The Mazda CX-Three is among the best-looking and most participating subcompact SUVs in its phase. In contrast with automobiles just like the odd-looking Nissan Kicks and the visually sedate Honda HR-V, the CX-Three is imaginatively designed with cathartic sheet steel that lends to a good-looking exterior look. It is moderately dashing inside, too, with an easy, properly appointed inside. Mix that with glorious driving dynamics — remember the CX-Three has the identical mother and father because the Miata — and you have got one of many extra fascinating automobiles within the phase.

It simply feels proper

Mazda carries a status of constructing fun-to-drive automobiles, and that extends to the CX-Three. Its 2.Zero-liter, Four-cylinder engine produces 148 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque, giving the two,809-pound CX-Three class-average acceleration. However horsepower and torque are the one components the place the CX-Three feels garden-variety.

The steering is direct and responsive, with excessive ranges of suggestions — a typical Mazda trait. The suspension is unquestionably on the stiffer facet of what you’d count on for a compact crossover, but it surely’s by no means uncomfortable, even on the upsized 18-inch wheels of my Grand Touring tester. The stable chassis makes me extra comfy chucking the CX-Three slightly tougher into tight corners, with a welcome lack of physique roll. The brakes, too, sluggish issues down with confidence, with instantaneous chew.

The CX-Three is not fast, however these different parts assist make the Mazda really feel extra alert and fascinating than its energy figures may recommend. The six-speed automated transmission shifts easily, and is greater than keen to kick down to be able to maintain what little energy there’s on boil.

The front-wheel-drive CX-Three is EPA-rated for 29 miles per gallon within the metropolis and 34 mpg freeway, which is fairly good for the category. Its sporty character, nevertheless, made me drive it tougher, and because of this, I solely noticed 25.6 mpg after 164.eight miles. The CX-Three additionally provides all-wheel drive, although it reduces gasoline economic system to 27/32 metropolis/freeway mpg.

Parchment leather-based seats brighten up a cockpit that is upmarket in feeling.

Sam Bendall/Roadshow

Good for the eyes

With a beginning worth of $20,390 (plus $995 for vacation spot), the Mazda CX-Three is an economic system crossover, however its exterior design seems to be premium. Its sweeping physique strains are complemented by a small greenhouse that lends to a more durable, extra tank-like look. However regardless of smaller window apertures, there’s nice outward visibility from the driving force’s seat. Entrance-row occupants have loads of room to stretch out as nicely.

My tester comes with eye-opening parchment (white) leather-based seat upholstery, set in opposition to black inside trim and carpets with a stitched charcoal swath of suede-like materials operating throughout the sprint. The extremely contrasting inside is a snug place to spend a commute and on a few events, the cabin jogged my memory of Infiniti’s interiors. Higher-quality plastics on the door panels would have accomplished that reminder, however the CX-Three is high-quality all over the place else inside.

It is doubtless the CX-Three’s heavier design emphasis has lightened its urge for food for swallowing passengers and cargo. Whereas of us up entrance have sufficient room, the rear seat is cramped, even for a thin, average-height gent like me. The CX-Three’s cargo house with the rear seats up is 12.Four cubic toes. That is much less house than simply about the whole lot within the phase. The Mazda’s 44.5 cubic toes of cargo room with the rear seats folded is not so unhealthy, however actually, what’s using shopping for an SUV if when it is stuffed with passengers, you haven’t any room for all their stuff?

The Mazda Join infotainment is straightforward to make use of, which makes it much less irritating that Android Auto and Apple CarPlay aren’t even provided.

Sam Bendall/Roadshow

Not pretty much as good for techies

It is a good contact you can choice a CX-Three with a seven-speaker Bose sound system. The issue is that it is one of many worst-sounding premium audio methods I’ve ever heard. Along with missing readability and punch, many commonplace, unbranded stereos sound higher than the Bose on this Mazda. Do your self a favor and maintain it turned off.

The CX-Three’s audio tech could also be missing, however that is not a lot the case with its infotainment, assuming you may reside with out Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. The CX-Three comes commonplace with a 7-inch touchscreen that is paired with voice command and in addition contains built-in web radio apps like Aha, Pandora and Stitcher. My closely optioned CX-Three Grand Touring additionally contains embedded navigation with HD and satellite tv for pc radio. I discover the Mazda Join infotainment moderately uncomplicated to make use of, so the dearth of cellphone mirroring within the CX-Three is much less disheartening for me than it has been in automobiles with far more sophisticated infotainment interfaces.

In relation to commonplace driver-assistance methods, that is the place the CX-Three excels within the class. Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and collision-mitigation braking are all commonplace. My loaded tester provides adaptive cruise management with cease and go, lane-departure warning, LED headlights, automated excessive beams and rain-sensing wipers, to not point out different niceties like heated entrance seats, a sunroof and a pop-up head-up show.

Amongst its competitors, the 2019 Mazda CX-Three makes the loudest assertion in your cash.

Sam Bendall/Roadshow

It is priced proper

For $28,245 as-tested (together with vacation spot), a loaded CX-Three is a pleasant automobile for lower than $30,000 out the door.

My CX-Three is painted in the most effective shades of pink ever to grace a manufacturing automobile. The $595 Soul Crimson Crystal Metallic is price each eye-popping penny. The $710 Premium Package deal is priced nicely, too, including cool stuff like site visitors signal recognition in addition to an influence driver’s seat with reminiscence, a heated steering wheel and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The fascinating alternative

The 2019 Mazda CX-Three does nearly the whole lot proper, however so do its phase rivals. Nevertheless, if you wish to have probably the most enjoyable behind the wheel and the best potential of turning heads, the CX-Three is the one to get. Past that, it is environment friendly, roomy — for front-row occupants, a minimum of — and provides simply sufficient luxurious options and driver-assistance know-how all for a worth that is aggressive with the remainder of the category. Get a Honda HR-V if you need about the identical degree of practicality, and keep a low profile. Get a Nissan Kicks if you wish to maximize your hard-earned . However if you wish to make a press release along with your cash, the CX-Three is the place it is at.


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