By on July 16, 2015

2016-Mazda-CX-3-11

The new mini crossover from Mazda will start at $19,960 (not including $880 destination) when it goes on sale after next month, the automaker reported Thursday.

That puts the CX-3 in leagues with the Chevrolet Trax, Nissan Juke, Honda HR-V and Jeep Renegade as sub-$20,000 crossovers in an increasingly crowded and competitive segment.

Like the rest of its competition, it’s not hard to hike the CX-3’s final price up in a hurry.

The base price gets Mazda’s 2.0-liter inline four and a 6-speed automatic transmission. Standard on all models will be a rear-view camera, 7-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth push button starter and power windows and doors. All-wheel drive can be added for $1,250.

The middle-of-the-range CX-3 Touring (with heated seats, leather wrapped wheel, blind-spot monitoring, et al.) runs $22,840. The top-of-the-line CX-3 Grand Touring (navigation, moon roof, leather, Bose sound, etc.) comes in at $25,870. And presumably, the most you could pay for a CX-3 coming from the factory would be a Grand Touring CX-3 with all-wheel drive and Mazda’s optional safety package would be $29,040.

If you need any further proof the segment is ultra competitive and willing to cut to the very bone for the best price on a headline, consider that you can still buy a Jeep Renegade without air conditioning and 16-inch steel wheels for $18,880.

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65 Comments on “Mazda Says 2016 CX-3 Will Start Under $20,000 (Kinda)...”


  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    I guess “floating rear roofs” are the new thing with car stylists?

    Seems like a trick to save paint more than anything.

    • 0 avatar
      hgrunt

      It doesn’t save any time, paint or production effort. It’s a styling cue, and it’s been around for quite a while. The examples I can think of immediately are Subaru Legacy wagons and the 2003 Toyota Matrix.

      The reason they do it is, it fools the eye into thinking the car is less boxy, as there is no line to draw your eye from the roof to the bumper. Given the flowy design language that Mazda is using here, they probably want the roof to appear to be sleek and flowing. Coloring the pillar would give it more of an egg shape, rather than a series of flowing lines.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        I personally never really liked it, looks cheap, but thank you for the clarification.

        I think the wavy sides and curved front end do a good job hiding any “boxiness” as it is, that and the completely random BMW-kink in the rear side windows.

        • 0 avatar
          Lynchenstein

          I think you’ll find that “kink” serves a purpose.

          The bottom part of the kink is parallel to the other side window frame – the window is narrow so it can slide down and not hit the curved part of the door where the wheel arch intrudes.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    This looks WAY better than that $40,000 plastichrome Mercedes GLA250 POS, and is prob going to have an average transaction price 1/2 as much, while driving better, and being 842.7x more reliable.

    • 0 avatar
      suspekt

      agreed.

      This is a good looking small vehicle.

      I think Kodo is working really well and I hope they start to see sales success.

      If it is true that Toyota is interested in their sky-activ engine family, it makes me much more confident about the brand. Toyota must have taken apart the motors and been impressed with the quality and ingenuity.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        “Kodo is working really well”

        The Juke also looks like acromegaly in a dwarf, is that Kodo too?

        • 0 avatar
          hubcap

          “… is that Kodo too?”

          いいえ

          Kodo is Mazda specific. FWIW, Kawasaki has its own design language called Sugomi. It’s meant to resemble a predator about to pounce on its prey.

          Google 2015 Z1000 to see it in action.

      • 0 avatar
        STRATOS

        With those high compression ratios ,components better be good.(like a diesel but lightweight).Toyota must be trying to figure out why it does not self destruct.

        • 0 avatar
          DeadWeight

          Mazda has indeed impressed no less than Akio Toyoda himself, with the reliability, durability and efficiency of their new GDI gasoline motors, and their new chassis’, which is why Toyota is now in joint ventures with Mazda.

          “Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda has been quoted saying ‘”Mazda is ahead in many areas” … and specifically way ahead in high-compression engines, transmissions and weight saving chassis designs.”

          http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2015/05/16/toyota-in-love-with-mazda/

          I’m very pro-Mazda, given my experiences with their products and those who I know who’ve also owned them, but I’d be remiss if I were to not state I’m disappointed that they’ve bucked the trend of sourcing most components from JDM, and assembling all vehicles in Japan (with exception of past joint Ford products built in Flat Rock), as is not the case with the now hecho en Mexico 3 and further upcoming products.

