2018 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring FWD

2018 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring FWD

Test Drive

Written by Marco Carvajal
Photographs by Mazda


The Mazda CX-3 is offering drivers a wonderful subcompact crossover SUV for an affordable low price with several standard features for a lower price than many of its competitors.


The Mazda CX-3 is a subcompact SUV manufactured in Japan. It is based on the same platform as the Mazda2. It was revealed to the public in 2014, and came as a production vehicle of the 2016 model year. By 2018, the Mazda CX-3 includes several updates that improve some of its best features.

The Mazda CX-3 is available in three trim levels:

Sport, Touring and Grand Touring.

Mazda designers have improved and updated the cabin of the CX-3. The 2018 modes comes with updated suspension bushings, new front lower control levers, recalibrated shock absorbers and new engine mounts designed to use in the CX-3, that are already leading in class chassis dynamics.  Improved door seals and sound-absorbing mats.

The six-speed automatic transmission matches very well this two-liter engine.

According to Mazda’s design director Derek Jenkins, the CX-3 developed the Kodo design language, what means smooth, soft, volumetric forms with expressive gaze.

Prices & Versions

Mazda has always being able to create the perfect mix between price and value. The CX-3 continues the brand strategy to sell beautiful cars with a lot of standard features but at a low price. the CX-3 Grand Touring costs only $25K. If you want to pay less, the CX-3 Sport starts at only 20K.


Model Approximate Price
CX-3 Sport FWD Starting at $20,110
CX-3 Touring FWD Starting at $22,195
CX-3 Grand Touring FWD Starting at $25,165



2018 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring FWD



Front-Wheel Drive


SKYACTIV-Drive 6-Speed automatic transmission with manual-shift and Sport mode

2.0L DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder with VVT


146 hp @ 6,000 rpm


146 lb-ft @ 2,800 rpm

Fuel Tank

12.7 gal

Fuel Economy MPG


Combined Estimated MPG

29 city / 34 Hwy

CX-3 Exterior

The CX-3 is a very attractive crossover from any angle you look.

The 2018 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring is bold, dynamic and full of stylish details.

The look of the CX-3 is enhanced by a long hood with a smooth expressive line flowing to the front wings and running along the sidewall. The huge wheel arches draw attention to the chic 18-inch wheels of the Grand Touring CX-3, and16-inch wheels offered for less expensive trim levels. The glazing of the cabin is minimized, but this did not affect the visibility, it is still at a high level. Such details as LEDs in the head and rear optics give the car charm and aggressiveness.

Exterior Features Included in the CX-3

  • Roof-mounted “shark fin” antenna
  • LED Daytime Running Lights
  • LED headlights with auto leveling
  • Auto On/Off headlights
  • Adaptive Front-lighting System
  • LED fog lights
  • LED Combination taillights
  • Body-colored power side mirrors with integrated turn signals
  • Heated side mirrors
  • Body-color door handles
  • Silver side body garnish
  • Silver front grille garnish
  • Rear roofline spoiler
  • Rain-sensing variable-intermittent windshield wipers
  • Intermittent rear wiper/washer

Wheels & Tires

  • Wheel size (in) 18 x 7.0 aluminum alloy
  • Wheel size and type P215/50 R18
  • Temporary spare tire T125/90 16


  • Wheelbase (in) 101.2
  • Track, front (in) 60.0
  • Track, rear (in) 59.9
  • Length, without license plate holder (in) 168.3
  • Width (in) 69.6
  • Height (in) 60.9
  • Minimum Ground Clearance, Laden (in) 6.2

Interior of the CX-3

The CX-3 has neat and ergonomic interior with a nice finish. The GT Premium package on the top of the CX-3, available only for the Grand Touring FWD, includes a cruise control system, a smart Brake for highway speeds, a high beam control and several new features that include a 6-position driver’s seat, position memory for the driver’s seat, heated steering wheel and more.

Comfort & Convenience

  • Automatic climate control with pollen filter
  • Power windows with driver’s one-touch down/up feature
  • Power sliding-glass moonroof with one-touch-open feature and interior sunshade
  • Power door locks with 2-stage unlocking
  • Push button start
  • Cruise control with steering wheel mounted controls
  • Front and rear overhead lights
  • Rear heater ducts
  • Rear window defogger with timer
  • Remote fuel door release
  • Manual day/night rearview mirror
  • Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry System
  • Steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters
  • Tilt and telescopic steering column
  • Dual covered visor vanity mirrors
  • 12-volt power outlet


  • Glove compartment
  • Overhead console with sunglass holder
  • Front cupholders
  • Front and rear door bottle holders/storage
  • Front passenger seatback pocket
  • Cargo area light
  • Tonneau cover

