The subcompact crossover segment is erupting volcano and witness up the new Chevy Trax, Fiat 500X and Honda HR-V connection of other hatchbacks wee on stilts, like the Buick Encore, Jeep Renegade, Kia Soul, Mini Countryman and Nissan Juke. Now, after several hours behind the wheel of the new Mazda CX-3, we believe it may be the only convincing league. Of course, only a comparison test can show that the first impression Stay tuned, but there is no doubt that Mazda is pretty good.
Although at first glance the CX-3 seems a CX-5, which has been reduced in the hot sun, gives Mazda design language Kodo a muscular stance and aura premium mini-ute. Bold character lines combined with minimal overhangs, a pronounced snout and a greenhouse with ruffles giving a firm, compact appearance, which is even more fetching in person. The basic models of sport come with steel wheels 16 inches and mid-level Touring versions have aluminum wheels with the same diameter, but the Grand Touring parts of 18 inches offer the most attractive aesthetics.
The CX-3 predicts much to expect from the upcoming 2016 Mazda 2 (the two vehicles share an architecture), served with a unibody structure rigid yet light as a solid base. Sixty-three percent of the structure is made of high-strength steels are made, and there are plenty of insulation from the street. The struggle forward and a torsion axle is used at the rear. As with most current Mazda CX-3 body, chassis, engine and transmission engineering philosophy using SKYACTIV brand, which aims to harmonize all the elements of the vehicle to operate at peak efficiency. In short, it works.
Timing is key
On motorways and winding mountain roads of our trip, near Phoenix, Arizona, this means an intimate cohesion and driving experience, not very different from our long-term Mazda 3 Hatchback 2015. In fact, despite the slightly elevated seating position and the system “future” all-wheel-drive is similar to the latest CX-5 (estimated at $ 1,250 option on all orders), the CX-3 feels as a regular gasoline engine car, given the fact repulsive to buyers who have the feeling of riding quality. The walk is pleasant compatible commutes, would be the amount of feedback power steering BMW leave some blush and behavior of all it is balanced and appealing.
Mazda SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter four-cylinder is not as exciting. While it mated to a six-speed automatic with sport mode and intelligently coordinated optional cam change (only GT models), combat engine for CX-3 motivate with each swing. It is attentive to this application, the output to 146 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 146 lb-ft of torque at 2,800 U-slightly more than the HR-V 1.8-liter, but much less than the nominal Juke turbo 188 ponies.
Of course, it was part of our trip in the higher elevations of the mountains that undermine the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter some strength. But this is not a fast car; We expect the board to 60 mph will take at least eight seconds. The 2.0 can also sound pretty rough if pushed. Mazda expects the CX-3 is a class leader in fuel economy, but to preliminary estimates of 29 mpg city and 35 on the highway in front-driver and 27/32 mpg with AWD.
A pint-sized Palace
However, the highlight of the CX-3 is the interior, which is wonderful for beginners luxury vehicle and very comfortable, at least for front seat occupants. Again, the CX-3 mimics the Mazda 2 with a thin aesthetic, flowing three circular openings and a type of intelligent ventilation slats in chrome piece that accentuates bars hidden in the dashboard. Regardless of adjustment, the materials are good. There are touches of red and metallic taste, contrasting stitching on the seats and instrument panel and seat rings suedelike GT models.
Make solid ergonomics for ease of use, such as climate controls and a simple rotary control, centralized console on the navigation aid through the seven-inch screen high up on the dashboard (the screen is also touch On). Anyone familiar with seat time in the current Mazda 3 will feel at home in the driving seat of the CX support. 3 GT-setup, with its central tachometer and digital speedometer, is our favorite, with smaller models put the two main teachings of independent readings that are not so easy to see.
The second compact row is best left to the smaller people and children. A stadium seating arrangement offers a good view of the back, but his legs and shoulders are limited, and the backs of the front seats spread comfort. Visibility is good, despite the thin windows and high beltline, but pack light due to slightly overweight can almost fill the rear cargo area.
Loaded with goods
The CX-3 Sport basic models should start around $ 20,000 with front-wheel drive and a good dose of standard gear, including seat fabric has a split folding rear seat, push start a telescopic steering column tilt a camera Mazda rear view and infotainment Connect with central command. Touring models add beautiful materials and accents, a center armrest, an upgraded audio system with six speakers, Advanced Keyless entry and heated mirrors as well as options for synthetic leather upholstery, a Bose premium sound system, satellite radio, sunroof and heated front seats.
CX-3 fatty acids Grand Touring acids are the winners, with more premium ornaments and a range of interior colors with multiple shades of color and standard 18-inch wheels, full LED lighting, leather seats, navigation, control, automatic climate, heated front seats, a pop-up head-up display, Bose audio and more. While an optional SD card can also activate the navigation in the smaller models it is the GT with Mazda i-actiVsense package including radar cruise control; Lane departure warning, intelligent automatic brake; and automatic headlights, high-beam, and rain-sensing wipers.
Although Mazda has not confirmed the exact price, it is very possible that a CX-3 GT load can squeeze $ 30,000 when the line goes on sale this fall, taking into account the latest CX-5, which we tested for 34 Grand stuck . That’s a lot of money for such a small car. But with its excellent road manners and attention to detail, it feels the CX-3, and it may be worth only.