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2016 Mazda CX-3 GT Long-Term Test

It’s nearly that simple… A few weeks ago, we put a subcompact crossover comparison test together in which it participated -- and won. 

The hotly contested and increasingly popular small CUV segment is what 2015 was essentially all about. No fewer than four new entries stormed the segment that Nissan created with the JUKE five years ago. The other three players included the Jeep Renegade, Fiat 500X and Honda HR-V. 

So yeah, the CX-3 won. Shortly thereafter, it also took AJAC’s Best New SUV/CUV (under $35k) and most recently, our Auto123 2016 Compact Utility of the Year Award. The CX-3 is a winner. And we liked it so much that we negotiated the release of our tester not at the beginning of the week following the test; no, we told Mazda Canada to expect to see their Ceramic White AWD GT sometime around April Fool’s next year. 

Truth be told, it didn’t go down quite that way, but you get the idea. Mazda’s little ute stole our collective hearts with solid performance from its SKYACTIV engine and transmission, impressive handling, a gorgeous upscale interior, and one other point. This item took us a little by surprise: Its easy-to-live-with-ness. 

I won’t lie and tell you the cabin’s huge and that the trunk will swallow the elephant that goes with it, but four adults and a reasonable amount of gear will fit. The occupants are treated to some amazingly comfy seats, both front and back and the “false bottom” of the boot can be removed allowing some items to be stored vertically thus saving in width. Furthermore (and this sent us over the top) we used the CX-3 as a camera vehicle for some motion shots during the comparo test. Our camera-dude was able to set up the tripod and the camera, and make it work!

Again, I’m not saying the trunk is gargantuan, but it’s useable. The HR-V won that round, but the CX-3 did not need to shy away in complete shame. 

So, there you have it. Auto123.com has picked up a long-term tester in the all-new 2016 Mazda CX-3. Given that most of our testers have small families, it’ll be interesting to see how well it fares with one or two kids of varying ages, and whatever else family life can throw at it. 

One thing is certain, all of us at Auto123.com who have driven the CX-3 are enamoured with its unprecedented good looks and immensely rewarding and engaging drive. 

We intend to rack up a fair amount of mileage on the little guy, and it’ll probably happen faster than we expect -- already we’re creeping close to 2,000 km and it’s only been three weeks!

As part of the test, we’ll also evaluate Mazda’s Mobile Start and its intuitive AWD system. We very much look forward to these. 

In the meantime, if you have any questions pertaining to the little tyke, leave them in the comments section and we’ll get to them as best we can.