2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring

Welcome to a brand new experience with the Urban Explorer
By Durhl Caussey
Durhl Caussey
Durhl Caussey
December 11, 2016 Updated: December 11, 2016

The CX-3 is a beautiful 5-passenger subcompact utility vehicle from Mazda. It is bold in styling and can be optioned with the i-ACTIV AWD system. Not only is this AWD system capable of routing power to all four corners, it does so by making decisions based on numerous readings.

Sensors monitor driver input—gas, brake, and steering wheel—and outside conditions—temperature, road condition through front wheel torque, and engine load—and the AWD system decides on what is the optimal power distribution.

Mazda’s SKYACTIV technology helps to provide better performance and efficiency. SKYACTIV is a branding for Mazda’s initiative to improve fuel efficiency, safety, emission levels, and driving experience. The SKYACTIVE-G engine has been engineered to deliver more performance and efficiency by reducing friction, using specially designed pistons to improve compression ratio, and using a special 4-2-1 exhaust manifold.

The CX-3 feels like a top-quality high-end sporty car.

At the same time, the SKYACTIV-Drive 6-speed automatic transmission with manual shift and sport mode gets you more involved in the driving experience with exceptional response and torque delivery.

The interior is clean and modern in style. The CX-3 feels like a top-quality high-end sporty car. I like that the interior seems a little elevated into a higher driver-centric cabin, which gives you the feeling it is designed to keep your entire focus on the driving experience.

The CX-3 is built with a 60/40 split fold-flat rear back. It transforms your compact 5-seat passenger vehicle into a roomy, open cabin with up to 42.3 cubic feet of cargo space.

The CX-3 Grand Touring Package sits at the top of the model line. Its laundry list of features include leather-trimmed seats with Lux Suede inserts, 6-way manual driver’s seat, automatic climate control, Active Driving Display, Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry, remote rear hatch release, and Adaptive Front Lighting System.

The interior of the CX-3. (Courtesy of Mazda)
The interior of the CX-3. (Courtesy of Mazda)

The infotainment System with Mazda Connect has a 7-inch full-color touchscreen display, voice command support, and Multifunction Commander Control. Mazda Navigation System, Bose 7-speakers audio system, along with rearview camera are standard on the evaluation model.

The CX-3 Grand Touring sits on 18-inch alloy wheels wrapped in all-season tires. Heated power side mirrors with turn signals and rear roof spoiler are features usually reserved for more expensive cars. LED headlights, tail lights, DRLs, and fog lights are all standard as well.

Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, tire pressure monitor, Hill Launch Assist, and traction control add to your safety while enhancing the adventure.

The 2.0 L engine births 146 hp and 146 lb-ft of torque, while achieving 27 mpg city and 32 mpg highway for a combined average of 27 mpg.

Outside, my CX-3 came wrapped in a Dynamic Blue Mica paint, together with a Black/Parchment leather interior.

The new CX-3 is a city vehicle that offers comfort and excitement while driving the narrow byways of urban life. CX-3 is lightweight and sporty with advanced engineering that will power you between skyscrapers onto those busy expressways.

CX-3 is gifted in the corners and gallant when competition appears on busy freeways.

This Mazda has a Government 5-Star Rating for Overall Vehicle Safety and 5-Star Frontal Crash for Driver and Passenger.

The new Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring AWD is priced at $26,240.

36-month/36,000-mile Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty
60-month/60,000-mile Powertrain Warranty
36-month/36,000-mile 24-hour Road Side Assistance

Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this newspaper or at dcaussey@sbcglobal.net