A gorgeous crystal white mica 2016 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring showed up in my driveway a few months ago and I was giddy. My first car was white way back in the 1990’s and marriage, 3 children, and 4 vehicles later we’ve never even considered that as a color option. I love how clean it looks, I love the sparkle in the paint when it’s in the sun, but it just hasn’t been in the cards for us. And, if you have followed my car reviews in the past, I was only receiving RED cars for a while and that became a running joke so this was a fun change. After a week of driving the car both around town and for a weekend getaway, here are some of the pros and cons of the 2016 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring.
PRO: Right from the get-go the aesthetics caught my eye. The color was great, the white and contrasting black trim with silver and the bright red taillights is just a combination I love and will most definitely request in our next new car purchase. The exterior was sporty with an long nose and I loved the look of the 18-in alloy wheels, grill, and the rear roof spoiler..
CON: Sliding in behind the wheel I was immediately drawn to the tachometer and digital speedometer. Not sure I’ve seen this in any other car, I’m used to the speedometer as the center attraction. The tachometer was distracting to me for sure, because I could really care less of my RPMs. Also, the digital speedometer is then set in 3 spots if you can see over to the right in the picture below as well as it’s projected in the panel above the dash in the windshield. Overkill.
PRO: I do enjoy the other great information on the panel as well as the steering wheel being equipped with buttons for the sound system, voice control for your phone (hands free), and cruise control. The heated front seats are nice, but would have loved the cooling option since we drove the car in the hot summer months. The whole family says thank you for the USB ports in the dash as well as a AUX jack. PRO: Our current cars are all 2005 and older, so no navigation or pop-up display. We enjoy this tremendously when test-driving new cars and appreciate that the safety features of the car can be configured with a touch of the screen. The lane departure warning system alerts are great for night driving if you want to stay extra alert after a long day! After a few days we did turn it down to low. Blind spot monitoring on the side mirrors is my best friend on the highway especially when driving a car that isn’t mine. The distance recognition that displays in the windshield with your speed is also nice to have and remind some people (cough cough) not to tailgate. The Bose audio is also a perk and I enjoy driving with my music pretty loud! CON: We wish you could fold down the display. Smack dab in the center of the dash it would be neat if it could slide down into the dashboard when you want the glare, the lights or the sight of it out of your way. Also, the Bluetooth and Pandora components were a little funky during my week with the car. I paired my phone one time on our weekend roadtrip and it worked but as soon as we reached our destination and I disconnected, I could not get my phone paired again. I ran the gamut of trials with only errors. Luckily the test model car was already subscribed to XM (some aren’t we’ve experienced in the past) because Pandora didn’t want to work either. Maybe just a glitch I was unaware of fixing.
PRO: The car is compact on the inside. It’s a fantastic car for a couple, for a commuter, for a college student, but it also has the ability to seat 5 people. The second row of seats is great for smaller people and children but does have leg room, especially behind me whether I’m driving or in the passenger seat, and frankly more room than the front passenger seat. Luckily when we went on our roadtrip, it was just the three of the five of us and my son could buckle up and stretch out his 5’8″ frame across the back. There is a nice sized trunk space for the size of the car, and if you’re only two or three of you in the car you can fold down the rear seat for larger items.
CON: It’s a small car for a family of 5, I mean that’s not a surprise. Nor, should it really be a con for other than my personal experience. With 2 tall-ish teenagers, they’d call “shotgun” to sit up front and claim that I was the smaller one to fit comfortably in the back with our 10 year old. It just wasn’t a car we’d take if we were all going somewhere, just too much touching in the second row. Also, the arm rest in between the driver and passenger is odd.It’s set back, and when I’m driving my seat is pushed up closer so my arm and the rest don’t match up. Cup holders are beneath it, so you can have a drink in it and use the arm rest at the same time.
PRO: The 2016 Mazda CX-3 is equipped with a Skyactiv 2.0L engine, 146 horsepower, all-wheel drive, and gets awesome gas mileage, it’s 29-32 mpg and this would be great for a commuter or college student on a budget. Highway driving was stable and had pick up when I wanted to kick it in to pass and zipping around town it was a smooth ride albeit louder than I thought it would be.
The model we drove had a MSRP of $26,240 with options and delivery making it $29,460. For more information, visit http://mazdausa.com.
Car was offered thanks to DriveShop for review purposes and all opinions are 100% our own.