The FREE Complete Bay Area Auto Enthusiast Guide

Mazda has the SUV market covered quite well, from top to bottom. It starts with the full-size CX-9, then the midsize CX-7, down to the compact CX-5 and trickling to the all-new subcompact 2016 CX-3. Under its hood is a 2.0-liter inline-4 cylinder engine putting out 146 horsepower @ 6000 rpm and 146 pounds-feet of torque @ 2800 rpm while coupled to a 6-speed auto gearbox. Regardless of front-wheel or all-wheel drive, it is equipped with the direct-injection Skyactiv, which uses a torque boost via a high compression ratio to increase fuel economy.
A seven-fin wing grille is flanked by LED headlights, daytime running lights, up front while dual stainless steel exhaust and roof shark-fin antenna takes up the rear. Standard in the GT trim are leather steering wheel, shifter and brake handle, six-way manual driver seat, push-button start, front armrest, auto a/c, 60/40 fold rear seat, power moon roof, 7-inch instrument display with command control, trip computer and a tilt/telescopic steering column.
Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, dynamic stability and traction controls, four-wheel antilock brakes, hill launch assist, side-impact door beams, rearview camera, three-point safety belts for all, blind spot and tire pressure monitoring systems and daytime running lights are standard.
As the subcompact crossover SUV market grows with the Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade and revamped Nissan Juke, the rivalry will become even fiercer. This gas-sipping Mazda can definitely hold its own, thanks to a sizeable cabin for people- and cargo-hauling capabilities, and good value for the money.

CX-3 (GT, FWD)
Tires: 215/50R18
Wheelbase: 101.2 inches
Length: 168.3 inches
Weight: 2,809 pounds
Suspension: MacPherson strut front, torsion beam rear
Steering: variable-assist power
Fuel capacity: 12.7 gallons
City: 29 mpg
Highway: 35 mpg
Base price: $24,990
Web site:

CALLING ALL MAZDA DEALERS IN THE WEST CENTRAL FLORIDA AREA: if you would like to be listed here as one of the test-drive dealerships, e-mail us at