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2016 Mazda CX-3 Preview

2016 Mazda CX-3 Preview

By Jeff Youngs, November 24, 2014

Fast Facts:
  • Based on new Mazda 2 platform
  • Equipped with 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine
  • Standard automatic transmission
  • Front- or all-wheel drive
  • Optional MazdaConnect infotainment system
  • Available i-ActiveSense safety technologies

Introduction
There's a new breed of crossover SUV, and the 2016 Mazda CX-3 exemplifies it. Take one subcompact car platform, add an available all-wheel-drive (AWD) system, wrap it in styling that resembles an SUV, and you've got an affordable, entry-level, weather-beating, and practical alternative to what is traditionally an entry-level set of wheels.

Exterior Features
The 2016 Mazda CX-3 wears the automaker's latest design themes and features black-painted rear roof pillars to give the impression that this small crossover SUV's roof is floating with minimal support.

The vehicle on display at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show was painted Soul Red and featured Grand Touring trim, which includes 18-in. aluminum wheels and LED front running lights. Mazda also plans to debut a new Ceramic Metallic paint color for the new CX-3, describing it thusly: "Its expression of a finely honed metallic surface and strong sense of hardness changes in appearance depending on the light hitting it."

Interior Features
Stadium-style seating ensures that all of the Mazda CX-3's occupants will enjoy a good outward view, but with its basis upon a Mazda 2 platform the passenger compartment has no trouble delivering upon the automaker's stated intent to create a "snug and secure" environment.

Optional Features
The 2016 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring on display in L.A. has all the extras. A set of LED front running lights are evident in front, and the SUV sits on 18-in. aluminum wheels painted gray with machined surfaces. Inside, Parchment-over-Off-Black seats are wrapped in leather and synthetic suede, and the display vehicle has a power sunroof, Active Driving Display head-up display screen, MazdaConnect infotainment system, and a suite of safety features called i-ActiveSense.

A complete breakdown of standard and optional equipment is expected closer to the CX-3's arrival next fall.

Under the Hood
Mazda confirmed that the new CX-3 will use a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine equipped with Skyactiv fuel-saving technology, but did not divulge official horsepower ratings. However, in other Mazda models this engine is rated at 155 horsepower.

A 6-speed automatic transmission delivers the power to the CX-3's front wheels. An AWD system is optional, and features a power takeoff design that decouples the lightweight rear differential from the powertrain when AWD is not necessary, thereby reducing friction and improving fuel economy, Mazda says. Additionally, a front-wheel slip warning detection system is included on CX-3s equipped with AWD.

Safety
Mazda will offer a suite of safety systems for the new 2016 CX-3, all grouped under an "i-ActiveSense" banner, but did not discuss specifics other than to say they employ milliwave radar. The automaker also claims that the CX-3's high-strength body structure "effectively absorbs impact energy from any direction to suppress cabin deformation," and that this new compact crossover is engineered to achieve high crash-test ratings in the various global regions in which it will be sold.

Technology
The latest version of the automaker's MazdaConnect infotainment system will be available for the new CX-3, using a freestanding display screen atop the center stack of controls and what Mazda calls Commander Control buttons surrounding a knob on the center console. Effectively, this design is similar to Audi's Multi-Media Interface (MMI) or BMW's iDrive.

Mazda did not divulge a complete list of MazdaConnect features, other than to confirm Bluetooth with audio streaming capability, text-messaging support, and Internet radio access. In current Mazda products, MazdaConnect offers a robust suite of features and services.

Additional Research:


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  2013 Mazda 3 Preview
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  New for 2013: Mazda
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  2014 Mazda 6 Preview
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  2011 Mazda 5 Preview
Critical Knowledge:All-new third-generation modelFull adaptation of Mazda's "Nagare" design languageDual sliding rear doorsFour-cylinder gasoline powerplantOn sale in Europe this fallIntroductionThe Mazda 5 is the smallest multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) in Mazda's lineup, slotting below the CX-7 in size. While the Mazda 5 didn't debut in the U.S. market until the 2006 model year, the compact 5-door has been on sale in other markets since 1999 as the Mazda Premacy and the Ford Ixion. Overseas, it is configured with seating for up to 7 passengers, but in the States, the Mazda 5 offers flexible 6-passenger seating.
     
