Is The Mazda CX-3 The Best Sub-Compact SUV?
The CX-3 has been around for a few years and it has made, so far, a good impression on the name and manufacturer. Designed to compete with the FIAT 500X, Kia Soul, and Jeep Renegade, the CX-3 has been able to hold its own. But what gives the CX-3 the edge? What makes it so special? This is what I know.
Out of the the sub-compact SUV's mentioned, the CX-3 is by far the most stylish. The 500X is just plain ugly. The Jeep Renegade looks too much like a box and the Kia Soul looks like a sad bulldog. The CX-3 on the other hand, is sophisticated looking. It has edges and curves with a fascia that is easy on the eyes. The rear is as large as a skyscraper window and as rounded as a basketball. In shorter terms, it is beautiful.
This beauty trickles into the interior as well. Like a sophisticated human being, the interior has all of the qualities of class and taste. The panels and the trimming are all nicely blended together to make it all seem so simple yet elegant. There is some luxury DNA that was borrowed from Mercedes and BMW. This can be found in the infotainment system and how it functions. The screen looks like that of both those manufacturers and the control knob as well, except for the fact that it can function like a joystick. The rest of the controls are as functional as they should be. The CX-3's competition doesn't hold a candle to the styling of this sub-compact SUV. But there is one flaw: Interior space. The interior space, for me, just feels so small. The 500X has plenty of space to hold myself in the seats comfortably, but putting myself behind myself is damn near impossible.
The price of this model CX-3 Touring is just over half of $26,000. Before options, the total came to $23,875. The price of the paint is $300, the door trim plates were $100, and the Bose sound system is just over $1,400. So what comes standard then for this CX-3? For safety, there is blind-spot monitoring, SkyActiv Body ring structure, tire pressure monitoring system, LATCH anchors, ABS, dynamic stability control, traction control, hill launch assist, advanced dual front airbags, front and rear side curtain airbags, rear cross traffic alert, and smart city brake alert. For the interior features, the steering wheel can tilt and telescopic with controls, no power seats, Bluetooth connectivity, 60/40 splitting rear seats, and a few other standard features that other cars come with. Also, there is a compartment in the trunk that can be used to store things that meant to be hidden.
Performance for the CX-3 is adequate. The fuel economy is rated at 27 miles per gallon in the city. 32 miles per gallon on the highway. and combined at 29 miles per gallon. This could not be done without Mazda's SkyActiv technology. Well, with that cobined with the 2.0L 4 cylinder a mere 148 horsepower and almost as equal torque. The 0-60 is not sporty-fast but it will be able to over take on the highway without much grievance. Putting it into "Sport" mode does not do much except sharpen the throttle and the steering is always light. The 6 speed automatic transmission provides power to all 4 wheels. The suspension is not how I expected it to be. It is great at keeping body roll to a minimum but it only tolerates the unpaved and horribly paved roads of the greater Philadelphia region. The 500X, I have to say offers better comfort. Luckily the seats in the CX-3 make up for everything because the 500X has low quality seats.
So, is the CX-3 the best sub-compact SUV on the market? The short answer is yes. The reason being is that because the 500X, Kia Soul, and Jeep Renegade are not built with the same quality and style Mazda offers in their lineup. The CX-3 is all around nicer looking. The only thing the CX-3 lacks is space. It is better off losing the trunk space and having the seats still fold down perfectly flat. Then, it would be the perfect sub-compact SUV ever.
I would like to take a moment and thank Pacifico Mazda for allowing me to use their vehicle for this review. I appreciate their professionalism and cooperation.
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