2019 Mazda CX-3 Review

2019 Mazda CX-3 - Mazda's small SUV faces stiff competition


Big, medium or small, Mazda has the sport utility vehicle to
fit each size. They are the three-row CX-9, the midsize CX-5 and the small
CX-3, which was tested recently.

Introduced in 2016 to
compete with others in its subcompact SUV class such as Chevrolet's Trax,
Honda's HR-V, Subaru's Crosstrek, Jeep's Renegade, Kia's Soul and Toyota's
C-HR, the CX-3 can hold its own.

Cargo area is smaller than
some of the competition, but the CX-3 has interior comforts and engine
performance in its favor.

With the SkyActiv powerplant at
work, the CX-3 leaps forward aggressively while maintaining good fuel economy.
Passing slower city or highway traffic  is no problem. 
During a test week in the Grand Touring model of the CX-3, fuel usage averaged
32.5 miles per gallon in combined suburban and highway driving with one adult
aboard.  SkyActiv, a Mazda trademark, means the vehicle is engineered,
from body construction to chassis and transmission, to maximize efficiency and

Beginning with 2018 and continuing into 2019,
SkyActiv is standard along with G-Vectoring on the three CX-3 models (Sport,
Touring, Grand Touring) which are priced from $20,390 to $25,745. G-Vectoring
pertains to handling. It monitors speed, throttle position and steering wheel
rotation in less than 50 milliseconds to adjust thrust or load on front tires,
contributing to a more balanced ride through corners. All-wheel-drive is
standard on the Grand Touring model and optional (about $1,500) on the other

AWD monitors road conditions and adjusts power to the
wheels with optimal traction. Obviously this is helpful in winter.

neat touch carrying over from 2018 to 2019 is a head-up display reflected onto
a plastic screen behind the steering wheel. It shows legal and actual speed.
This feature negates the need for a big speedometer display behind the steering
wheel. Instead, the speedometer display is tucked inside an engine
performance  display.

Other nice touches are
rain-sensing windshield wipers, automatic on and off headlights and climate
control. Power windows, door locks, and exterior mirrors (heated) are standard.
The Grand Touring model also gets a power sliding glass moonroof with one-touch
open feature and an interior sunshade. This top-of-the-line model also gets a
power driver's seat.

Other upgrades are LED headlights with
automatic leveling, LED fog lamps,  taillights and daytime running
lights, leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters, leather seat trim,
navigation system, satellite radio, smart automatic city braking (pedestrian
detection when speeds less than 20 miles per hour), lane departure warning, radar
cruise control, and a rear tonneau cover.

High beam
headlights get maximum use. A system automatically switches to low beams when
oncoming traffic is detected or the CX-3 is getting close to a vehicle ahead.

Bose seven-speaker sound system, including hands-free telephone includes
smartphone hookup. Tuning and sound knobs assist the touch-screen. This sound
system rivals that of Volkswagen for simplicity. AM-FM-satellite radio, MP3 and
compact disc players are standard as are USB port and auxiliary audio jack. The
ports and jack overlook a storage bin directly beneath the nav, climate and
audio color audio screen.

Thicker glass this year
contributes to a more quiet interior.

Changes from year to
year are subtle and it is no different for 2019 where a grille redesign is more
understated leading it is hoped, to more distinction in front. Chrome accents
now run front to rear. The idea was to create a more clean design which,
presumably, makes the CX-3 look more elegant.

The cabin
design emphasizes simplicity.

A heated steering wheel and
memory for the driver's seat are two major items in a $710 option package.


Vehicle: Grand Touring all-wheel-drive model of 2019
Mazda CX-3

Type: four-door, five-passenger, front-wheel-drive
subcompact sport utility (crossover) vehicle

Price: $27,145

2-liter, 148-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder

six-speed automatic

Fuel tank: 11.9 gallons

room: 41.7 inches front, 35 inches rear

Wheelbase, length,
width, height, ground clearance in inches: 101.2,168.3, 69.6, 60.9, 6.2

2,952 pounds

Wheels (alloy), tires (215): 18-inch, temporary

Suspension: struts and stablizer bar front, torsion
beam rear

Cargo: 9.6 cubic feet behind rear split seats,
41.7 cubic feet rear seats folded

Warranty: three years or
36,000 miles

Information: www.mazdausa.com

Jerry Kuyper

Born on a southwestern Minnesota farm, Jerrold E. Kuyper quickly became familiar with tractors, pickup trucks and related agricultural equipment. He left that behind to graduate from Augsburg College in Minneapolis and attend graduate schools in Evanston and Chicago. He was hired as a reporter for the Kenosha News, a daily newspaper in Kenosha, WI. After a stint of a dozen years at the Kenosha News, he became a columnist, layout, page and sections editor at the Northwest Herald, a daily newspaper based in Crystal Lake, IL serving northwest Chicago suburban communities.

While with the Northwest Herald he helped create, write reviews and opinion columns as well as edit the newspaper's Wheels section, a 16- to 40-page broadsheet that appeared weekly in the newspaper's Friday edition. Wheels was devoted to reviews of new vehicles, looks at automotive history, current trends in the automobile world and columns by automotive enthusiasts. Midwest Automotive Media Association members who contributed to reviews and columns included Mitch Frumkin, Phil Arendt, Matt Joseph and James Flammang as well as photo journalist Doug Begley and dragster specialist Fred Blumenthal.

Kuyper, who lives in Salem Lakes, WI, is a founding member of MAMA, is married, has three children and six grandchildren.