Review: 2018 Mazda CX-3 GT AWD – Part 1

I often get press releases from car companies that tout all the cool improvements that they made to a car be it new, or be it refreshed. But when I got the press release that related to the 2018 Mazda CX-3 which I first reviewed a couple of years ago, I was intrigued. Why? Here’s what they’ve improved on what was already a pretty compelling sub-compact crossover.

  • Smart City Brake Support is now standard across CX-3 range
  • Newly available features include a full-colour Active Driving Display, power driver’s seat with memory settings and heated steering wheel
  • Complementing Mazda’s predictive i-ACTIV all-wheel drive is standard, exclusive G-Vectoring Control, aiding in steering, handling, stability and confidence
  • The chassis and steering have been thoroughly revised for better handling, greater comfort and improved sound suppression

There may be four bullet points here. But these are significant bullet points. First, the fact that Smart City Brake Support which is capable of stopping the CX-3 in case you don’t react quickly enough is standard means that more people will get that safety tech. That in turn hopefully means less accidents and injuries on the roads. Second, they’ve clearly made efforts to refine the driving experience in a number of ways. Third, they’ve made efforts to refine driver and passenger comfort and convenience.

The question is, does Mazda deliver on all these points? To find out, I decided to get the CX-3 in GT trim to see if I could feel the difference:

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The Kodo Design that wowed me when I first reviewed it two years ago is still present. And it still looks good from any angle. But from the outside, it doesn’t look like if there are any significant changes. That’s not a bad thing as this is such a good vehicle, I wouldn’t want to mess with it if I were the guy who designed it.

I’ll be posting a multi-part review that will cover the following sections:

  • Engine, transmission, handling, fuel economy, and driving comfort
  • Interior
  • Technology in the vehicle
  • Wrap up

The first thing I will look at is the engine, transmission, handling, fuel economy, and driving comfort as there are significant changes on that front. Tune in tomorrow to see if those changes make the CX-3 a better vehicle.

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