Mazda CX-3 — Meeting the needs of active lifestyles

By David Finkelstein

Premium features will likely be one of the major driving forces to attract subcompact crossover SUV buyers to the 2018 Mazda CX-3. It’s a vehicle designed to meet the needs of a new generation of car buyers. The CX-3 shares the same quality and award winning attributes of other Mazda vehicles in their product mix.

This vehicle is much more suited for “in-town” commuting by motorists with active lifestyles or perhaps by consumers looking for a downsized vehicle without sacrificing near luxury car extras. This capable subcompact can be driven with ease and complete confidence, based in fact by its Top Safety Pick + as recommended by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The CX-3, which is smaller than Mazda’s best-selling CX-5, is offered with its predictive i-ACTIV seamless all-wheel-drive system and its powered by a spirited 146-horsepower, 2.0-liter SKYACTIV-G, four-cylinder engine matched with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

The CX-3 is tailored to deliver a rich, invigorating travailng experience for the driver as well as all of its passengers. For instance, the rear seats are set slightly inboard to ease conversation's between front and rear passengers. The vehicle's interior details have the overall look and feel of elegance and richness. The dark red seat stitching coupled with soft touch materials offer a welcome and sophisticated cabin to anyone entering its inner sanctuary.

Standard on all CX-3 trim levels is push-button start and Mazda's infotainment system offering, Bluetooth phone pairing, audio streaming, USB ports for entertainment connectivity and a center mounted command/control knob positioned near the center armrest. A standard 7-inch color touchscreen interface with a built-in backup camera is also included.

The newly engineered steering wheel has an improved shape for a more comfortable grip. The deeply sculptured door trim panels help to create a comforting atmosphere for front-seat passengers. Information displays and controls are positioned where its convenient for the driver.

New available dark red accent colors are used on the door armrests which help to convey a luxurious feel. One, two, or three tone premium cloth, leatherette or leather interior seating surfaces are offered as is Parchment leather and contrasting Lux Suede with the Grand Touring trim edition. Clearly, this helps produce a sophisticated tailored environment.

As a vehicle that carries itself forward with a modern footprint, you'll welcome the distinctive front three dimensional impressive grille, long hood, short overhangs, large wheels and available LED headlights. These proportions tend to lend themselves to a sense of strength and brute force. The end result is that the CX-3 is impressive, both inside and out.

Its long wheelbase helps with the overall body proportions for improved comfortable seating. The front seats for instance provide excellent shoulder and leg room.

Worth noting, it's all-wheel-drive apparatus is very sophisticated with it's many inputs as it electronically adjusts its operating parameters some 200 times every second, in order to help power the CX-3 through almost every terrain or road surface.

Mazda’s SKYACTIV-BODY design is engineered to reach high levels of performance in three areas: collision safety, weight reduction and rigidity which translates to excellent road feel. For 2018, much of the suspension and steering systems were revised for greater comfort, refinement and improved handling dynamics.

Standard for every trim level is Smart City Brake Support. At speeds below 19-mph, it can automatically apply the brakes in emergency situations. Sold in three trim levels: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring, pricing starts out at $20,110.

EPA fuel consumption numbers show 29-mpg city/34-highway, 31-combined with the FWD models. The AWD CX-3's get about 27-mpg city/32-mpg highway and 29-mpg combined. This vehicle is likely cross shopped with the Honda CR-V, Jeep Renegade, Buick Encore, Fiat 500X, Chevrolet Trax, Nissan Juke and the Subaru Crosstrek.