One of the youngest models on the market is Mazda’s CX-3. It saw broad daylight in 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show as 2016 model year. That can’t be surprising since the demand for SUV segment is growing from day to day. Someone thought that this model is just the bigger version of Mazda 3. But the truth is this model came is closely related to Mazda 2 hatchback. Since mentioned vehicle is not sold in the U.S. anymore, CX-3 is a nice replacement. Ok, enough of introduction, since the second model year is bringing some changes that we like to cover. We will answer the question is 2017 Mazda CX-3 any better and is it worth your money.
2017 Mazda CX-3 – Design
Mazda’s Kodo design language isn’t anything new and it’s quite nice implemented in this compact crossover. If you know how larger CX-5 and three-row CX-9 look like there isn’t any more detailed explanation needed. You can choose 2017 Mazda CX-3 in eight available colors. They are all included in starting price except the Crystal White Pearl Mica which costs $200 extra. There are also three trim levels and those are Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring. You have LED lighting unit higher trim levels, while Sport has halogen ones. This is crucial to mention and you’ll find why later on.
2017 Mazda CX-3 – Changes
There are some changes for 2017 Mazda CX-3 and they are as follows. You could have 18-inch alloy wheels only on the highest trim. Now you’ll have them in Touring. Also, more important is that Mazda cut off the cost of the i-Activesense package on 2017 Mazda CX-3 for Grand Touring trim. This safety package consists of adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, automated emergency braking, and more. And now it costs $750 less, coming to a total of $1.170 for it.
2017 Mazda CX-3 – Interior
The interior really looks good with many soft-touch materials. Steering wheels look simple although mounted with controls for audio, phone and cruise controls. Infotainment system mounted on 7-inch full-color touch screen is also easy to use. Space in the front seats is more than enough for two adult males with ample of the head, leg and shoulder room. But the downside of 2017 Mazda CX-3 is that that can’t be said for the rear row of seats. Legroom is sufficient, but because of its sloping roof any taller than an average-height person isn’t going to seat comfy.
The cargo space is another downsize. With folded rear seats, cargo space is 44.5 cubic feet, but without that, there are only 12 cubic feet of space. But the truth is that this car isn’t intended for younger families, for those much better option is larger CX-5. It’s more for couples that have occasional rear seat occupants.
2017 Mazda CX-3 – Powertrain
When it comes to powertrain there isn’t much to tell. For U.S. market with each and every trim selection of 2017 Mazda CX-3, you’ll end up with the same engine with same output and same fuel economy. So, SKYACTIVE-G 2.0-liter engine with 146 horsepower and 146 lb-ft of torque must do since there are no alternatives. Another downside is that there is no manual transmission available. And paddle shifters come only on higher trims. So you must settle for six-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift mode.
But there is also a good thing since you can have AWD on any trim with a little extra, $1250 to be exact. Fuel economy figures aren’t bad also, with 25 mpg in the city, 35 mpg on the highway and 31 combined for FWD. As for AWD, numbers are not surprisingly little lower with 27 in the city, 32 on the highway, and 29 combined.
2017 Mazda CX-3 – Safety
Safety should be one of the most important factors when purchasing a car. There is no difference between 2016 and 2017 model years that should impact safety ratings. Because of that, we can look at the ratings of 2016 CX-3. So you can easily spot a Top Safety Pick+ award from IIHS. It scored “good” in every test conducted. It also got “superior” rating in front crash prevention with optional equipment. But now to answer the problem regarding headlights we mentioned before. Visibility with halogen headlights that come on Sport trim is rated “poor”. The test determined that lighting unit isn’t adequately illuminated the road ahead. With LED projectors on higher trims, the story is much better. Although it didn’t get “good” rating, it got “acceptable” which is much better than “poor”.
2017 Mazda CX-3 – Conclusion
So with all taken into consideration, 2017 Mazda CX-3 in overall is a nice car with a few ups (low price, AWD on all trims, nice exterior and interior) and with a few downs (no manual, smaller space in the rear seat and cargo space). But you could always opt for its rivals such as Kia Soul, Nissan Juke, Honda HR-V. The things is, that the Grand Touring trim with AWD is pricey. Then the main rivals of this compact crossover are coming from Mazda’s lineup (for a few thousand dollars more) in term of CX-5 which has much more space. Trim pricing available below.