2016 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring


Thanks to DriveShop, I had the chance to test drive another Mazda and this time it was the 2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring AWD.

I was actually really excited about this one because I’ve driven other Mazda cars in the past and couldn’t wait to see how this one compared. It arrived in a brilliant bright blue color and the contrast immediately drew my attention. The Mazda CX-3 seats up to 5 passengers and makes your driving experience very safe and comfortable.


Light Fest and Driving in the Dark

I took Zach to our annual Light Fest show at night and you basically drive down a long road with curves and turns and admire the lights for the holidays. It was such a magical experience for him, and the Mazda CX-3 made the experience even more comforting for me as a driver. I really got to put the Mazda CX-3 to the test during our drive because the roads were a little icy, it was rainy, it was dark, and there were a lot of curves and turns.

I really appreciated the high-beam headlights featured on this car. The area we were in was pitch black except for the festive lights that would pop up every now and then during our drive, so this was a great feature to have. The high beam control provided ample amount of light and would automatically switch to low beam when it detected oncoming traffic. It also improved visibility for me while we would turn because the headlights actually pivot up to 15 degrees in the direction I turn, allowing me to spot everything.

It was raining a lot during the Light Fest and I was a little nervous about all the curves and turns we were going to experience, but the Mazda CX-3 quickly adapted to every twist and turn. The i-ACTIV AWD® all-wheel-drive system constantly monitors every move and helps optimize torque distribution and traction keeping you safe during harsh weather conditions so you don’t slip. The 18-inch aluminum alloy wheels had great traction during the changing weather conditions which made me feel safe turning as much as I did in the rain.


Mazda CX-3 Safety Features I Love

Some safety features in the Mazda CX-3 that I really appreciated were definitely the cameras and radars. There is a rear traffic alert system with a camera in the back of the vehicle that detects vehicles approaching from the back and side if you are reversing and it alerts you with an audible warning. I really liked this feature because even if a car was still really far away it would still let me know ahead of time. There is a lane departure warning system that will alert you if the car is unintentionally departing from its lane.

Another feature I love is the blind spot monitoring system which will alert you with a visual light in your side mirror as well as an alert when there is a car in your blind spot. This is so helpful but like I always say, do not rely solely on this feature– always check your blind spot! There is also a Smart Brake Support system in place that will automatically apply the brakes when you’re traveling above 10mph if the car detects objects ahead and warns you that braking is necessary. The active driving display is great because it makes you less distracted by projecting important information, like the speedometer, directly in front of you while allowing you to focus on the road ahead.


Comfort and Design

Some features that made me feel really comfortable in the Mazda CX-3 was the automatic climate control that allow both my passengers and I to adjust the temperatures to our liking. There are heated front seats up to three levels which is always a luxury to me, especially during cold Michigan weather.

The Mazda CX-3 has a very sporty interior and vibe to me which is something I enjoy because it makes being in the car even more luxurious. The colors have a nice contrast which enhances the overall design and the leather and suede combination makes it look so sleek.


Entertainment and Display

There are audio controls on the steering wheel which makes it more convenient and safe for you to switch through your favorite tunes or answer phone calls without dividing too much attention. There is a commander control knob near the armrest which also allows you toggle through your menu, radio, and navigation preferences and settings. The 7 inch full-color touch screen display works effortlessly and when the car is in drive you can easily use the commander control instead.

Some features included in the Mazda Connect™ Infotainment System2 are the voice command, radio, Pandora® internet radio as well as Stitcher™, SMS text message audio delivery and reply as well as bluetooth. I usually just use the bluetooth because I always perfect my own music to the radio, so I love using it for answering phone calls and listening to music as well.


Seating and Storage

The Mazda seats up to 5 passengers which is perfect for me. The seats in the back row fold down in a 60/40 split which is perfect for adding more storage when you need it. There isn’t a ton of leg room in the back, but the seats are really comfortable with the contrasting fabrics of suede and leather. Also included at the LATCH child-safety-seat anchors and upper tether anchors, which is perfect if you have a little one who still uses a car seat or booster seat.


Overall, I really enjoyed the Mazda CX-3 for a nice simple yet sporty car. It definitely satisfies my level of necessities in a car in terms of seating capacity and storage while still allowing for some luxury features like the heated seats and Infotainment system. I was really drawn to the interior design of the car because it gave it a really sleek look while still providing comfort through amazing safety features that I got to put to the test.

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What was your favorite feature of the Mazda CX-3?