2016 Mazda CX-3 First Drive Review [video]

Mazda’s New Zippy and Peppy Mini-ute

2016 mazda cx-3

The 2016 Mazda CX-3 is an all-new compact crossover SUV in Mazda’s line-up of new-generation vehicles that feature the company’s award-winning SKYACTIVE TECHNOLOGY and KODO-Soul of Motion design. The mini-ute rides on the same platform as the Mazda2 and offers all the essentials young, busy, on-the-go urbanites look for in a SUV, but in smaller proportions.

The Mazda CX-3 is power by a SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine that sends its 146 ponies through a 6-speed automatic transmission to drive the front wheels. All-wheel drive is available for an additional $1,250. Not having a manual transmission could be a deal-breaker for some buyers.

Mazda’s SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY package places a premium on light weight and fuel efficiency, and the CX-3 bears this out. EPA fuel economy figures are listed at 29 miles per gallon city and 35 highway for front-wheel drive models, with all-wheel drive examples tallying 27 city and 32 highway, figures that put the CX-3 at the head of its class.

In terms of available technology, the CX-3 can be equipped with lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert and Mazda’s Smart City Brake Support system, which offers forward collision warning and low-speed automatic braking.

The Mazda CX-3 may not be the roomiest of mini-utes, but this subcompact crossover has a solid place at the front of the class based on the strength of its looks, dynamics, interior polish and technology.

Watch the video below as Emme gives us her initial driving impressions of the 2016 Mazda CX-3 compact crossover.

2016 Mazda CX-3 Specs:

  • Engine: SKYACTIV 2.0L 4-cylinder
  • Power: 146 hp @ 6,000 rpm
  • Torque: 146 lb-ft @ 2,800 rpm
  • Transmission: 6-speed automatic w/manual shift Sport mode
  • EPA-estimated fuel economy (mpg): 29 city / 35 hwy / 31 combined (27 / 32 / 29 with i-ACTIV AWD)
  • MSRP* (add $1,250 to each model for i-ACTIV all-wheel drive):
    • CX-3 Sport: $19,960
    • CX-3 Touring: $21,960
      • Touring Technology Package, $1,410
    • CX-3 Grand Touring: $24,990
      • i-ACTIVESENSE safety package, $1,920

*MSRP does not include $880 destination and handling charge

Other subcompact crossovers to choose from include the Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade, Chevrolet Trax, MINI Countryman, Nissan Juke, and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.