This car feels like a hybrid of a small tank and a porsche. The car handles excellently and because of the way this car handled and steered on a test drive, I picked the CX3 over a subaru crosstrek - an uninspired driving disappointment, by comparison. The CX3 is not quite a utility vehicle. It's more like a station wagon that's a little jacked up higher off the ground and has AWD. It feels powerful with a 2L engine and has good acceleration if you drop the pedal. In the snow, it bites and drives great. Bad weather is no match - snow, ice, rain - it can handle any of that stuff. Several inches of wet snow and going uphill - barely a slip. It's a little beast. On the highway its smooth sailing and very good MPG. You don't get a huge gas tank - max range is about 295-300 miles. Comfortable interior and lots of USB ports and stuff for phones and other junk you want to plug in. the touch screen has good visibility and all the functions work well - good ergonomics with the console dial, voice control, rear camera and steering wheel buttons. The inside climate control is a little wonky - it's not easy to get it just right for some reason. either you get ice cold air or something that doesn't defrost your glass or something that's hot....odd. Sometimes my kid likes to sit in the middle of the back seat when I drive and he's very close to me there - like a parrot on my shoulder - which I'm not crazy about. The back seats are not huge. He says they're comfortable. A USB port or two back there would be cool instead on me having to run a wire from the front. the cargo area is big enough for me to carry 2 hockey equipment bags for both my kids and most other bulky stuff but it's not huge, either, which is something I happily accept for what the car is. It has a small sub-section under the floor so you can make it a little bigger, if you want. Stereo may sometimes have a little buzz if you set the bass all the way up to max. My pet peeve with the CX3 is that the outside back of the car gets FILTHY with road stuff and spray. I suppose a set of mudflaps would fix that. If you're driving on wet and salted roads, the back of the car is coming home covered in a filthy grime of road salt. Not nearly as bad in summer when roads are cleaner. Even a good car wash has trouble eliminating all that filthy grime off the back so there's the Achilles's heel of the CX3.
2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
I live in Minneapolis and wanted a small vehicle with AWD. Choices were between this CX-3 and Subaru Impreza. Bought this car five days ago. I'm writing about initial impressions, will update (if I can) later with more extensive use. Absolutely love this car! Great acceleration, great handling, great mpg. Looks and feels just right. Interior space is an issue though, obviously not the most important factor as I would not have bought the car if it was. With the car seat in the back, there is space for one other person comfortably. Trunk space is the least I've seen in almost any car I can recall. But this is meant to be my commuter car, primarily to be driven around the city. Entertainment screen and control is mostly intuitive, though I had to fiddle around a bit to learn all the aspects that you can control. Interior is snazzy with two-tone stitched leather. Got the remote starter and all weather floor mats from the dealership as well. The price I have mentioned is the walk-out price, including TTL.
Update 2017-06-29: It's been now over 6 months and I love this car even more. Getting around 30 mpg, combined. On certain trips I've averaged 40 mpg!!
The iActiveSense features are really useful: The adaptive cruise control is something that I don't think I'll drive without in any car. Auto brakes are cool. Lane departure warning is a pain and I've turned that feature off.
Update 2018-01-11: After over a year of ownership, I still can't help but smile every time I get behind the wheels of my CX-3, especially after a vacation where I've not driven my car for a few days. Still averaging 30.4 mpg today.