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Everyman Driver: 2017 Mazda CX-3 AWD Review (Video)

Mazda CX-3 captivated onlookers with its show-car-like KODO—Soul of Motion design that stood out among its staid competitors when it hit the road last year. Seventy-three of the world’s most esteemed auto media jurors from around the world nominated it as a finalist for 2016 World Car Design of the Year.


But looks weren’t all it over-delivered with, coddling drivers and passengers with amenities like available leather and Lux Suede two-tone seats, Mazda Radar Cruise Control and its Active Driving Display head-up unit—“Mazda Premium” features that are all but exclusive to CX-3 among its competitive set, save for much pricier competition. CX-3 held media in awe for its driving dynamics that were more engaging and fun than they had any right to be for any vehicle, let alone a small crossover.

And CX-3 stunned them when it took on some of the most-capable vehicles in its segment and beat them at the Northwest Automotive Press Association’s annual Mudfest off-road event, thanks to its predictive i-ACTIV all-wheel drive that can detect road conditions and shift power output before a driver and or passengers will ever notice.

For 2017, CX-3 enters its second model year holding its $19,960 starting MSRP1. Changes in content are subtle but include standard 18-inch alloy wheels for CX-3 Touring models—an item brought down from Grand Touring—and a lower cost of entry for Mazda’s i-ACTIVSENSE Package of safety technologies in CX-3 Grand Touring–$1,170 versus last year’s $1,920.

All CX-3 models come standard with a punchy, 146-horsepower SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter engine paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, featuring Sport mode. Power is routed to either the front wheels or through all four with i-ACTIV all-wheel drive.

CX-3 Sport models come equipped with 16-inch alloy wheels, power mirrors, cloth seats, a seven-inch MAZDA CONNECTTMtouchscreen infotainment system with voice commands, Bluetooth phone connectivity for phone and audio streaming, a USB input, keyless entry, push-button start, power door locks, a six-speaker audio system and air conditioning, among a long list of other features.

CX-3 Touring upgrades with the aforementioned 18-inch alloy wheels, heated exterior door mirrors with integrated turn signal lamps, leatherette and cloth seating surfaces, heated front seats, leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel, fold-down center armrest with built-in phone holder, Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA).

The Touring Premium Package further upgrades CX-3 with a BOSE® seven-speaker audio system, power moonroof, satellite radio, HD radio and a cargo cover.

The top-level CX-3 Grand Touring includes all of those features and adds leather and Lux Suede seats, LED headlights with Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), LED fog lights, navigation, automatic climate control, paddle shifters and Active Driving Display head-up unit that helps keep a driver’s eyes focused on the road.

The i-ACTIVSENSE package includes Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC), automatic Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) and Smart Brake Support (SBS), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), High Beam Control (HBC), automatic on/off headlights and rain-sensing wipers.

MSRP1 for all models is as follows (add $1,250 for i-ACTIV all-wheel drive):

CX-3 Sport $19,960
CX-3 Touring $21,960
• Touring Premium Package $1,410
CX-3 Grand Touring $24,990
• i-ACTIVSENSE Package $1,170

Premium exterior paint colors include:

Crystal White Pearl $200
Soul Red Metallic $300

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