2018 Mazda CX-3 AWD

Metamorphosis /n./ Any complete change in appearance, character, circumstances, etc. If I could choose one word to describe the 2018 Mazda CX-3 it would be just that. Walking up to the vehicle is a complete experience in itself, then the act of driving will bounce you through emotional extremes. It is a complete opera just sitting in your driveway.

The Illusionist

Lets start with the metamorphosis of its looks. From a distance if you approach the vehicle from the front you’ll assume by the looks of it, the CX-3 is a midsized SUV. Walk a few more steps then it seems to get smaller, almost as small as the Mazda2. Nonetheless this crossover is by far the most beautiful in its segment. Following Mazda’s design language of “Kodo – Soul of Motion” the CX-3 is styled akin to those vehicles in a much higher price range. The example of the CX-3 I got was in this Soul Red colour, which is named appropriately, because it is a red so deep and so beautiful it might as well literally have its own soul. The aggressive front fascia, with the elegance of the CX-3’s curves and chrome garnishing, makes you understand what ‘Soul of Motion’ means. The CX-3 gets a sportier, and an even more aggressive look with Red accents on the chin and side skirts, along with the 18” Gun Metallic Alloy wheels. It commands attention in parking lots, and when you drive by store windows you see the looks of admiration on just how beautiful this Mazda CX-3 is.

The interior is no let down also. The seats are both form and function, being leather with alcantara like inserts to hold you in place when you start to have fun with in the twists and turns. The bolstering also hugs you into the center of the seats; because this vehicle really will egg you on to throw it around corners. Leather around the cabin, and on the wheel is stitched in red stitching, and the dials for HVAC functions have a nice tactile feel finished in silver. The navigation screen floats in the center of the dashboard, with controls by the center armrest, reminiscent of BMW’s iDrive system. Of course how can we forget the Heads-up Display (HUD), which gives you turn-by-turn directions when programed into the navigation system, current speed, and speed limit, all so you won’t have to take your eyes off the road. Good think the Mazda CX-3 is a fun drive, and you’ll want to stay in the driver seat, because space, and toys in the back are lacking.

Zoom Zoom Indeed

Powering the 2018 Mazda CX-3 is a 2.0L 148Horsepower SkyActiv engine, mated with a SkyActiv-DRIVE 6-Speed Automatic, which can be manipulated via paddle shifters. SkyActiv is Mazda’s program to give you that great driving feeling, and yet being economical, by matching a highly efficient gearbox to an engine with high compression ratios to achieve ideal combustion. It doesn’t stop there; SkyActiv extends to the chassis, and the lightweight body. Something you’d want to do once you get into a CX-3 is flip the driving mode into Sport. Once activated you’ll hear the engine come alive with a more aggressive throttle response, and deeper exhaust note. It turns this little crossover into a rollercoaster cart. It completes a metamorphosis from a pretty crossover, to a hot hatch. Remember how I mentioned the seats are meant to hold you in, and with good reason. The 2018 Mazda CX-3 has G-Vectoring Control, which basically means the vehicle will sort out the torque from the engine based on your steering inputs, and evens out the weight between the wheels. This gives you flatter cornering, and the confidence to just chuck the Mazda CX-3 into the corner and trust you will come out with a smile on your face.

All in All

The 2018 Mazda CX-3 is priced at PHP 1,480,000 (as of date tested), which is a pretty penny, but a run down of the complete package will justify just why you should get in a CX-3. It’s beautiful, it’s sporty, and will give you great gratification after each drive. It has AWD for those ballsy enough to try to take it off road, and a BOSE 6 speaker sound system. In addition, that awesome HUD, which will make you feel like Tom Cruise in Top Gun while you use the paddles to make your way up and down that SkyActiv gearbox. The CX-3 is a bit of a drinker, with 5km/L of fuel in heavy city driving, and the view out of the vehicle while backing out of a slot is quite limited. But again, you won’t be thinking of that, because after you drive this 2018 Mazda CX-3 all you’ll be doing in looking forward for the next corner you want to challenge.