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2019 Mazda CX3 Performance Absolutely Kills it!

Granted, I’ll get beat up by my fellow automotive journalist for click baiting yoou into the reading this short but happy drive review. No hype, 2019 Mazda CX3 absolutely kills it when it comes to an affordable fun to drive sports hatchback. What’s new for 2019?

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This is my 3rd brush with Mazda CX3 in as many years. Frankly, Mazda’s not so entry level sport utility sub compact 5 door hatchback is more sport than utility. And that’s cool. There’s still plenty of room for “stuff” behind row two, and yes, with the split rear seat dropped to the folded position, one may carefully carry a compact bicycle, snowboard or hobby building supplies on CX3’s near flat cargo deck -- but you most likely won’t want to.

Here’s the thing, Zoom, zoom is an understatement in 2019 CX3

For 2019, Mazda Motor Company takes SkyActive ™ engine and drive train technology to a new level of power and fuel efficiency. Mazda’s philosophy of “one with the car” screams for the driver’s attention when sitting behind the wheel of 2019 CX-3.This is a driver’s car first, and a family toting hauling platform second. I compare Mazda CX3 to Honda HR-V.

For 2019 Mazda kicks up CX-3 Horsepower and Torque to 148/146 respectively, plenty of Zoom, zoom. Also, AWD, is available, although from what we’ve experienced in the FWD (front-wheel-drive) variant, not mandetory for superior traction and track-like handling characteristics.

Although sub compact in dimension 2019 Mazda CZ-3 presents a refined, leather optioned, well balanced driver to the wheel seating position. For 2019 Mazda redesigns the driver and front passenger seat for a firm but comfortable hold. There’s plenty of clearance between the knee and dash pad for this 6’ 5” journalist, head and shoulder room is also ample.

Visibility forward is unobstructed. Our Grand Touring test mule is equipped with an exceptional heads-up display featuring road sign recognition, I like it. For 2019 driver’s will discover a much improved active safety suite including side and rear cross traffic sensing, lane keep assist, stability track, and more. Vehicle entry and start up is facilitated Via a key less ignition fob. Also standard for 2019 is a color backup monitor, and optional integrated navigation.

I further appreciate the in your face yet balanced grill treatment, new wheel designs, taillights, and adaptive headlights. Our Soul Red Crystal and parchment leather subject is a head turner with performance to match.

Also gone is the center consul pull brake, replaced with a neat toggle. Shifting is facilitated with a select shift stick, or in the case of the Touring Edition, steering wheel mounted paddles. Braking is solid, yet not grabby, with maneuverability in town second to none.

2019 Mazda CX-3 adapts a Miata attitude

The evolution of Mazda CX-3 is punctuated with Miata inspired handling and rev-happy engine performance. That could be expected. What I find to be pleasingly surprising here is the overall drive and ride dynamic. Not only does this exceptional subcompact crossover maneuvers well in town, thanks to very short overhangs, exceptional suspension engineering, wide track dimensions, and much improved road noise to cabin abatement, 2019 Mazda CX-3 is a very capable long haul traveler. Need more room? Check out Mazda CX9.

With a beginning MSRP of $21.365 and a fully loaded price as tested of $29,625, I recomend a CX-3 test drive to anyone considering the purchase of a near premium sub compact hatchback.

What I like: Exceptional power to weight ratio, track star road handling, exceptional color pallet, unique trim, fit and finish packaging.

What I’d change: Not much. CX-3 could use an inch or two in row 2. But then again, Mazda CX-5 will do that for you. Night vision could be better.

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LitecoinJoe (not verified)    August 26, 2018 - 10:03AM

How would you compare this to a Hyundai Kona, Subaru Crosstrek, Honda HRV or Jeep Reneagade? What would make me choose the CX3 AWD over any of those mentioned above? Thanks!

Jamie Hayden (not verified)    January 16, 2021 - 12:12PM

I agree 100% with all you say about the cx3!! I own a 2020 cx 3 awd gs trim ( canada) and just love it !!
Zoom Zoom !