The CX-3 slots into the Mazda lineup just beneath the CX-5, and the all-new small crossover offers all of the flair and athleticism one can expect from today's Mazda lineup.
The CX-3 shares its competent underpinnings with the Mazda2. Handling is courtesy of a rear torsion beam axle and front struts. As in other Mazdas, SKYACTIV technology unites the CX-3's major components -- engine, transmission, body and chassis.
Three trims are offered: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. All are powered by a 146-horsepower, 16-valve, all-aluminum 2.0L inline 4-cylinder, which drives the front wheels through a 6-speed automatic transmission featuring manual shift and Sport modes. CX-3s return 29 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway, All-wheel-drive is optional on all trims, with fuel economy numbers just slightly less, at 27 and 32 mpg, respectively.
CX-3 Sport trims are nicely equipped, with 16-inch alloy wheels, halogen headlights, a rearview camera, remote keyless entry and push-button start, air conditioning, cruise control, Bluetooth voice-activated controls, a MAZDA CONNECT infotainment system with 7-inch touchscreen display, cloth seating and 60/40 split rear seatbacks.
Step up to the CX-3 Touring, and heated mirrors with integrated turn signal lamps can be found, as well as heated leatherette seats, a center armrest, and a leather-clad steering wheel and shift knob. Standard advanced safety features include blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert.
Finally, the CX-3 Grand Touring features 18-inch wheels, an adaptive front lighting system with LED headlights, running lights and fog lights, LED taillights, a power moonroof, paddle shifters, leather seating, automatic climate control, navigation and a Bose 7-speaker audio system with HD radio.
The Sport can be ordered with the Premium Package, which adds Grand Touring items such as the power moonroof and Bose audio system. Meanwhile the Grand Touring offers the I-Activsense Package, with advanced safety features like radar cruise control and proximity warning, lane departure warning, smart braking, rain-sensing windshield wipers and more.
The Mazda CX-3 carries over into 2017 mostly unchanged save for a few features that strengthen the crossover's value. The Touring trim now comes with 18-inch wheels while the i-ACTIVESENSE safety package is now 750 dollars cheaper than it was last year.