Feeling Young and Cute in the 2016 Mazda CX-3

2016 Mazda Cx-3
Sporty fins

Zipping around the neighborhood in the sporty little 2016 Mazda CX-3 Touring will put a smile on your face. It’s definitely made for city driving and it makes all the young ladies say “awwww.” My 16 year old sister was immediately in love when I showed her photos and our 18 year old babysitter declared she wanted one the moment she saw it. And, I know why. It looks good, sounds good, and it’s 100% Mazda – Zoom-Zoom!

From a practical standpoint, this is not the car for me. I have a 6′ 2″ husband and two growing boys. Our whole family went somewhere together once. After that, my husband declared it my car and he drove something with a little more legroom for himself, and the lucky kid who gets to sit behind him. But, when I was driving, the driver’s seat was forward enough to give even my long legged kiddos plenty of room. Your friends would have room too, if the people up front were of normal height. Personally, I enjoyed driving it around town.

What I Loved

Air conditioning with pollen filter
Rear window defogger with timer
60/40 split fold-down rear seats
Heated exterior side mirrors
Heated front seats

What You Should Know

146 horsepower
SKYACTIV-Drive 6-Speed, AWD Automatic
27 mpg city/ 32 mpg hwy
Starts at $21,210 (Model we drove was $25,100)
Bose sound system

2016 Mazda CX-3: Stylin’ on the outside, party on the inside!

Before I’d even had a chance to drive it, I fell in love with the Soul Red exterior with black trim. The metallic paint glimmers like a candied apple. The rear roofline spoiler and roof-mounted “shark fin” antenna add to the sportiness of this little sub-compact crossover. I also really like the hatchback. My Durango has this and it’s just so convenient to not have doors to walk around when you’re loading and unloading your cargo.

From the outside the CX-3 appears to have a really small cargo space, but once you get it open you realize that perception is totally misleading. I went grocery shopping in it more than once and always had plenty of space. Then I realized the back seats fold flat for even more space, meaning you could travel and take everything you need with you and still have room! I really liked the cargo area cover which automatically folds up and down when you open and close the door, covering your cargo so no one can snoop and see what you’ve got back there!

When the delivery driver dropped off the CX-3 I asked, as I always do, if there was anything special I needed to know. He said it was a fun car, but… the screen wasn’t a touchscreen and everything on the screen was controlled via some knobs on the center console and it could take a while to get used to. I was a little worried about that since I hadn’t liked that about another vehicle I reviewed. Turns out I had no reason to worry. It was really intuitive to use and I quickly forgot that it wasn’t as ‘advanced’ as some systems with touchscreens. I actually liked the knobs and was especially pleased to be able to manually tune my radio vs. clicking up or down and having no control of the in-between channels that sometimes get better reception. I haven’t seen an actual tuner in a car in a long time and that made my day!

Speaking of radios, knobs, and technology, the sound system was fantastic, and this car still comes with a CD player for the retro among us who still buy those outdated discs.

All the displays were well designed. Sometimes designers go overboard and give you more than you need, but not Mazda. Everything was just right: easy to find, easy to read, and the controls within reach.

The driver’s seat in the Touring addition I drove wasn’t a power seat, which seemed a little odd, but wouldn’t deter me from buying or recommending the car. The whole interior was comfortable and well designed. Every space in the car had been utilized in a user friendly way. I was constantly impressed by the use of space. Even the flip-up arm rest it in the center served more than one purpose… the handle was actually a cell phone holder!

Not the car for me, but fun nonetheless!

While I can’t see myself ever buying a sub-compact of any kind, they can be fun to drive now and then. And, in the case of the Mazda CX-3, you’ll enjoy excellent gas mileage for your commute. I can totally see a high school or college student choosing this as her first car!

Mazda Cx-3 Monroney

A web developer, digital marketing consultant, auto journalist, truck expert, photographer and lover of gadgets, Erica is a textbook... More about Erica Mueller