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2016 Mazda CX-3 GT Long-Term Test: Update No. 1

Plenty of revelations after just 3,000 km By ,

We’ve already told you why we decided to keep the Mazda CX-3 after our subcompact crossover comparison, and 3,000 kilometres later it’s time for us to give you a first update. It was I, Olivier Delorme, who got to spend most of the time with the little champ.

First of all, the cabin is tight -- tighter even than the Mazda3 Sport. Shocking, right? Being the CX-5’s smaller sibling, the CX-3 had to make some sacrifices in terms of interior room. Don’t expect to fit five people comfortably, let alone their luggage.

My better half and I have two kids (age 4 and 2) and let me tell you that none of us like to go on long road trips with the Mazda CX-3. The kid’s feet are pressed against the front seatbacks, and as a driver there is probably nothing more irritating than repeatedly being kicked in the back. On the bright side, the trunk is still big enough for a short weekend away from home, especially with the compartment under the cargo floor.

Another complaint: the USB port can’t seem to handle both charging my smartphone and allowing me to use it at the same time (Spotify, Google Maps, etc.). I once plugged in my phone with an 83% charge, and after two hours of driving the battery was pretty much at the same level.

Other than that, I have only positive things to write about the 2016 Mazda CX-3 GT.

What a looker! From any angle, this diminutive crossover makes a bold statement with sharp lines and a low, athletic stance. Up front, the LED headlights add to its racy looks. The Ceramic Metallic finish of our tester is definitely my favourite from the available colour selection. This is KODO at its finest.

As for the powertrain, I have three words for you: SKYACTIV, SKYACTIV, and more SKYACTIV! First, there’s the 2.0L engine, which works superbly in the Mazda CX-3. Then there’s the 6-speed automatic transmission, which further increases the fun factor. Last, but not least, is the agile, dynamic chassis that gives you the strong impression of driving a Mazda3. No wonder the CX-3 won our latest Small Crossover Comparison!

One final note to talk about: Mazda’s i-ACTIV all-wheel drive system. During my time with the CX-3 GT we went through two major snowstorms, so I had plenty of occasions to test its mettle. Suffice it to say, I never got stuck (or even feared getting stuck) and that the vehicle remained beautifully balanced at all times, whether I attempted to change lanes on the highway or do some drifting in an empty parking lot. The Mazda CX-3 is essentially a Mazda3 with AWD!

Come back in a few weeks for our Long-Term Test Update No. 2!