2018 Mazda CX-Three
2.Zero-liter DOHC inline-four (146 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm; 146 lb-ft @ 2,800 rpm)
Six-speed guide, front-wheel drive
26 metropolis / 34 freeway / 29 mixed (NRCan Score, U.S. MPG)
9.Zero metropolis / 7.Zero freeway / eight.1 mixed (NRCan Score, L/100km)
27.Zero mpg [8.7 L/100 km] (Noticed)
Base Value: $21,050 (U.S) / $21,990 (Canada)
As Examined: $21,350 (U.S.) / $22,290 (Canada)
Costs embrace $940 vacation spot cost in america and $1,995 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, due to cross-border tools variations, can’t be instantly in contrast.
Does it matter that I believe it’s a hatchback? Within the minds of the customers Mazda is concentrating on, the modestly up to date 2018 Mazda CX-Three is a crossover, an ess-you-vee, a utility automobile.
We must make some allowance for the designation variations. The Mazda CX-Three presents all-wheel drive. The wheelarches are cladded in black plastic. The loftier experience top creates 6.1 inches of floor clearance, up from 5.5 inches within the Toyota Yaris iA, which is actually a Toyota-branded sedan model of the newest Mazda 2 (that’s by no means been offered in america) on which the CX-Three can be based mostly.
Let’s give in to Mazda’s advertising for a second, then. If the CX-Three “might result in spontaneous excursions,” how will it reply to a harvest season go to into Prince Edward Island’s limitless reserve of potato fields?
To make issues extra attention-grabbing, our CX-Three steed lacks Mazda’s non-compulsory all-wheel drive in addition to Mazda USA’s commonplace computerized transmission. Rely’em: there are three pedals.
It was solely final Friday afternoon buddy requested whether or not my oldest boy wish to survey a potato farmer’s operations. We headed throughout the island to go to a farm in Middleton the place we watched the smallest storage constructing shortly swallow tens of millions of kilos of potatoes: flooring to ceiling, wall to wall. Hopping in a potato truck, one in all an unlimited fleet of crimson vans which might be scarcely used exterior of a short autumn stretch in PEI’s economically very important potato harvest, a three-year-old’s desires got here true as we meandered alongside a harvester in Kinkora. Minutes later, the potatoes have been dropped off once more in Middleton. And on the cycle goes.
“That is prime Mazda CX-Three territory,” mentioned nobody, ever.Certainly, growing floor clearance by six-tenths of an inch does not flip the CX-Three right into a mud-flinging, rock-crawling, snowbank-blasting off-roader. The 2018 Mazda CX-Three, particularly with Mazda Canada’s newest six-speed guide transmission dropping the bottom value beneath CAD $20,000, is extra about getting to the sector than really crossing the sector. Reasonably prolonged grass angrily pings off the undercarriage. Minivan drivers look down upon CX-Three drivers like F-150 Raptor house owners observing occupants of comparatively low-slung Jeep Grand Cherokees. The absence of pushed rear wheels makes parking in sandy patches of PEI’s famously crimson grime roads probably problematic.
However reasonably than trying on the two-year-old CX-Three as an inauthentic try and foist fake “crossover” credentials upon a subcompact automobile, think about the CX-Three is a hilariously enjoyable different to the Encores, HR-Vs, and Outlander Sports activities of the world. Just like the CX-Three, they lack the power to criss-cross a potato area. Not like the CX-Three, they’re lacking the chassis, steering, shifter, and rev-happy powerplant that may make the journey to the potato area a pleasure.Granted, the CX-Three doesn’t have the versatile house of rival subcompact crossovers, a fleet of automobiles that isn’t extensively identified for plentiful inside quantity. We squeezed little one seats into the again of the 2018 CX-Three, however solely by transferring the entrance seats right into a dangerously uncomfortable zone. The CX-Three’s bite-size dimensions compromise different components, too. The Mazda Join controllers are tucked awkwardly into the middle console the place the armrest impedes operation. The clutch pedal on this automobile is much too near the useless pedal, however the place else is it to go? Cargo quantity, in the meantime, measures a paltry 12.four cubic ft, eight fewer than the Mazda Three hatch, 12 fewer than within the HR-V.
You knew all that, after all, as a result of our former managing editor took a 2016 Mazda CX-Three tenting. The guide transmission that isn’t on Mazda USA’s CX-Three spec sheet, nevertheless, strengthens the CX-Three’s dynamic case. Mazda’s experience in establishing a correct guide shifter ends in an abundance of pointless shifts only for the sake of shifting. Clutch effort is mild however feelsome. The 146-horsepower 2.Zero-liter isn’t become a drag racer by the insertion of a guide shifter, however private management over the proceedings brings a degree of vigor to the inline-four that was beforehand untapped.
It’s not simply the guide transmission, both. The CX-Three’s full of life steering is married properly to the bottom mannequin’s smaller 16-inch wheels, which remove the crashiness that may be exhibited by CX-3s on 18s. Presumably benefiting from Mazda’s G-Vectoring management for 2018, the CX-Three’s steering rack isn’t discernibly totally different exterior of back-to-back drives, but it’s not stunning to see Mazda — of all corporations — honing the CX-Three’s dynamic attraction.
Past dynamics, the CX-Three’s inside supplies make the smallest non-Miata Mazda really feel extra expensive than its MSRP. Mazda additionally upgraded door seals, thickened glass, and added sound deadening to lower noise in 2018 fashions. It’s noticeable.
Due to the guide transmission, the 2018 Mazda CX-Three’s Canadian marketed base value falls $700 to $19,995, undercutting the Nissan Qashqai by three loonies. (The CX-Three prices $21,990 with charges.) The CX-Three, after all, does what the Qashqai and most rivals exterior the Nissan Juke and Mini Countryman don’t do: main on enjoyable. Even with out the guide transmission, that’s been a profitable components in Canada, the place the CX-Three has routinely outsold all rivals other than the Honda HR-V.
In america, however, a guide transmission could be concerning the final merchandise to boost the CX-Three’s dropping case. Individuals don’t hanker after subcompact Mazdas, and those who do want extra expensive trims and all-wheel drive.
[Images: © 2017 Timothy Cain/The Truth About Cars]
Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Fact About Automobiles and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.web. Observe on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.