Chicago Auto Show Blog

Mazda Likes the Power of 3

Posted by: Mark Bilek

Mazda is one automaker that follows its own road. For years the Asian iconoclast has built cars that are fun to drive, affordable and unique. The MX-5 is certainly a shining example of Mazda’s philosophy, and, thankfully, a little bit of that fun and energy can be found in all of Mazda’s US products.


Upon first glance, the new CX-3 would seem to be a fairly typical subcompact crossover. Its five-door wagon shape and high-riding stance have much in common with competitors like the Chevrolet Trax, Fiat 500X, Honda HR-V and Nissan Juke. However, when presenting to the Midwest Automotive Media Association at this year’s Fall Rally, Dan Calhoun, Line Manager for the CX-3, said that Mazda’s new crossover is anything but typical.


Like all Mazdas the new CX-3 is designed with the brand’s Skyactiv philosophy – meaning light weight, fuel efficient and strong. Power comes from a 146 horsepower 2.0-liter engine that boasts a high 13:1 compression ratio. It’s mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The CX-3 comes with front- or all-wheel drive. Fuel economy, at 29 mpg city and 35 mpg highway, is claimed, by Mazda, to be tops in the class.


Unique features include a head-up display, which Mazda calls its Active Driving Display, a 7-inch touch screen command center and a host of active safety features highlighted by i-Activesense that can actually stop the vehicle if a collision is imminent. Three models are offered: Sport, Touring and GT. Prices start as low as $19,600 and top out at just about $25,000. In combination with the CX-5 and CX-9, the CX-3 gives Mazda a full coverage of the growing crossover market.

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