  New for 2011-Mazda
HistoryFounded in 1920 as the Toyo Cork Kogyo Company, a manufacturer of machine tools, Mazda didn't begin making automobiles until 1931. The automaker's first model was the 1-cylinder "Mazda-Go," a 3-wheel truck that resembled a motorcycle. The "Mazda" name stuck, and it was used on all subsequent vehicles until the company adopted it as its corporate name in 1984.Accustomed to manufacturing passenger vehicles for the street, Mazda started racing its vehicles in the late 1960s-about the same time it introduced its first "Wankel" rotary engine. (Instead of using pistons traveling on a horizontal plane, the Wankel uses one or more rotors spinning around an elliptical axis.) Mazda remains the only automaker still using this engine technology (in its current RX-8 sports car). Mazda also experimented with the Miller Cycle engine, which was used in its now-discontinued Millenia sedan.
     
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  New for 2010-Mazda
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  2009 Mazda MX-5 Miata Preview
Critical Knowledge:Complete exterior faceliftSeveral interior improvementsIncreased engine redlineUpgraded gearboxRe-engineered suspensionNew wheel designsIntroductionThe world was introduced to the Mazda MX-5 Miata in the late 1980s. The compact 2-seat convertible was a modern reincarnation of a classic British roadster-lightweight, nimble and fun-to-drive. With a manually-operated soft top, the MX-5 Miata could be opened to the sky in seconds. Although the 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine under the hood didn't offer excessive power, a short-throw 5-speed manual transmission, sport-tuned suspension, and a willing chassis made it popular among the enthusiasts who quickly embraced it. Now in its third generation (last redesigned for 2006) and approaching its 20th birthday, the Miata has added both weight and amenities (including an available hardtop convertible roof), but improvements over the years have secured its popularity within its segment. Mazda has introduced a facelifted and revised model for 2009 that is expected to arrive in U.S. showrooms mid-year.
     
  New for 2009-Mazda
Critical Knowledge:All-new Mazda 6 midsize sport sedanFreshened styling for RX-8 along with R3 sport packageB4000 Cab Plus SE model discontinued2.5-liter engine replaces 2.3-liter engine for TributeSide curtain air bags standard for Mazda 3i Sport modelNew MX-5 to be introduced in NovemberAvailable Bluetooth connectivity on CX-7 SUVStandard trip computer on all CX-9 models2009 Mazda 3:In advance of an all-new 2010 Mazda 3, there are few changes for the popular 2009 Mazda 3 sedan and hatchback. The biggest update is reserved for the 3i Sport model which gains standard features like anti-lock brakes, side air bags, and side curtain air bags. The remote trunk release function has been added to the key fob of sedans equipped with keyless entry, and the Icy Blue exterior paint choice has been deleted. Powertrain choices remain unchanged from 2008, as do all exterior and interior design elements.
     
  2009 Mazda6 Preview
Critical Knowledge:All-new, second-generation Mazda6Sedan body style only for North AmericaLarger dimensions, with a quieter and more comfortable rideNew engines offer greater power and better efficiencyHigh level of standard safety equipmentOn sale late summer 2008IntroductionMazda's Zoom-Zoom initiative was originally embodied in the first-generation Mazda6 that rolled off the assembly line initially in February 2002. For Mazda Motor Corporation it was a success, as global production of the Mazda6 (known as the Atenza in Japan) reached one million units in just four years and one month-the fastest sales pace ever recorded for a Mazda model. Six years after its first introduction, Mazda is turning on the spotlight for an all-new replacement-the larger, more powerful, safer, and more efficient 2009 Mazda6. This is the third new model specifically developed for the North American market by Mazda, and has been designed to compete in a tough midsize sedan segment that includes the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, all-new Chevrolet Malibu, and Ford Fusion. According to Jim O'Sullivan, Mazda president and CEO, "This is the most important new vehicle Mazda has launched in a decade." The Mazda6 will continue to be produced at the AutoAlliance International plant in Flat Rock, Michigan.
     
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