2020 Mazda CX-3


The 2020 Mazda CX-3 is a subcompact SUV that retains the company’s upper-class styling and overall driving experience. I found my pearl white CX-3 tester had sharp looking bodywork and an attractive interior. The price of the CX-3, as tested, was at $33,195. I would say, the 2020 CX-3 will satisfy people who want a subcompact SUV for the looks with all the bells and whistles, while perhaps sacrificing people and cargo space.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance:

The 2020 CX-3 features a SKYACTIV-G 2.0L inline 4-cylinder engine which produces horsepower of 148 @ 6,000 RPM and 146 lb-ft of torque @ 2,800 RPM. It comes with a SKYACTIV – Drive six speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. I liked the engine’s rev-happy nature because it adds that raciness feeling. I preferred driving the CX-3 in manual, tiptronic mode while driving in the city because I liked the feel of how I could shift the gears effortlessly. Moreover, driving in sport mode while on the freeway adds a different feel and dimension to the CX-3 which I found very appealing. However, the engine itself sounded coarse, particularly at high speeds on the freeway. I found the engine did not respond as well I had hoped for and it hesitated at times, which was a negative point against the CX-3’s engine performance. Overall, the CX-3 was joyful to drive but I was not going to win a race while I drove this subcompact SUV. The CX-3 has a well-tuned suspension system which responded well to my every turn while I was driving. As a result, this makes the CX-3 quick and easy to drive from the start line.   

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo:

I found the CX-3’s cabin was very well laid out and amazingly detailed for a subcompact SUV. However, I found the seating to be more on the firm side and I was not a fan of the leg room. I had to remind myself this was not a full-sized SUV and the leg room was adequate for a subcompact SUV. The first impression from a passenger sitting inside the CX-3 was provided to me by my mother. I was showing her the SUV and its interior and we took it for a spin. My mom said even though the liked the vehicle, she still would prefer full-sized SUV’s.

The rear passenger space is limited which is warranted for this SUV. When I viewed the rear passenger space, I came to the conclusion that even though the CX-3 has seating for up to five adults, I would recommend travelling with four adults and leaving the middle rear seat empty for added space. As for the cabin, it featured textured plastics and soft leather. The soft leather provided a nice high-end finish to the CX-3 and I was a fan of it. One of the nice features of the CX-3 was the chrome detailing for the air vents. In my opinion, the air vents were very well laid out and they helped bring out the CX-3’s masculinity which I found stood out on its own. The climate control system is more on the simplified side because it features three large rotary knobs. The climate control system was easy to use and adjust while driving without having to compromise one’s focus from the road.

As for cargo space, the CX-3 has decent rear trunk space to store a couple of suit cases for a family or couples wanting to go for a quick getaway. I am a fan of full-sized SUVs and I found the rear trunk space of the CX-3 to be small for my liking. As for the CX-3 competing against other subcompact SUV’s in the market, the CX-3 has one of the most spacious rear trunk space in its category.

Some of the nice added touches to the CX-3 include heated Front seats and a heated steering wheel, great for the cold winter months. The front had two very well sized cup holders which open at the push of a button and they could hold more than your Tall or Venti sized Starbucks drink.

Overall, the cabin maybe cramped, but I would say, the CX-3 has a nice finishing touch to it.

Infotainment and Connectivity:

The CX-3 comes equipped with a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The touchscreen is easy to use; however, I did not like putting dirty fingerprints or smudges on the screen. As a result, I was a huge fan of the rotary-knob controller which was featured on the center console and was within the driver’s reach without having the need to touch the screen. I found the rotary-knob a nicely added touch because I am a high maintenance individual when it comes to my vehicles and the CX-3 tester was no exception. The infotainment system took some time to get used to; however, once I got accustomed, it was a breeze to navigate. The Bose Audio system with 7 speakers definitely packs a punch and I loved how crisp and clean it sounded with the windows up or down. The navigation system was easy to use and the maps loaded up fairly quickly without any hiccups. The Bluetooth connectivity was simple to sync and connect to mobile phones for hands free talking while on the road.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features:

The CX-3 comes complete with a suite of safety features, including Pedestrian Detection, which detects pedestrians at speeds between 10 and 80 km/ hour. Another feature which I found “Cool” was the Smart City Brake Support (SCBS). This feature is about when the driver is travelling at speeds between 4-30 km/ hour, SCBS detects objects ahead and prepares the vehicle by adjusting brake pads closer to the disc. If no driver action is taken, the system automatically applies the brakes. Another safety feature which goes well with the SCBS is the Smart Brake Support (SBS), the SBS can help avoid or reduce the severity of a collision at speeds about 16km / hour and will alert the driver and apply the brakes in the case of an impending collision. I like the safety features which the CX-3 comes equipped with because they help with avoiding pedestrians and reducing the severity of a collision. Moreover, the CX-3 comes with a rear-view camera, which I may state is crystal clear with no lag when switching from the park gear to reverse and into drive.

All in all, I would say with the safety and driver-assisted features which the CX-3 comes equipped with, it scores high on the safety scale and I would feel comfortable recommending the CX-3 to young couples and even the older generation which would like to get into the subcompact SUV market.


In my opinion, after driving the 2020 Mazda CX-3 for a week, I have come up with the following final verdict. The CX-3 handles well and provides an amazingly high-end interior cabin, for the price point of $33,195, as tested. It comes with all the bells and whistles a serious buyer would want from their brand-new vehicle. The CX-3, it is a very well-built subcompact SUV and I know it will be a huge hit with the crowd wanting to get into the SUV market without having to pay the prices of a full-sized SUV.



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