Article by Deanna Isaacs, Photography by Robert Isaacs

Mazda has been coming out with good cars for decades. I drove the all-new 2016 Mazda CX-3 during the holidays and was impressed with it’s sporty feel and looks, along with it’s comfortable environment. For its pint size it packs a punch. 

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Sporting a Dynamic Blue Mica paint that shimmers in the sunlight, this aggressive looking CUV MSRP’s for around $23,210. For that, the 2016 Mazda CX-3 offers seating for five, all-wheel drive, tons of technology, and an engine that is pretty peppy and kind to the environment.

2016_Mazda_CX-3_150The interior of the 2016 Mazda CX-3 is roomy and comfortable to sit in. Front seat occupants get heated seats and the rear seats offered more than enough legroom for full-sized adults.

At the driver’s fingertips is the usual array of buttons, featuring voice commands, along with audio and cruise controls. The leather-wrapped steering felt solid in my hands and the tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel allowed to find the perfect position.

Our model came with a Bose 7-speaker audio system with HD radio and a 7-inch touchscreen display. It was very simple to connect and use my Samsung phone via Bluetooth, and call quality was great. It also offers AUX and USB inputs, along with a 12-volt power outlet.

20151028_181243During our time with the 2016 Mazda CX-3, we loaded the cargo space (12.4 cubic feet with the rear seats up and 44.5 cu.ft. with the rear seats folded down) with food and packages – the more the merrier – and headed up towards Stanwood to see a friend.

On the drive up the I-5 corridor from Seattle, there was plenty of visibility all around and the suspension absorbed the potholes to the point where we could barely tell we’d gone over one. The road noise, even with holiday traffic, was minimal. The internal environment was pleasing and, because of the pollen filter, I never had to suffer the smells of the city, highway or even the farms.  

2016_Mazda_CX-3_069When there was a clear space for passing, SkyActiv-Drive 6-speed automatic transmission kicked into high gear and the 2.0L SkyActiv-G engine let 146 horsepower (146 lb.ft. of torque) through the all-wheel drive and onto the pavement.

Then, all of a sudden, the people that were behind you seemed very small in the rearview mirror.

It might not be a lot of power, but the 2016 Mazda CX-3 doesn’t need a lot of power to move it’s 2,952 lbs of weight down the road. It doesn’t take a lot of gas to get (or keep) going, either. The CX-3 achieves an EPA-estimated 27 mpg city and 35 mpg highway. I managed to get around 31 mpg – offsetting my enjoyment of ‘Sport Mode’ with efficient highway cruising.

The 2016 Mazda CX-3 offers 6.1 inches of ground clearance and is 168.3 inches in length, though has a very good turning radius for the size (which isn’t really as big as the numbers make it seem). It also comes with blind spot monitoring, stability and traction control systems, and hill launch assist.

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All in all, the 2016 Mazda CX-3 is an ultra-sleek, super comfortable, super safe (with several airbags) and very affordable CUV. Would I buy one? Yeah, I would. On- or off-road, the 2016 Mazda CX-3 is an impressively designed and efficient vehicle fit for any family.