Joel Patel
Automotive Editor - September 11, 2017

2018 Mazda CX-3 OVERVIEW

Despite being one of the newest entries in the compact crossover segment, the Mazda CX-3 has already carved a name for itself with its edgy exterior, peppy powertrain, and sporty handling. While the CX-3 may have a similar ride height to its competitors, Mazda's engineers have found a way to make the vehicle behave like a tall hatchback, making it a standout option in a rapidly-expanding segment.

What's New for 2018

The most substantial change for the 2018 CX-3 is the addition of Mazda’s Smart City Brake Support system – forward collision warning with low-speed automatic emergency braking to the layman – as standard across the entire range of trims. It was optional on the range-topping Grand Touring trim last year and can automatically apply the vehicle’s brakes at speeds below 19 miles per hour.

In addition to the new safety system, the CX-3 gets the automaker’s G-Vectoring Control, which, according to Mazda, should improve the crossover’s handling. But Mazda didn’t stop there, as the automaker revised the chassis and steering for improved handling, sound suppression, and comfort, as well.

The CX-3 also gets a few new features, including a full-color head-up dipslay, a heated steering wheel, and a power driver’s seat with memory settings. Pricing for the CX-3 has increased modestly, with the entry-level front-wheel-drive Sport trim starting at $21,050 (all prices include the $940 destination fee), an increase of $150 over the previous model that started at $20,900.

Mazda CX-3

Choosing Your Mazda CX-3

All CX-3 trims are powered by 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 146 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque. The engine is matched to a six-speed automatic gearbox with manual-shift and a Sport mode. Available in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, CX-3 trims that send their power to the front wheels are capable of returning up to 29 miles per gallon in the city, 34 on the highway, and 31 combined. All-wheel-drive trims get two mpg less than their two-wheel-drive counterparts.

Featuring Mazda’s “Kodo” design philosophy, all CX-3 trims have the same exciting look, although its stylish lines come at the expense of cargo space. The CX-3's tiny trunk is only capable of holding up to 12.4 cubic feet of cargo behind the second row, barely half of some competitors.

The CX-3 is available in there different trims.


The CX-3 Sport starts at $21,050 for front-wheel drive, while opting for all-wheel drive raises the price to $22,300. The Sport trim is lightly equipped, power windows, power door locks, push-button start, cloth seats, a seven-inch color touch screen, six-speaker audio system, and a rear-view camera. Like we said, it's lightly equipped.

And it doesn't get much better, either. Aside from the usual array of dealer-installed accessories and three lovely shades of premium paints – the $200 Snowflake White and the $300 Soul Red and Machine Gray – there's no real way to elevate the CX-3's price without stepping up to the next trim.


The CX-3 Touring is priced at $23,135 for front-wheel drive, while the all-wheel-drive system is an additional $1,250.

The mid-level trim replaces the Sport’s 16-inch alloy wheels with larger, 18-inch ones, while leatherette and Lux Suede upholstery replace the cloth. Other standard features on the Touring include: automatic climate control, rain-sensing windshield wipers, auto on/off headlights, heated front seats, heated side mirrors, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and passive entry with push-button start.

The only available package for the Touring trim is the Preferred Equipment Package ($1,410), which was previously known as the Premium Package, and adds a seven-speaker Bose audio system, a moonroof, SiriusXM satellite radio, and a cargo cover.

Grand Touring

The top-of-the-line Grand Touring trim costs $26,105 with power going to the front wheels, while the all-wheel-drive version is priced at $27,355. The GT adds leather seats, navigation, LED headlights, foglights, and daytime running lights, paddle shifters, and a head-up display as standard.

The GT Premium Package ($1,435) introduces the real goodies, including adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, full-speed automatic emergency braking, automatic high beams, a six-way driver’s seat, a heated steering wheel, traffic sign recognition, power driver’s lumbar support, and a two-position driver memory seat.

CarsDirect Tip

With the addition of Smart City Brake Support as standard on all trims, the base CX-3 Touring now becomes the most attractive trim out of the entire lineup. Spending an additional $1,250 for all-wheel drive is a worthwhile purchase, as it brings Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control with it and all-year usability.

Get your price on a Mazda CX-3 »

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