When shopping for little CUVs these days the market is flooded left and right with all sorts of models. But while some have amazing value or space, some remain a simple delight. Meet the Mazda Cx-3, no it’s not an all-new model. And no it doesn’t have a turbo. What it does have is a manual transmission. But why in 2018 does this matter?

_DSC4001Mazda’s always created vehicles that drive remarkably well. Ever since the Mazda 3 came out back in 2004 along with its new slogan of “zoom-zoom” all of their cars just have a different feel to them, unlike some other manufacturers where it seems they just gave up and gone full beige.

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This particular Cx-3 as mentioned does have a manual transmission, all-new option for 2018 only available for the base model it’s actually a great successor to the old Mazda 2. The 2 has been discontinued for a while now but the CX-3 is based on the same platform but since everyone wants that SUV styling this is what Mazda had to do to compete. From the outside, there’s nothing to show that it’s anything new, the Kodo design language is still beautiful with its curves and lines throughout the body of the car. It seems the vehicle is in motion while standing still.

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Inside the Cx-3 is not as bare bones as the price would suggest, A/C, a 7″ screen, USB connectivity as well as Bluetooth is all standard, better yet the interior looks and feels amazing. The fit and finish is remarkable for an entry-level model, panel gaps are tight with nice curves that flow from the cowl down to the top of the door cards.

_DSC4013Seats wise the front buckets are quite thin, but they offer plenty of support and are comfortable even for the longest of journeys but it’s nothing spectacular.

_DSC4019For the back, these seats are tight, headroom is decent with the high roofline but legroom is noticeably smaller than the HRV.

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The trunk in the CX-3 is pretty tight, the bumper design makes for a higher load in height than liked. However, the rear section does have a false floor that can be removed allowing for about 6 inches of added depth. But even with the depth, it’ll be hard to fit a full-size stroller without setting one of the seats back down.

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Behind the wheel, the little 2.0L Skyactive 4 Cylinder that puts out 146 hp and torque is more than adequate for this 1238KG frame. A weight savings of 24KG comparing to the auto this little cx-3 can move, especially with a well-executed heal toe downshift will make you think this is an MX-5. Throughout the years, it’s good to see that Mazda has not lost it’s touch to make all their cars a jewel to drive.

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Overall the CX-3 is an excellent vehicle for the person that’s focused on driving. For the one who wants an experience rather than just a drive. It’s smaller than the comparable HR-V, but there’s not much out there that is as driver-focused as this. Price, as tested with the manual, is $22,015 making it one of the most affordable fun to drive cars on the market.

 

Big thanks to Mazda Canada for the CX-3, and thank you SO much for keeping the passion alive.