Seating & Trim

  • 60/40 split fold-down rear seats
  • Rear seat headrests
  • Lux Suede® door trim with red arm rests
  • Red center console knee pads
  • Heated front seats (3 levels)
  • 6-way manual driver’s seat
  • Leather-trimmed sport seats with Lux Suede® inserts
  • Leather-wrapped shift knob
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Leather-wrapped parking brake handle
  • Carpet floor mats

Audio & Infotainment

  • 7″ full-color touch screen display
  • Bluetooth19 hands free phone & audio capability
  • Bose 7-speaker audio system
  • HD Radio
  • Mazda Connect Infotainment System3
    – Infotainment system voice command
    – Multifunction Commander Control
    – Radio Broadcast Data System program information
    – Aha™ internet radio integration
    – Pandora internet radio integration
    – Stitcher internet radio integration
    – SMS text message audio delivery and reply
    – E911 automatic emergency notification
  • Mazda Navigation System
  • SiriusXM Satellite Radio with 4-month trial subscription9
  • Auxiliary-audio input jack
  • USB audio input
  • Steering-wheel-mounted audio, cruise and phone controls


  • Active Driving Display
  • Full instrumentation including, tachometer, and fuel level gauge
  • Black gauges with white lettering and silver surround
  • Ambient temperature & digital clock
  • Trip computer

Interior Dimensions & Capacities

  • Headroom, front/rear (in) 37.6 / 37.2
  • Shoulder room, front/rear (in) 53.5 / 50.4
  • Hip room, front/rear (in) 52.3 / 49.0
  • Legroom, front/rear (in) 41.7 / 35.0
  • Cargo volume – behind rear seats (cu ft) 10.1
  • Cargo volume – 2nd-row seats folded (cu ft) 42.3


The Mazda CX-3 is an attractive Japanese subcompact SUV priced low starting at 20K and including several standard features that are usually optional in other cards. The 2018 CX-3 received many updates that improve some of its best features. The CX-3 is available in three trim levels: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring.

Among its competitors we can find the Honda HR-V, Nissan JUKE, Ford Escape, the FIAT 500X, Kia Soul, Jeep Renegade, Toyota C-HR, Nissan Rogue Sport and the Chevrolet Trax.

The Honda HR-V wins with more  interior space. The Kia Soul wins with more features for less money. But the CX-3 wins with sporty handling and beautiful luxury interior. The CX-3 also offers the option of all-wheel drive, something that some of its competitors like the Kia Soul do not include.

Among many interesting features, low-speed automatic emergency braking is standard for all 2018 CX-3s. If you add the additional Preferred Equipment package this also includes automatic emergency braking for high speeds, lane assistance with adaptive cruise control, blind spot warning and a warning about cross traffic from the rear are standard for the Grand Touring trim.

The exterior and interior look of the CX-3 is very beautiful and stylish, especially considering its low price. It is a great SUV offering too much style and value.

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Marco Carvajal has many years of experience in the editorial world, in the entertainment industry including events, cars, music and other fields. He also has a wide experience on business, e-business and e-commerce. He is actively involved in the editorial department as a contributing writer. His passion for automobiles, travel and art supports the development of car publications in an original and unique way, as a leader in the automobile editorial industry, nationwide in the United States and international territories. Marco graduated from the University of Miami, in addition to additional studies at other universities and institutions. In the field of business he has created several enterprises and multinational projects related to publishing and entertainment. As a writer, the number one goal for Marco Carvajal is to be able to communicate clear information easy to understand for our subscribers, in an easy language, very detailed, about automobiles and lifestyle. He also likes to show a different perspective, with innovative style, about the information and characteristics of each car, mostly oriented to the daily life, about what each person may want learn about each car, thinking on the practical daily use of cars in real life. Marco Carvajal tiene muchísimos años de experiencia en el mundo editorial, en la industria del entretenimiento incluyendo eventos, autos, música y otros, así como gran experiencia en los negocios, e-business y e-commerce. Se envuelve activamente en el desarrollo del departamento editorial como escritor. Su pasión por los autos, viajar y el arte, le ayudan a desarrollarse de una forma original y única, como un líder en la industria editorial automotriz a nivel nacional en Estados Unidos y otros territorios internacionales. Marco se graduó de la Universidad de Miami, además de haber realizado estudios y cursos en otras universidades e instituciones. En el área de negocio ha fundado varias empresas y creado varios proyectos multinacionales en el área editorial y del entretenimiento. Como escritor, la meta número uno de Marco Carvajal es lograr transmitir información sobre automóviles fácil de entender para los lectores, en un idioma sencillo, los más detallada posible. Además de lograr mostrar un lado diferente e innovador sobre la información y características de cada auto, principalmente orientado a lo cotidiano, a lo que cada persona puede aprender sobre cada automóvil, pensando en la vida diaria, en el uso de cada auto en la vida práctica.

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