2020 Mazda CX3 GT All Wheel Drive: This Small CUV Packs a Big Punch!

By Veeno Dewan 

For 2020, the   Mazda CX-3 sub-compact sized Crossover continues to impress, coming off some big awards since its introduction in 2016.  It had a mild update in 2019, with: a new grille, restyled taillights and wheels, plus a slight power increase. It is still a racy- looking CUV with the typical, lithe, sleek styling from Mazda. It is not box- like in any way, with a swooping roofline and a raked hatchback profile. Interior updates from last year include: improved noise vibration and harshness damping, an electronic parking brake, new redesigned seats and optional full-leather seating surfaces. 

For 2020, the CX-3 arrives in three trim levels; a well-equipped GX model, a GS with more kit, and a top GT trim model with all the bells and whistles. There is only one engine choice; namely Mazda’s superbly engineered SkyActiv-G 2.0-litre four-cylinder, rated at 148 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque. The CX-3 comes in either FWD or AWD and transmission of choice is the six-speed automatic transmission, with the Sport mode. Front-wheel-drive is standard on GX and GS, with Mazda’s predictive i-Activ all-wheel driveavailable as standard on the GT. Also on the GT is Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control, (GVC) that   creates G-force, on the front wheels when turning for more tire grip, and control. 

The base MRSP for our tester came in at $31, 00, a 2019 Mazda CX 3  AWD in Mazda’s  classy looking Ceramic Metallic  paint that Came with such standard features as: SKYACTIV-G 2.0 engine with Cylinder Deactivation; offering 186 horsepower with the Skyactiv-Drive 6-speed transmission with manual shift mode. Standard equipment on the GT Model included: 18-inch alloy wheels, push button start, 7-inch color touchscreen display with Mazda Connect, HMI commander, rearview camera, power moonroof, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, leather-trimmed upholstery, 10-way power driver seat (includes power lumbar support), driver’s seat memory (2 memory settings), automatic on/off headlights, rain-sensing wipers, full LED exterior lighting, navigation system, Bose Audio system w/ 7 speakers, automatic climate controls, advanced keyless entry, Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Pedestrian Detection, High Beam Control, Forward Obstruction Warning, Smart City Brake Support, Smart Brake Support, colour Active Driving Display. No other options on our well -equipped car apart from the $200 Ceramic metallic paint.  With options, Freight and PDE, our tester’s final price came to $33,190. 

The cabin in our GT Model featured a black monotone interior, everything looks well-made and durable looking interior wise.There’s a simple pop up heads-up display that provides traffic sign recognition along with other basic info on the GT, while a seven-inch screen mounted at the top of the centre stack displays the navigation and audio functions. Three knobs are situated below for climate control. Quality is very high and the seats are comfortable and supportive. There is space for four in this vehicle, however it is a tight fit when you do cram in four tall adults. Someone’s going to have to give up the legroom out back! The rear bench seat is cozy and features a 60:40 splitting folding function, with 467L of cargo space behind it. With the rear seat folded, there is 1,447 litres of cargo space in the CX-3 and a rear cargo cover. 

On the road, the 2020 Mazda cx3 AWD offers superlative driving dynamics and feels more like a sporty sedan than a CUV.  AWD is a distinct advantage with its superior grip and well balanced torque delivery with the help of Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control Plus stability control system – which uses an imperceptibly light drag on the outside front brake to aid in cornering.   The 2.0-liter L4 is a watch- like unit that never falters, never runs out of steam and is a lively willing performer—the six speed manual transmission is also a nicely matched unit The CX- 3 AWD is built and tuned to handle those sweeping curves and tight bends with equal measure and takes bends assertively well.   The ride is firm, but not uncomfortable and in no way jittery when unloaded. 

Not a lot to complain apart from the interior which is all black, a few pops of color here and there would liven it up. Also you may want to consider the larger Mazda CX-5 or CX-9 Models if you want more interior space or a third row.  The CX-3 GT AWD is the one to get for all the luxury, convenience features, and the very efficient AWD, but the GX and GS all offer excellent value for money. Highly recommended if a smaller performance CUV attractive is what you need. A firm favourite, and not hard to see why. 

2020 Mazda CX 3 All-Wheel Drive Base price: $31,000 Price as tested with options, Freight and PDE: $33,195 Website: www.mazda.ca