The 2018 Mazda CX-3 Puts Fun in the Driver’s Seat

Mazda made a clear decision when it designed this subcompact SUV: the “S” in “SUV” would stand for “Sporty”. The CX-3 is a “Utility” vehicle for people who like to drive. Yes, there’s more cargo space than your normal subcompact car, but Mazda made no compromises from the front seats forward. This crossover is all about having fun while driving.

“S” Can Also Stand for “Stylish”

The Mazda CX-3 looks quick and agile even when it’s standing still. According to Mazda, this is the essence of their KODO design philosophy: simple, flowing lines that exude energy and movement. And once you slip into the driver’s seat, you’ll notice that colors and fabrics are teamed in ways that emphasize sportiness. This is a subcompact SUV that is meant to maximize the driving experience first, and worry about hauling cargo second.

Your Car. Your Experience

This is definitely a driver-centric ride. The Mazda CX-3’s interior is designed to blur the distinction between driver and vehicle. I’ve raced cars for most of my life and I know when the controls are where they should be; that’s the way it is with the Mazda CX-3.

All the 2018 CX-3 models connect the driver to a 2.0-liter I-4 with 146 hp and 146 lb-ft of torque, along with a 6-speed automatic transmission. That’s more than enough to power this mini crossover into curves and down the straightaways. Best of all, handling is a strong point.

Comfort, Connectivity, and Cool

At your fingertips is everything you need to control your environment, from temperature to communication. Step One is MAZDA CONNECT, which is standard on all 2018 Mazda CX-3 models. It’s an infotainment system that provides driving information, onboard entertainment, and links you to the outside world via the multifunction Commander control on the center console. All that you need to see is in full view on a full-color touch-screen display. It’s functional and cool.

Let’s Talk Utility: Fuel Economy and Cargo Space

The EPA estimates for the Mazda CX-3 are 29/34 mpg city/highway for the regular front-wheel drive (FWD) models and 27/32 mpg city/highway for all-wheel drive (AWD). Naturally, your mileage will vary, but that’s what the experts tell us to expect. Pretty darn impressive for a crossover SUV.

As I mentioned above, rear seating and cargo space literally and figuratively take a back seat to the driving experience, so you can find subcompact SUV’s with more interior space for people and things other than the driver. Nevertheless, the CX-3 offers 12.4 cubic feet of storage behind the standard 60/40 split-folding rear seats, which jumps to 44.5 cubic feet with the rear seats down. Now remember, this car is all about the driving experience, so it’s no surprise the Mazda gives you the option to trade some of that cargo space for an even better sound system. The Grand Touring trim level takes a couple cubic feet and dedicates it to a Bose premium audio system. That system is optional on other CX-3 models, proving that Mazda realizes there’s more to “utility” than being practical.

The Science of Smooth

I can’t imagine dropping this term in casual conversation, but it’s worth sharing that the 2018 Mazda CX-3 has Mazda’s latest driving technology: SKYACTIV-VEHICLE DYNAMICS with G-Vectoring Control. You don’t need to remember that name to be reminded of its benefits: a smoother, less fatiguing drive. The technology literally adjusts power delivery and shifts the vehicle’s weight, thereby ensuring a more pleasurable ride.

As always, I invite you to come test drive the 2018 Mazda CX-3 and see if it fits your California lifestyle. We’ve had driving enthusiasts from all over the San Francisco Bay Area come to Dublin not only for our great selection, but because they know they’ll get the information they need to make a smart decision. We’re Mazda experts. I’m stoked on the Mazda CX-3, but we want you to experience it so you’ll know if it’s right for you.

With a base MSRP of only $20,110 for the Mazda CX-3 Sport, I think you’ll agree it’s a lot of fun for the money.

Till next time!

Taz