2016 Mazda CX-3 Overview
From the company that brought you the red roadster widely known as the most fun to drive comes an all-new crossover: the 2016 Mazda CX-3. We like to think that this is the conversation that resulted in the CX-3:
Mazda asked an MX-5 owner: “How do you like the Miata?”
The MX-5 owner said, “It’s fantastic, but there is one small problem.”
“What is that?” Mazda asked.
“Where am I going to fit my new triplets?”
Mazda rubbed its chin for a moment, then smiled.
“We got this, buddy.”
The 2016 Mazda CX-3 comes in three trims: Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring, starting at $19,960, although an all-wheel drive version is available beginning at $21,210 (not a bad upgrade for $150). This crossover comes with a huge list of options, including a large number of roof rack attachments for carrying bikes, luggage, kayaks, skis, snowboards, and surfboards. Other options include the MX-5’s trademark Soul Red paint color and Mazda Mobile Start, which allows you to start, lock, or unlock your CX-3, while also allowing you to turn on the climate control system, activate the panic alarm, and find your parked car from just about anywhere.
What’s new for the 2016 Mazda CX-3?
Everything is new for the CX-3, as before it had its debut at the LA Auto Show in 2014, it did not exist. It is a five-door compact crossover, intended to appeal to “active urban dwellers.” It has garnered praise from sites such as Car and Driver, who said “Damn, this thing looks good”; Autoweek, who said “In this segment it looks like the CX-3 could just be your best bet”; and Edmunds, who called the CX-3 “one of the nicest and most fun-to-drive vehicles in its class.”
You can’t exactly debate Edmunds on this last point—it really is Mazda’s mission to make every one of its vehicles as fun to drive as possible.
2016 Mazda CX-3 Photos:
2016 Mazda CX-3 Exterior
The 2016 CX-5 was designed using Mazda’s famously good-looking KODO: Soul of Motion design language, which has produced such fetching vehicles as the MX-5 Miata, CX-5 SUV, and Mazda6, as well as such fetching pieces as a couch and a bicycle.
It comes in a variety of colors, of which we prefer the iconic Soul Red and the equally-fetching Dynamic Blue (although, given the choice, we think we’d like to have a blue one).
2016 Mazda CX-3 Exterior Photos:
Exterior Available on Sport:
- Roof-mounted “shark fin” antenna, Daytime Running Lights, Clear-lens halogen headlights with auto-off feature, Dual body-colored power side mirrors, Body-colored door handles, Black side body garnish, Rear roofline spoiler, 16-inch aluminum wheels
Exterior Available on Touring:
- Heated power side mirrors with integrated turn signals
Exterior Available on Grand Touring:
- Power moonroof, LED Daytime Running Lights, LED headlights with auto-leveling, Adaptive Front-lighting system, LED fog lights, LED rear combination lamp, Silver side body garnish, 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels
2016 Mazda CX-3 Performance
The 2016 CX-3 is powered by a SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 146 horsepower and 146 lb-ft of torque. That is delivered by a six-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift and Sport modes. Each model is front-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is offered as an option on each. Edmunds tested the CX-3’s 0-to-60 time as 8.5 seconds.
2016 Mazda CX-3 Efficiency
For a crossover, the CX-3 has excellent fuel efficiency, rolling in at 29 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway (that’s 31 mpg combined) in front-wheel drive models. When switched with all-wheel drive, the efficiency dips slightly, but only to 27 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway (29 mpg combined).
2016 Mazda CX-3 Interior
Inside, the CX-3 is upholstered either in black or “parchment,” which is a nice cream color. The controls are configured so that they are within easy reach of the driver, with many mounted on the steering wheel, including music controls, cruise control, and Bluetooth hands-free phone controls. All of this is meant to keep the driver’s eyes on the road, rather than searching for the volume knob.
As for its dimensions, the CX-3 has 41.7 inches of legroom in the front, with 35 in the rear, and offers 12.4 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats, which expands to 44.5 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded.
2016 Mazda CX-3 Interior Photos:
Interior Available on Sport:
- A/C with pollen filter, Day/night rearview mirror, Remote keyless entry, Steering wheel mounted controls, 60/40 split fold-down rear seats, Black dash trim panel, Silver door handle pulls, Cloth door trim, Cloth-trimmed sport seats
- Six-speaker AM/FM/CD sound system, Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio, Mazda Connect infotainment with 7-inch touch screen and voice command
Interior Available on Touring:
- Soft-touch black trim, Synthetic leather door trim, Heated front seats, Leatherette-trimmed sport seats, Leather-wrapped steering and shift knob, Sunglasses holder
- SiriusXM (with four-month subscription), Speed-sensing volume control, Blind Spot Monitoring, Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry
Interior Available on Grand Touring:
- Active Driving Display, Auto climate control with filter, Leatherette-trimmed dash, Bright-finish door handle pulls, Lux suede seat inserts, Leather-trimmed seats
- BOSE seven-speaker audio system with Centerpoint and Audiopilot, Mazda Navigation
2016 Mazda CX-3 Safety
Neither the IIHS nor the NHTSA have rated the CX-3 at time of writing, but the CX-3 comes with the full of bevy of safety features to begin with (advanced air bag system, three-point seat belts, antilock brakes, stability and traction control, etc.). As you rise through the trim levels, though, the CX-3 acquires a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert in the Touring trim, and an optional i-Activsense package in Grand Touring models, which includes advanced safety technology such as forward collision mitigation with automatic braking, which senses when a collision is imminent and slows or stops the car before a crash can happen.
Standard Safety Features
- Advanced air bags
- Ring Structure unibody construction
- LATCH child safety system
- Engine-immobilizer theft-deterrent system
- Tire Pressure Monitoring