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Overview (Final Score: A)

Introduced as a new design last year, the Mazda CX-3 sees very few changes for 2017. For people who don’t need a full-time backseat or a lot of cargo space, compact crossovers are a favorite choice. Some are becoming decidedly not-so-compact, but the CX-3 sticks with that name and uses it. For people needing something larger, the Mazda CX-5 fills that role.

The CX-3 is well-designed with a great exterior look, sporty presence and a fun driving dynamic. As the entry-level offering from Mazda for the crossover lineup, the 2017 CX-3 has a lot riding on it. And it carries that well, being one of the best vehicles available in the compact crossover segment.

The 2017 Mazda CX-3 is a two-row compact crossover that seats up to five, gets great fuel economy and feels fun while driving it. Despite its small price tag, standard equipment is plentiful and advanced technologies are easy to find in upper trims.


What We Love About the 2017 Mazda CX-3:

  • Fun drive dynamic with driver-centric appeal
  • Great exterior look matched by a beautiful interior
  • Responsive, energetic powertrain that keeps fuel economy high


What We Don’t Love About the 2017 Mazda CX-3:

  • Fairly high road noise on the highway
  • Higher trim levels get expensive
  • Reliability expectation is only about average



Performance (10/10)

The 2017 CX-3 is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 146 horsepower running through a six-speed automatic transmission. The transmission is responsive and the engine doesn’t hesitate to push out power. In a vehicle the size of the CX-3, that power output is excellent and makes the little crossover sprightly and nimble.

The 2017 CX-3 also has excellent handling and a firm chassis upon which to ride. Some folks may be put off the by CX-3’s stiffer-than-usual feel, but this should soon give way to the fun experience driving Mazda’s tiny crossover. Maneuverability is wonderful and the visibility afforded to the driver is very good.

The 2017 Mazda CX-3’s performance package is second to none.


Pricing and Value (9/10)

The 2017 Mazda CX-3 has a great starting point as an entry-level vehicle for the Mazda crossover lineup. Most will look past the base model and be more interested in the Touring trim level, with its higher level of accouterments, better interior experience and more sophisticated feel. With a good amount of amenities for the price, we think the Touring FWD or Touring AWD models are a best bet for most buyers and will come in under $23,000 with desired upgrades.

Unless the size of the CX-3 is a must, we’d suggest you forego the upper-end Grand Touring trim and consider the Mazda CX-5 as a better alternative for the money at about the same price point.


Total Score and Competitive Comparison (75/80, 94%)

The 2017 Mazda CX-3 adds to the proof that Mazda doesn’t know how to make a bad vehicle. The CX-3 is best-in-class for many reasons.

Chief competitors are the Subaru SV Crosstrek, which delivers a much inferior interior (say that fast) experience, and the Honda HR-V, which isn’t as nice to look at. The Jeep Renegade is an excellent rival for those who want more adventure and pizzazz in their compact. In the end, none of these truly rival the CX-3 on all fronts.

The 2017 Mazda CX-3 is a great choice in the compact crossover segment. We feel that it will make any buyer happy in today’s market.

You can learn more about the 2017 Mazda CX3 and Read the FULL REVIEW Now.

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