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What’s New For 2018
Mazda realized that the car only needed a few tweaks to make it a top contender in its class. First, they added their new G-Vectoring Control system, allowing the CX-3 to be more stable as it enters corners. They also made automatic emergency braking standard across all models, as it was only available as an upgrade in previous years. Multiple small upgrades were made to decrease vibration and cabin noise, including slightly thicker windows and extra dampening in the doors. Finally, many of the packages and higher-level trims received more features.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2018 Mazda CX-3 – The Pros
1. Fantastic Handling
No other car in the 2018 Mazda CX-3’s class handles like this car does. The extremely well-designed suspension and responsive chassis make handling this car on all terrain types and road curvatures a breeze. Whether you’re on a newly paved highway going seventy miles per hour or on a curvy country road, you’ll feel secure making all types of turns.
2. Good Acceleration
For a subcompact crossover, this car can accelerate. The 2018 Mazda CX-3’s transmission is extremely responsive, allowing the car to rev up to high speeds quite quickly. Though not the fastest in its class, the CX-3 can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just over 8 seconds.
3. Solid Active Safety Features
Standard models come with great active safety features like the previously mentioned automatic braking. Touring and Grand Touring models come with even more active safety features, as these models are more geared toward family driving. Mazda includes the i-Activsense system in these models, in which a system of forward and back cameras monitor all blind spots and apply automated safety measures if necessary. These measures include adaptive cruise control, rear traffic alert, and even automatic high-beams.
4. Intuitive Infotainment
Though the CX-3’s infotainment system is not compatible with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto yet, it’s still very intuitive and easy to navigate. The 7-inch screen is perched at the top of the center console, and rotary knobs surround the screen if users prefer to use analog buttons instead of the touchscreen. Menus are simple to read and press through, though response times can be a bit slow.
5. Reliable Engine
The 2018 Mazda CX-3’s engine is definitely recognizable as one of Mazda’s own. The 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine packs a nice 146 horsepower and revs aggressively just like other Mazda models. The throttle response is accurately linear, letting you go from 0 to 60 without any sudden lapses or drops in acceleration.
6. Fuel Efficiency
If you’re looking for the most eco-friendly car in this class, then you’ve found it. The 2018 Mazda CX-3 has by far the highest EPA estimates in its class. City driving lets this beast get up to 29 miles per gallon regularly. Upon test driving, this seems accurate. Highway driving averages between 33-35 miles per gallon. Overall, the combined EPA rating gives the CX-3 an astounding 31 mpg. At first glance, the gas tank itself may seem small - only measuring in at a maximum capacity of 11.9 gallons. But with its great gas mileage, the CX-3’s range extends to about 350 miles.
7. Responsive Braking
Many cars in this class feel extremely unresponsive when braking, particularly around corners. The 2018 Mazda CX-3 is the opposite. You can feel the rear of the car as you brake, especially during heavy cornering. While this may throw you off a bit at first, having a responsive back end on a car of this size is very useful.
8. Roomy Front Seats
The CX-3’s front seats have plenty of space, both for the driver and the passenger. Though headroom is average (around 38.5 inches), the car’s legroom measures at just under 42 inches. It’s easy to stretch your legs out quite comfortably.
9. Nice, Minimal Interior
Lately, many companies have started maximizing features on the interior of their cars. Mazda prefers to keep things simple, providing you the necessities with just a few extra comfort features. The leather on the seats is soft and not fussy, and the accents on interior styling are understated and stylish.
10. Bold Exterior
Mazda’s exteriors and facades are always bold and bright, and the CX-3 is no exception. The curves around the cabin accent the hood (and the engine beneath it), while the contouring on the rear of the car understates how compact it truly is.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2018 Mazda CX-3 – The Cons
1. Low Cargo Space for its Class
Most subcompact SUVs are known for still having a surprisingly large amount of space for cargo, but the 2018 Mazda CX-3 doesn’t have as much room as its competitors. There is significantly less room for storage when the back seats are up, but the CX-3 does gain some ground when the seats are folded down.
2. Lack of Features for Infotainment
Mazda has been slow to upgrade its infotainment system with new features. There are rumors that their system will be heavily upgraded next year, but the current 2018 models do not offer support for Apple or Android syncing, nor do they offer wireless charging or 4G wifi hotspots.
3. Multiple Blind Spots
Like most subcompact cars, the CX-3 suffers from significant blind spot coverage. Fortunately, the Touring and Grand Touring models both come with active blind-spot monitoring. However, you’ll have to be very aware of those blind spots if you choose not to go for the upgrades.
How it Stacks Up to the Competition
With such a crowded class, the 2018 Mazda CX-3 is sure to have strong competitors. Cars like the Honda CR-V and the Tesla Model X come to mind when talking about similar cars, but some aspects of those pale in comparison to the CX-3. The CX-3’s handling and responsiveness on the road are second to none.
If you are in the market for a new crossover vehicle, the CX-3 should be at the top of your list. With nimble handling and classy styling, this car is a joy to drive for short or long distances.
• Why buy a 2017 Mazda CX-3? w/ pros vs cons