2.0-liter SKYACTIV DOHC I-4, direct injection, dual S-VT (146 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm; 146 lbs-ft of torque @ 2,800 rpm)
6-speed SKYACTIV-Drive automatic w/ Sport mode and paddle shifters
27 city/32 highway/29 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)
30 mpg on the camping-gear-laden test cycle, 80 percent highway (Observed, MPG)
Tested Options: i-ACTIVSENSE Safety Package (U.S.)/Technology Package (Canada), i-ACTIV all-wheel drive (U.S., AWD is standard on GT trim in Canada)
$20,840* (U.S.)/$22,680* (Canada)
As Tested Price:
$29,040* (U.S.)/$32,490* (Canada)
* All prices include $880 destination fee (U.S.) or $1,995 destination fee, PDI and A/C tax (Canada).
For as long as I can remember, my parents always had two vehicles while I was growing up. The first one I can vividly remember was the precursor to GM’s dreaded Cavalier and Cobalt, a 1987 Chevrolet Chevette, with an interior as roomy as any compact you can buy today. The second conveyance in our driveway was a 1992 Suzuki Sidekick, Jay Green in color, and rugged as my father needed for his job traversing Cape Breton Island’s vast spaghetti network of logging roads.
In the early 1990s, the Chevette ended with a bang. As I laid on a bed at my grandmother’s apartment, attempting as much as a young child would to get to sleep (translation: not trying at all), I was startled by tire squealing, a loud bang, silence, then more tire squealing. The Chevette had been dispatched by a freshly licensed 16-year-old driving a Hyundai Pony and fueled by Vitamin O. Write-off total: approximately $500 — for both cars.
The Chevette, now off to the scrapyard, was replaced by a Pontiac Firefly five-door, known for its economical three-cylinder engine outputting double-digit horsepower whilst solidly achieving double-digit miles per gallon halfway to the centripulcate. As a daily runabout, it was solid, economical, and — with its wagon-esque virtues — incredibly versatile.
It’s in this context that my girlfriend and I headed out on one of my family’s favorite pastimes from when I was a child — a weekend camping trip — in the millennial-focused 2016 Mazda CX-3.