Mazda CX-3 test drive

Last Updated:

 While it already came out about 4 years ago, the Mazda CX-3 still looks great.
Truly one of the very best looking small crossovers around. it is an interesting design with really nce proportions. And nothing seems overdone.

 Same thing inside.
The dashboard is still very original. Although it is basically the same as the current Mazda 2.
Which is sold here as the Toyota Yaris.

While things are OK up front, I have to say that the rear seat is not that roomy.

 Fun design details and choices of materials make the interior feel more special than other models in the same class.
And even a bit more upscale.

 The trunk is just fine for the size of the car.

While the engine can be a bit noisy when cold, it actually becomes fairly quiet while driving, and almost silent at idle.
And it sound muted and refined most of the time.

 The steering does have some feel to it. But I thought it felt a bit artificial.

The ride might be a bit too frim for some.
It is harsher around town.
It gets bit better on the freeway.

On the other hand, the 2.0 Liter has plenty of power all the time and the car feels quick.
The “sport” mode seems to just hold the gears longer.

Inside, everything feels pretty solid.

For some reason, the turn signal stalk feels a bit cheap.
And the Bose stereo only sounds OK when the bass is turned all the way up.
(That seems to happen quie a bit with Bose branded systems )

The CX-3 is rated at 29/34MPG.
I really do not think it is even possible to reach 29MPG in the city. The best I got (trying very hard) was 24. which is fine I think.
And I got 38MPG on the freeway.

I enjoyed my week in the sporty Mazda CX-3.

I think a softer setting for the ride woul dimprove things a lot. But it is a fun, great looking small Crossover to spend time with.

My loaded FWD Grand Touring model was a bit over $28 000.
Which is in line with other loaded tiny crossovers I guess.

You can click on the picture above and see detailed pricing and specs of the car I was driving.

Conversation 4 comments

  1. The noise is due to the particular mechanical and kinematic characteristics of the MazdavSkyactive system. These are distribution architectures and movement tolerances necessary to reduce consumption. In cold conditions, the noise is particularly evident but when fully operational there is a considerable reduction in friction and fuel consumption.

  2. Isn't it amazing how the automakers figured out how to charge $5-10k more for the exact same vehicle just by changing the proportions a little bit?

  3. So Vince, in your opinion, would the bigger, roomier , more powerful and similar looking up and coming Mazda CX-30 potentially solve all the negative issues you mentioned in this road test of the mazda cx3?. The cramped rear seating and the overly harsh ride, etc. Also the added bonus of AWD in cx30 for those who feel they need it.

  4. Well, the CX-3 IS available with AWD for those who need it.

    But I am sure the CX-30 will resolve the harsh ride and cramped rear seat.
    Since it is based on the much more modern new Mazda3. (And the "old" one was already 100 times more comfortable than the CX-3)

    The Mazda 3 I tested a little while ago did have a very noisy 2.5 L engine too. So that aspect won't really be resolved. But, yes, I would think the CX-30 would pretty much kill the current CX-3. Especially the more expensive versions. What I don't understand is that an all-new CX-3 is on its way next year. Supposedly a bit larger than the current one. And also based on the new Mazda 3. That will make it very close to the CX-30…

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *