It has been a couple of years since I last reviewed the Mazda CX-3, the smallest CUV offered by Mazda. Since then Mazda has added another CUV to their lineup, the CX-30, which is bigger than the CX-3 and smaller than the CX-5; we’ll be reviewing that vehicle sometime later this year.
The CX-3 has stayed relatively the same since I last drove it, having driven so many other cars in the last year and a half, I really appreciated the sporty driving nature of the CX-3. Personally, I’m not a big fan of CUVs, especially these subcompact ones, but spending a week with the CX-3, I liked driving it around.
Prices have stayed relatively the same since the last time I drove the CX-3, with the base 2020 CX-3 GX with manual and front wheel drive starting at $21,045 and the top of the line GT starts at $31,045, an increase of $250. Below is a chart of prices for all of the trims with different transmission and drivetrain configurations:
*Add $1,500 for “Luxury Package”.
The above prices do not include $100 for air conditioning surcharge and $1,950 for freight & PDI.
All configurations of the 2020 Mazda CX-3 come with the Skyactiv-G 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, with G-Vectoring Control. The naturally aspirated engine produces 148 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 146 pound-feet of torque at 2,800 rpm, which is the same output as the last time we drove the CX-3. Power is sent to either the front or all wheels via a 6-speed manual (available on the GX with FWD only) or a 6-speed automatic transmission.
According to Mazda, FWD with manual transmission CX-3 should consume 8.8/7.0 L/100 km in city/highway driving, FWD with automatic transmission CX-3 should consume 8.3/6.9 L/100, and AWD equipped vehicles should consume 8.6/7.4 city/highway. The onboard computer showed 9.1 L/100 km in pure city driving on our 2020 Mazda CX-3 GT, in winter driving condition with heavy use of the defrost feature, heated seats/steering wheel, and the heater.
Mazda doesn’t use their old slogan of “zoom-zoom”, however, that DNA is still present in all their vehicles. As boring as CUVs are, the CX-3 is still pretty fun to drive. It’s peppy enough for city driving and isn’t so bad on the highway. Zipping in and out of traffic feels like you’re in a hatchback, which it basically is, with a bit of extra ground clearance. The CX-3 is small and nimble and is very easy to park in tight city parking lots. It doesn’t have enough room for a family with kids, but that’s not who this vehicle is marketed towards. I mostly see young couples or empty nesters driving these.
The interior on the CX-3 hasn’t changed since I last reviewed it, which is not a bad thing. I personally like Mazda’s interiors because of their simplicity and ease of use. Right in the middle of the dashboard is a 7” infotainment screen, which can be controlled by touching it or with the large circular knob on the center console behind the gear lever. I find using this knob to be one of the most intuitive ways to control the infotainment screen, I really like this system and the simplicity of it. Below the touchscreen is a small section for the climate control system, which is also very simple and easy to use. It has knobs for temperature, fan speed, and the airflow direction, simple and straight to the point.
The interior is quiet enough for this segment, it’s comparable to other vehicles in this class. There was a good amount of leg room for my 5’ 8” frame in the front seats, the rear seats are a bit on the tight side for me, so taller passengers will find it uncomfortable.
The 2020 Mazda CX-3 can be optioned out with a lot of the tech, convenience, and safety features we now expect from modern cars, below is a list of what our top of the line GT trim CX-3 came with:
- Advanced Keyless Entry with panic mode
- Push button start system
- Air conditioning with automatic climate control
- Active Driving Display (ADD)
- CD Player (MP3 capable) with Bose premium audio system – 7 speakers
- Two USB and auxiliary inputs
- 7” color touchscreen display with Mazda Connect
- Rear view camera
- Navigation system
- Power windows (with timer and one touch up/down for driver)
- Tilt and telescopic steering wheel
- Illuminated entry
- 12-volt power outlet
- Heated front seats
- 6-way manual driver seat
- 4-way manual front passenger seat
- 60/40 split folding rear seat
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob, and parking brake
- LED headlights with signature lighting
- LED fog lights
- LED rear combination lights
- Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFS) with automatic headlight leveling
- Auto off headlights
- Auto on/off headlights
- Heated exterior mirrors with integrated turn signal indicators
- Rain sensing intermittent windshield wipers
- Dynamic Stability Control (DSC)
- Traction Control System (TCS)
- Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)
- Hill Launch Assist (HLA)
- Blind Spot Monitoring system (BSM)
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
- Smart City Brake Support (SCBS)
- Lane Departure Warning System (LDWS)
- High Beam Control (HBC)
The last two times I reviewed the Mazda CX-3, I was impressed with it’s driving dynamics. That formula hasn’t changed at all since then, it’s still a sporty little CUV. Even though I’m not a fan of these types of vehicles personally, I still enjoyed my week with the 2020 Mazda CX-3 GT. The CX-3 is definitely worth a look if you’re looking for a sub-compact CUV.