          • 0 avatar
            derekson

            Local assembly is key to being able to compete on price in the modern automobile industry. The location of the assembly plant isn’t a big deal as long as the manufacturer designs good workflows and trains workers appropriately. If the plants in foreign countries are held to the same type of quality standards internally then the location of the assembly should hardly matter.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    “you can still buy a Jeep Renegade without air conditioning and 16-inch steel wheels for $18,880.”

    Naup! If I’m spending 18.8K I wants my steelies!

  • avatar
    Tinn-Can

    Why haven’t destination charges dropped now that fuel prices have halved?

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Vehicle Makers of Earth:

    If you’re going to swell the hips and lower the rear roofs of everything to the point of blocking all rear 3/4 vision..(breathes).. then give us effing truck mirrors!

    I’m good with truck mirrors. But I’m not settling for those tiny ladies-compact versions like on this Mazda.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      +1
      Have you seen the side view mirrors on the new GM FS SUVs? I think I laughed a little and died a little at the same time. They’re about 3/5 the size of the old ones. Before anyone says CAFE, let’s be honest.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        Yes! I couldn’t believe them. Cell phones have more glass area.

        And yes again, making any aero argument for them when they’re attached to that granite-block body is insane enough to be trendy.

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          Whenever people bring up “cause aero”, I bring up the huge grilles attached to todays cars (that often have a bumper right behind them).

          I think stylists get too much freedom, ’tis why he can rarely ever fit in the back, or check our blindspots.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Pet peeve of mine, the increasingly massive and tall engine compartments of all vehicle classes. And this in ironic opposition to ever smaller engines.

            Here on TTAC it’s often attributed to pedestrian safety regs. If that’s true, then there are warring factions within the government regulatory junta because those locomotive noses are the antithesis of aero and thus fuel economy.

            Sadly, the victim in this confrontation of design tyrannies is the greenhouse. If you want The Hulk’s muzzle then you must give up his cerebrum.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            How is the huge grille a response to aero claims?

            Pedestrian impact requirements drive the boxy, high front end, and most of the ‘grille’ isn’t open. The grille is just a graphic on a shape designers have limited flexibility changing. If engine makers could get rid of overhead cams & thus shorten engines by several inches, I suspect we’d see lower hoods and a return to less aggressive grilles.

            I do think aero drives the teardrop downward sloping roof profiles, not designers. That’s what gets the coveted hwy mpg numbers.

          • 0 avatar
            Hummer

            GM doesn’t have OHC in their trucks, and yet they still have ridiculously shapeless front ends, all that time would be better spent de-raking the windshield to the point it wasn’t like a corvette.

          • 0 avatar
            Ryoku75

            Even with nothing behind the grille its still hurts aero, most modern cars are bottom breathers.

            Modern VWs are proof that you can still make somewhat sleek front ends, look at the new Beetle for instance!

            Don’t need tall flat front ends for dopey pedestrians.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            “look at the new Beetle for instance!”

            Yes, that struck me when reading that recent New Beetle article. And the Civic still has a relatively sleek snoot.

            Ironically, the larger and already more MPG-challenged a vehicle, the blockier a locomotive nose they put on it, like pickups and SUVs.

            And since that most egregiously begins with CUVs like the Equinox and Terrain, it’s not because they have to allow for some big, longitudinal engine.

        • 0 avatar
          Ryoku75

          On smaller SUVs they use blockier looks for more masculine aesthetics, to make buyers feel like they’re buying an SUV at a discount.

          If anyone wants another example of “how to make a sleek pedestrian safe car”, I direct you to pretty much any supercar on the market.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            “pretty much any supercar on the market”

            Well, pedestrians can just hop over one of those coming at them.

    • 0 avatar
      Wheatridger

      Then you better go for that Renegade. I was amazed at the size of those mirrors, about the size of an iPad. On my test drive, I looked for another vehicle with mirrors as large. Finally I saw one– a Ford Excursion. Be careful what you wish for, though. I could barely see over the top of them, and they blocked my wife’s vision entirely.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Poor Mazda.

    This will likely be the best subcompact CUV money can buy and it will never get the attention, consideration, or sales volume it deserves.

    If Toyota wanted to rebadge a Mazda as a Scion, give it “no haggle pricing” and rake in fat stacks – this was the Mazda to turn into a Scion.

