rearview camera, rear cross-traffic alert, and blind-spot monitoring. That’s all standard, remember.

The option list is puny yet generous. The Mazda Mobile Start ($550; code: MMS) allows owners to unlock/lock doors, start the engine, sound the panic alarm, or find the car via their mobile phone. An option group called GT I-Activesense package ($1,920; 1AT) bundles Mazda’s latest radar-based cruise control, a front collision prevention system, rain-sensing wipers, auto headlights, auto high-beam control, and lane departure warning. And I can’t forget about the useful rear bumper guard ($100; RBG).

The CX-3 drives as well as it looks. Body roll is minimal. And its six-speed automatic snaps shifts hastily, though you’ll need to prod the 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G four-cylinder quite a bit to get the 2,997-pound mass up to speed. Sixty miles per hour from a standstill takes 8.4 seconds; a quarter mile comes in a not-so-quick 16.4 seconds while traveling at a max of 83.9 mph. Steering wheel-mounted paddles and a Sport mode ratchet up sportiness. The former is great for quickly culling momentum with brief episodes of downshift engine braking.






2016 Mazda CX-3 GT AWD
  • BASE PRICE $27,120
  • PRICE AS TESTED $29,990
  • VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV
  • ENGINE 2.0L/146-hp/146-lb-ft DOHC 16-valve I-4
  • TRANSMISSION 6-speed automatic
  • CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 2,997 lb (59/41%)
  • WHEELBASE 101.2 in
  • LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 168.3 x 69.6 x 60.9 in
  • 0-60 MPH 8.4 sec
  • QUARTER MILE 16.4 sec @ 83.9 mph
  • BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 118 ft
  • LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.84 g (avg)
  • MT FIGURE EIGHT 27.6 sec @ 0.60 g (avg)
  • EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 27/32/29 mpg
  • ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 125/105 kW-hrs/100 miles
  • CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.67 lb/mile


Written By Motor Trend Staff
http://www.motortrend.com/news/2016-...rrival-review/