The subcompact crossover segment has become the place to be. With models such as the Chevy Trax, Fiat 500X, Honda HR-V, Buick Encore, Jeep Renegade, Kia Soul, Mini Countryman and Nissan Juke, Mazda thought it was time to enter the fray themselves. This brought about not only the use of the new Kodo body style that shows of fluidity of motion while at rest, but the new CX-3 for 2016.
The challenge for this small SUV is to be an actual SUV while also carrying forward the “zoom-zoom” mantra that Mazda has not only been known for, but found ways to back up with each and every vehicle they offer. Basically, the CX-3 appears to be a CX-5 that was shrunk in the dryer to give us a dynamic and engaging driving experience when behind the wheel of this small SUV.
The chassis structure of the CX-3 offers a offers a bold and muscular stance with a strong frame and excellent balance. The Sport and Touring models ride on 16-inch wheels (aluminum for the Touring) while the Grand Touring has the pleasure of adding 18-inch wheels to the mix to have the most appealing look and ride. The unibody structure offers a rigid and solid foundation with much of the structure comprised of high strength steel and aluminum. Adding the new Skyactiv engineering philosophy has made the chassis and transmission work in concert with each other to maximize the efficiency of the vehicle.
For those looking for a high riding feeling, the CX-3 won’t be pleasing at all, but for those of us who admire a small and low SUV that could easily be mistaken for a hatchback, the CX-3 is a great choice in which to enjoy an awesome ride. The comfort and control are easy to enjoy with a low stance that feels more like a car than an SUV, giving a balanced and exceptional feeling when riding along knowing you can easily handle just about any curve or road condition that is presented.
If there was one drawback to this small SUV it would be the engine. This engine is the 2.0-liter four-cylinder Skyactiv engine that offers 146 horsepower and 146 lb.-ft. of torque, making it only slightly powerful than the HR-V but less than the Juke. Even though the engine isn’t as active as might be desired, other vehicles of this size, such as the subcompact cars, offer much less power, so there is certainly a plus having that added power aboard.
The interior was done well for the CX-3, making it an enticing place to enjoy the ride regardless of the conditions of the road outside. With soft touches everywhere as well as great high tech features it’s easy to get lost in the enjoyment of this small SUV and all it has to offer. When looking for a new vehicle, don’t pass up the chance to have a beautiful small vehicle that offer a dynamic driving experience and plenty of great features. The CX-3 will be available at Mazda dealers later in the year for you to admire, enjoy and purchase.