2016 Mazda CX-3

The Good The 2016 Mazda CX-3 impressed with handling that delivers on its "sport-tuned" promise and a responsive Skyactiv powertrain that's more zippy than its horsepower numbers would indicate. The compact also boasts more available driver aid and cabin tech than you might expect at this price point.

The Bad Positioned below an armrest in the Grand Touring model, the Mazda Connect's physical controller can be an awkward reach. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not available.

The Bottom Line Small in stature and a tad light on utility, the 2016 Mazda CX-3 hustles to the front of its burgeoning segment on the strength of its looks, dynamics, interior polish and technology.

Editors' Rating
  • Cabin tech 9.0
  • Performance tech 8.0
  • Design 8.0
8.4 Overall


2016 Mazda CX-3
2016 Mazda CX-3
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Price $26,240 MSRP $26,240 MSRP $26,240 MSRP $26,240 MSRP $26,240 MSRP
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Tiny crossover SUV wows with big style, crisp handling

Sep 2015

If you were in the market for a subcompact crossover not long ago, your choices were limited. If a Buick Encore, Mini Countryman , Mitsubishi Outlander Sport or Nissan Juke didn't strike your fancy, you were pretty well out of luck. Barely six months later, what was once a trickle of offerings has become a flood, including the Chevrolet Trax , Fiat 500X , Honda HR-V , Jeep Renegade , and the Mazda CX-3 seen here.

The so-called cute-ute genre may be a suddenly crowded segment (sales volume is projected to just about quadruple inside of four years), but there should be no ignoring this little Mazda. That's because its smartly aggressive looks, premium interior, confident handling and excellent fuel economy add up to quite a value. (Click through my gallery below for tons more photos.)

We'll start with this Japanese confection's candy-coated shell. It's handsome and toned in a way that recalls its larger CX-5 brethren, yet it doesn't lift any design elements wholesale. Compared to segment-mates, the CX-3 has an unusually long hood and swept-back windscreen, pinched glass area and curvy sheet metal.

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