One of the most anticipated new SUVs for the 2016 model year is the all-new Mazda CX-3, which will be the automaker’s entry into the burgeoning subcompact SUV class. With the Chevrolet Trax and Honda HR-V’s arrival in early 2015, it’s important for Mazda to bring the CX-3 to market quickly.
The CX-3 made its debut at the 2014 L.A. Auto Show. Like the HR-V which shares underpinning with the subcompact hatchback Honda Fit, the CX-3 shares components with a new version of the Mazda2 subcompact hatchback. However, a number of structural changes have been made to allow for the CX-3s taller body, all-wheel drive, and larger wheels. The CX-3 will also be about 8 inches longer than the Mazda2.
With Mazda’s zoom-zoom reputation of crisp handling, aerodynamic styling, and excellent driving dynamics building, the CX-3 is poised to be a strong competitor in the class.
Power & Efficiency
While the CX-3 is based off the diminutive Mazda2, the good news is that the power won’t be. Instead power will be sourced from the powertrain used in the larger CX-5 and Mazda3. The CX-3 will feature the 2.0-liter four-cylinder with SkyActiv Technology with a six-speed automatic transmission as the only engine and transmission choices.
In the CX-5, the engine outputs 155 horsepower and gets 35-mpg with front-wheel drive. With it’s lighter weight, the CX-5 is expected to approach 40-mpg highway fuel economy. With the optional all-wheel drive, fuel economy is typically about 3-mpg highway less.
These fuel economy numbers should help Mazda comply with forthcoming government mandates to substantially increase the overall fuel economy of their vehicles.
Interior and Exterior Features
The CX-3 may be low in price but it will still be rich in features. The model will offer Mazda’s i-Activesense safety system, which includes radar-based collision warning with automatic braking, lane departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control.
The CX-3 will offer up-level trims with large 18-inch wheels giving the model a more powerful stance. The CX-3 will have features found in more luxurious models as it sports a 7-inch touch-screen high resolution center display with a three-pod gauge cluster.
Other Mazda SUVs, Pricing & Release Date
The CX-3 will be the third SUV in Mazda’s lineup, slotting below the aging CX-9, a three-row crossover, and compact CX-5, which was introduced for the 2013 model year. The CX-5 replaced the CX-7, which had similar dimensions but was less fuel efficient.
Expect the CX-3 to have a starting price with front-wheel drive of sub $20,000, which would be in line with its competitors and a $2,000-$3,000 less than the CX-5. The CX-3s styling will closely resemble the CX-5.
With top fuel economy, Mazda’s bold new fluid styling, affordable pricing, crisp braking, and solid build quality, the CX-3 is rightfully one of the most anticipated 2016 SUV models. The CX-3s release date is expected to be summer 2015.