I drove a $28,500 Mazda CX-3 to see if the compact SUV is really the perfect first car — here's the verdict

Mazda CX-3

  • The Mazda CX-3 is a subcompact crossover SUV that’s aimed at first-time buyers.
  • These small SUVs are sometimes called “cute-utes.”
  • The CX-3 is an excellent small vehicle and good choice for a first car.

We call ’em “cute utes,” and they’re increasingly all the rage. What are they? Subcompact crossover SUVs, the 21st-century version of the “econo-boxes” of the late 20th century — minus the box, but with lots of econo.

They’re also fairly adorable, little smushed-down SUVs that don’t resemble that 1990s hatchback, which screamed “college student” or “first job.” Hence the cute before ute.

We may be looking at a paradigm shift in the auto industry in the US, as carmakers abandon passengers cars — and small cars in particular, with their skimpy profit margins — and focus on SUVs and crossover. If that’s happening, then car companies don’t want to lose out on their youngest potential customers. It can be difficult to “conquest,” say, a Honda Civic buyer if Honda has perfectly good small SUVs to move them into.

So start them with a cute ute instead!

But which one? Well, that’s an easy question to answer. You aren’t going to find a better subcompact SUV than the Mazda CX-3.

Here’s why:

Behold, the 2017 CX-3: Grand Touring trim level, all-wheel-drive, “Dynamic Blue Mica” paint job.

Our test car tipped the cost scales at $28,500, and it had pretty much everything you could ask for (and pay for off the options lists). The base front-wheel-drive version can be had for only about $20,000.

I’ve owned three Mazdas (a Miata, a pickup, and a subcompact) and have always liked their looks: snappy without being too attention-getting. The CX-3 is no exception. It’s definitely not large, but it doesn’t appear to be a massive compromise on the proportions of a larger compact crossover. Mazda currently sells two other crossovers in the US: the CX-5 and the CX-9.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Read the full article from it’s original source: http://uk.businessinsider.com/mazda-cx-3-crossover-review-2016-10

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