Review: 2018 Mazda CX-3 GT AWD – Part 4

Even though the 2018 Mazda CX-3 GT is a sub-compact crossover which means that you’re giving up some size, you don’t give up technology. Here’s what it comes with starting with the safety technology:

  • Blind Spot Monitoring: This system keeps an eye out for cars in your blind spots so that you don’t hit them when changing lanes. It also detects cars that are rapidly closing in on you from a distance.
  • Smart City Brake Support: Let’s say that you you do not react in time to a car that panic stops in front of you. This Mazda is capable of coming to a stop at low speeds, or slowing down to make the impact less severe. You can get more details on this system here. I should note that as of the 2018 model year, this is a standard feature which means that getting such a key safety feature won’t require you to go to the top of the food chain.
  • Lane Departure Warning System: If you cross over into another lane, this system will buzz you on either the right or the left side. The buzz really gets your attention I must say.
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert: If you back out of a parking space in a busy shopping mall and you have limited visibility to your left and right, you’ll love this system as you will be warned of any cars that cross into your path.
  • Adaptive Front Lighting System and High Beam Control: This trim level comes with LED headlights with LED daytime running lights that look cool. The lighting can be set to automatic so that you never have to worry about turning the lights on and off. I found that the levels where the lights might turn on to be better than most cars that I’ve driven as on a dark overcast day, the lights would come on. That’s something that would not happen in a lot of cars in similar systems. The high beam control is a handy feature to have as it adds to your visibility on dark country roads. So is the fact that as you steer, the headlights allow you to “see” around corners.
  • You get anti-lock brakes, traction control, stability control, and electronic brake force distribution. Plus you get hill launch assist which keeps you from rolling backwards when you’re on a hill.
  • Finally, you get dual front air bags, dual front side air bags and dual side air curtains.

Now how about actually driving the CX-3? The GT trim level gives you a proximity key with push button start. Thus all you have to do is press a button on the driver’s door handle. Press it and the car will unlock. Get in, hit the start/stop button and drive away. One nice touch is that the start/stop button will light up with a green light if you press the brake pedal to start. That’s a nice touch to remind you to press the brake pedal to start the car. When you’ve reached your destination, press the start/stop button to turn off the car. Then get out of the car, close the door and walk away. You’ll hear two beeps. One after you close the door and one about 10 seconds later. When you hear both, the car is locked. You never need to pull out the key fob to do any of this. But the key fob does have the ability to lock and unlock the doors and it has the ever useful panic button. As an added bonus, it has a backup key inside the key fob should you need it.

While driving the CX-3 you get this handy piece of technology:

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This is the Mazda Active Driving Display. Hit the ignition button and the Active Driving Display screen pivots up from its place in the dash. It provides drivers with vehicle speed, chosen cruise-control speed, information from the navigation system (including turn-by-turn directions, distance and lane guidance), speed limit signs, as well as the operational status of the Mazda’s active safety systems. All of this is within the line of sight of the driver. which means you never have to look away from the road. Once I tweaked my seat position as well as the position of the screen, I found it to be extremely useful. For 2018, this display is now in color.

Mazda Connect is on board the CX-3 with the combination of the 7″ touchscreen and the HMI (Human Machine Interface) Commander Switch. It gives the driver a easy to learn, easy to use infotainment system. I wrote about it in detail here, if you want to see what it has to offer. However, the one thing that I will say is that every person who sat in the CX-3 asked if it had Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. At present it doesn’t, but it is something that they have promised to do. Though no timetable exists for that at present.

The touchscreen also doubles as the screen for the backup camera. It was easy to manoeuvre into a space as its field of vision was very good. Though I will note that the actual camera is exposed to the elements.

The Mazda CX-3 has an 7 speaker Bose sound system that I have to admit that regardless where in the CX-3 I happened to be sitting, the sound was excellent as the highs and lows were perfect and the audio was well balanced. Everything from Austra to Wolf Saga sounded great. Phone calls were clear on both ends of the conversation as well. For those of you who still use CDs, there’s a CD drive as well which is unusual to see in a car these days.

The final part of this review will tie up some loose ends and I’ll give you my final verdict. Watch for it on Friday.

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