    Millennial buyers want cheap and cheerful 4-door sedans like they want a French kiss from Keith Richards – the sales and demographic data backs it up.

    This should have been a Scion.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      Don’t bet on it. Mazda has no problems in finding buyers for the CX-5 and the CX-3 will most likely be no different.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        Mazda sales have been flat as an aggregate total in an up market, they are losing ground.

        Their dealer experience is pretty miserable overall, but for the most part consumers just aren’t biting as they don’t want zoom-zoom. The Mazda6 sedan is beautiful and one of the best D-segment cars money can buy.

        There is a reason that Toyota sells 320K to 340Kish Camrys to retail and Honda sells 330K to 350K Accords to retail every year.

        Not directed at you – but offering up a six speed manual as an option might gain 100 extra sales a month – maybe. American buyers as a whole don’t want to row their own.

        • 0 avatar
          shaker

          The Mazda 6 was on my “buy” list until I sat in one – the interior was somewhat cramped to me for the size of the car. Same with the Fusion.

          Lots of people decry my ’13 Malibu for a cramped rear seat, but there’s a lot of leg and elbow/shoulder room up front. With the beige/brown interior, it’s downright “airy” feeling. Americans are still kinda big these days, even with the switch to seltzer water :-)

    • 0 avatar
      Brumus

      No sympathy for Mazda from this observer; there should be a six-speed manual offered in this bloody thing.

      • 0 avatar
        threeer

        Not that having one available would help sales any. Folks simply don’t want a manual. I went to look at the HR-V the other day (because, in theory, you can get even an EX with manual) and was told they weren’t even going to bother ordering a manual version unless they had a $1000 deposit on one. I agree that a car with at least some sporting pretensions (such as the CX-3 implies) should be offered with a stick, but the sales just don’t seem to justify that.

        • 0 avatar
          Brumus

          I’m one of the few people who actually “needs” AWD, as every weekend I drive to the snowiest part of eastern North America (Northeast Kingdom, VT).

          Never thought I’d be considering a Fiat (Jeep Renegade), but as a weirdo who still wants a manual tranny with AWD, my choices are quite limited.

          The CX-3 would fit the bill if Mazda offered the 6-speed manual otherwise available in similar applications. And the Crosstrek would be in my driveway now were it available with something other than that laughably anemic 148-h.p. engine.

          (That said, the Crosstreks’s output looks quite respectable compared to the HR-V’s meager numbers).

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      “the best subcompact CUV money can buy”

      Only if it rides softer than an Encore. I haven’t yet found any that do.

  • avatar
    shaker

    This seems cheap compared to the Chevy Traxes that I see in dealer listings – most are 24-26k.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      Yes, these vehicles all have fantasy base prices. But that’s as due to buyers’ obsession with gadgets and glitz as it is to manufacturers’ perfidy.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      When I went to the auto show this year, they had a Trax at $25K and an Encore at $35K. And that Trax was garbage on the inside – looked like something from Daewoo circa 1998. If Mazda can just get these cars on the lot, the GM cars will be irrelevant.

      • 0 avatar
        APaGttH

        That’s what they said when the Honda showed up. GM sales didn’t go down one tick.

        Where exactly did you see a $35K Encore? If you build one online with the top equipment group, AWD, the “Experience Buick Package,” and dealer accessories of interior ambient lighting, cup holder lighting, cross rails for the roof, and 18″ chrome rims, and navigation, and the sunroof, and the pre-paid XM subscription, you can’t break $34K BEFORE rebates.

        Are you in Canada?

  • avatar
    carguy

    I know this is based on the Mazda2 but it does look a lot like a raised Mazda3 hatch that also happens to be a few grand more expensive.

    It’s amazing what you can do when you designate a hatchback to be a “compact crossover”.

  • avatar
    Speed3

    I think the 3 hatch is better value, but then again I am biased.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      That is true of almost any platform that has been jacked skyward for CUV sales, however we well know what the public wants.

      (Yes Ford I’m looking at you and the D4 platform.)

