The Mazda CX-3 is a subcompact crossover SUV produced by the Japanese automotive company Mazda. The CX-3 was unveiled in late 2014 for the 2016 model year. The 2022 Mazda CX-3 is part of the fourth-generation model with several upgrades.
In this review, we are going to take a look at the factors that make the CX-3 worth the attention, but also take a look at areas that need some improvement. We hope by the end we will have helped you in making a decision on whether this car has what it takes to serve your needs. Please follow through.
What changed on the 2022 Mazda CX-3
Not much has changed on the 2022 CX-3 compared to the 2020 model. The most notable change is the upgrade on the automatic LED headlights that have received effectual upgrades and the standard automatic emergency braking (AEB) that now features night pedestrian detection.
The 2022 CX-3 comes fitted with a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder petrol engine with 178 hp. This engine is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. It’s not a very powerful engine, but it manages quick acceleration without too much hassle.
This engine makes the CX-3 one of the best compact SUVs with regard to fuel consumption. In its standard front-wheel drive, the CX-3 has an EPA-estimated 12.33 km/l in urban use and 14.45 km/l on the highway. If you opt for the all-wheel-drive model the estimates are 11.8 km/l for urban use and 13.6 km/l on the highway.
Responsive Ride and Handling
One thing that Mazdas seem to have in common is an engaging driving experience, and the 2022 CX-3 is no exception. The CX-3 is one of the most athletic handling cars in the class. Its responsive and sharp steering linked with reliable braking allows this sporty crossover to make its way around the corners with ease and comfort.
Good Safety Rating and Features
Crash Test Results
The NHTSA gave the 2022 CX-3 5 out of 5 stars for overall safety, 5 out of 5 stars in the side and frontal crash tests, and 4 out of 5 stars in the rollover evaluation.
The IIHS named the CX-3 a Top Safety Pick+, the organization’s highest honor, and also gave it the highest rating of ‘Good’ in six total crash tests and the second-highest rating of ‘Acceptable’ for how efficiently its headlights illuminate the road.
IIHS also gave the CX-3 the highest rating of ‘Superior’ for collision avoidance features for its standard head-on collision crash prevention system, while the standard pedestrian collision avoidance system earned the mid-level rating of ‘Advanced’.
The CX-3 comes fitted with Mazdas i-Activsense suite standard. The system includes safety features such as automatic emergency braking, forward-collision warning, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality, day and night pedestrian detection, automatic high-beam LED headlights, lane departure warning, adaptive headlights, a head-up display, rain-sensing windshield wipers, rear cross-traffic alert, a rearview camera, blind-spot monitoring.
A Plethora of Standard and Optional Features
The 2022 Mazda CX-3 comes fitted with plenty of standard features that include cloth upholstery, push-button start, manually adjustable front seats, remote keyless entry, and automatic climate control.
Other attributes include soft-touch surfaces, the absence of plastics, and accent materials with sophisticated styling features.
Modern Interior and Infotainment System
The CX-3 interior is modern and luxurious. The cabin’s styling is superb and finished with premium materials with plenty of soft-touch points.
Mazda has made the Mazda Connect Infotainment system standard on the 2022 CX-3. The system accepts inputs from the rotary knob placed on the center console or via its responsive touch screen. Standard features on this system include a 7.0-inch touchscreen, a six-speaker stereo, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB port, and Voice recognition.
Although the standard engine on the CX-3 is efficient and quick, it struggles when it comes to passing vehicles on the freeway, hence requiring more power which equals more acceleration, and this triggers some noise as the engine is under heavy strain. Unfortunately, the CX-3 cabin is not well-shielded against noise, as it allows some of the engine noise into the cabin which is very disappointing. These noise leaks will require the driver to increase the volume of the radio, or if there is a conversation between passengers, they’ll have to raise their voices.
The Mazda CX-3 has a compact cabin that’s built to accommodate five passengers, but due to its sloping roofline, headroom for rear seat occupants is limited. Apart from headroom, the rear seat of the CX-3 is short of legroom, knee room, shoulder room, and foot room which makes it undesirable for adults and appropriate for kids. But with all these drawbacks, the CX-3 is still a good car for daily commutes, but families should not forget about these drawbacks.
Restricted Cargo Volume
In reality, all subcompact crossover SUVs do not have as much cargo space compared to large SUVs. But when we compare the CX-3s 504-liter cargo area with its competitors in the class, you find its cargo area particularly cramped. With the second-row seat folded down, you get a maximum of 1209 liters of cargo space, still, it is not good enough compared to its competitors.
Inferior Ground Clearance
The Mazda CX-3 is a crossover SUV that sits a bit low for an SUV, which diminishes the traditional road presence attributes of an SUV. Compared to other SUVs, the ground clearance of the CX-3 is inferior.
With that said, its suspensions can sometimes feel stiff, and large road defects hardly go unnoticed when encountering them.
Lacks Latest Comfort Features
The latest cars come fitted with plenty of features for comfort. The CX-3 lags behind in this as it lacks common features such as power-adjustable seats or heated seats. These features are very common in other models, even on lower trims. The CX-3 offers only a six-way manually adjustable driver’s seat.
The 2022 Mazda CX-3 is one of the most fun-to-drive, sporty, and well-built subcompact SUVs available. It has great fuel efficiency and features a host of standard safety features. But if you fancy passenger space, cargo room, or a powerful engine, this won’t be the right car for you, you better keep shopping around the class for something better.
Written by: Samuel H. Mponezya