The Mazda CX-3 is only in its second model year, yet it's maybe the best-designed, best-riding model in the sub-compact crossover segment.

The CX-3 has gained dominance in a corner of the automotive market that didn't even exist a few years ago; although, in truth, these tiny-utes - or as I like to call them, "toots" - are really just raised hatchbacks.

The CX-3, despite its overall design prowess, has only about 12 cubic feet of cargo space behind the back seats. So, unless you plan to drop the rear seats and treat it like a two-passenger vehicle, the car's actual "utility" is debatable.

Still, it is undeniably a sweet-driving machine, with light, pinpoint steering, a sport-tuned suspension and a highly refined power-train built around a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder Skyactiv engine. Mazda's little four-cylinder motors hum like sewing machines and accelerate briskly.

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