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      I would like to know the specs between this and the Mazda3. I thought this was based off the 2 and as such has much smaller cargo and rear seat room than the Mazda3.
      and a smaller engine…if you want the 2.5

  • avatar
    klossfam

    Subcompact and compact CUVs are successful because the reality is, they are what most people need in a daily driver…The increased ride height part of the equation is a bit of reaction to 50% of the vehicles on the road being full sized pickups. It makes being low to the ground in a typical small car ‘unnerving’ for some people…So this kind of proves North Americans don’t hate hatchbacks, they just need them jacked up a little.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      >‘unnerving’ for some people

      Being blind on all sides with your eyes at the level of everyone else’s door handle doesn’t unnerve *you*?

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        Or some people, like my parents, have found such a vehicle easier to get in and out of. The seats are hip height so you can slide right in without dropping down. They currently have a Sonata that is “too low”. They test drove a CX-5 and immediately noticed it drove better then any other CUVs on their list. In particular they hated the RAV4 because it was very stiff riding.

        It does seem odd that if you give people a normal (non CUV/SUV) car height hatchback it’s no sale – but jack the thing up and instantly people are interested. The Juke is a prime example. Clearly the higher vantage point and ease of entry have made these things popular. Personally the higher up I get the more top heavy the vehicle feels, the less I trust it handling wise. Keep in mind I have always driven small/low cars (Civic, Prelude, Eclipse) and now a Z which has a very low seating position. At this point I can see better UNDER most trucks!

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          “The seats are hip height so you can slide right in without dropping down.”

          Most important factor for my demographic.

          Second most important is that the top of the door opening must tall enough to permit the not-dropping-down part.

          Of the sub-CRV crossovers I’ve tried, only the Encore and Trailhawk Renegade provide both of those.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Increased height isn’t just about seeing around other vehicles, but also signs, bushes, & other obstacles at driveways & intersections.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        Yes, tall is an unqualified good in any motor vehicle. All other parameters should be subordinate.

        • 0 avatar
          shaker

          Absolutely – I often find my view blocked for turning by ill-placed shrubs and those damned “roll-out” signs.

          Also: Stability control has massively reduced the potential liability once associated with tall SUV’s, so the floodgates have opened.

          • 0 avatar
            Wheatridger

            I dislike taller vehicles. They ride rougher, with more head toss because of additional lever action when the road dips and tilts. They also feel like you’re driving slower than you really are.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Well I like the little cuss from Mazda. It’s got some joie-de-vivre look to it, a bit of joy. And apparently drives like it.

    The HR-V will outsell it, but I wouldn’t want Mr Frumpy O’Dreary sitting gloomily in the driveway. Life is too short to justify an automotive purchase which exhibits not the faintest whiff of flair, merely goody-two-shoes utility. The soul dies as drudgery beckons.

    And if you really want to carry things, get something bigger than these little boxes and quit complaining when someone who actually has a life picks the CX-3.

  • avatar
    suspekt

    I would take this any day over an Encore/Trax junk. Just on looks alone.

    This is a genuinely good looking car I would be happy to park in my driveway.

  • avatar
    dwford

    It’s amazing that Mazda got the look of this so right, and the look of the Mazda6 also, yet there’s just something not quite right about the Mazda3’s styling, and the CX-5 just looks cheap somehow. All use the same styling cues, but it seems to work better on some models than on others.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      i think it is the front end proportions. on the 3 it just looks a little long…ish.
      however, the 3 does look very cool rearward…

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Exactly my thoughts. The 3 hatchback just doesn’t look right at the back. I prefer the squarer backend of the first hen 3 or current Golf.
      This CX3 may be even more attractive than the 6 and that is saying something.

  • avatar
    Pecci

    No manual … no deal!

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    Why are these referred to as Japanese CUV? They’re Mexican. I haven’t seen enough evidence that Mexican vehicles are of an acceptable build quality to even begin to consider one.

  • avatar
    John R

    And Mazda continues the practice of making cars who’s looks write checks its motors can’t cash.

    The jury’s out, but I suspect the equivalently priced Juke will walk away from this all day.

  • avatar
    Funky

    This, I think, is a nice looking vehicle. I recently purchased a new Mazda (my second Mazda, the first of which, an MX-5, I bought in 2009). I am definitely a fan, in general. A manual transmission, in a compact SUV such as this would be nice. A manual transmission in the upper trim levels of the CX-5 and the GT trim of the Mazda 6 would also be nice. However, the 6 speed automatic, with the so-called “kickdown” or “power boost”, or whatever, seems to work well. But, I agree with others, here, that Mazda should make the manual transmission more readily available in this CX-3 and in higher trims of other models.

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