- - Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Mazda folks announced this week the very reasonable price tag for the all-new 2016 Mazda CX-3 subcompact crossover, which will start at $19,960. Even better, this latest evolution of Mazda’s signature KODO design comes embodied in a crossover that is available with premium, class-exclusive features and class-leading fuel economy.

In a fun-to-drive, stylish and upscale Mazda sort of way, the 2016 Mazda CX-3 will go on sale around mid-August and the entry-level CUV starting in the high $19,000s will sport front-wheel drive or with an upgrade of $1,250 buyers can also select the CX-3 Sport with Mazda’s predictive i-ACTIV all-wheel drive that takes temperature, road conditions, steering-angle and weather into account, among other factors, to help optimize to which wheels engine power is routed for maximum performance and stability.

“We wanted to send a strong statement that new buyers, early adopters, empty-nesters and right-sizers can get everything they want in a crossover that fits their needs,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations. “CX-3 offers the same technologies and thrilling driving experience seen across the rest of Mazda’s award-winning lineup that we believe will be a great gateway to the Mazda brand.”

The 2016 Mazda CX-3 will come standard with a SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter engine producing 146 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 146 lb-ft of torque at 2,800 rpm, with all trim levels equipped with a quick-shifting SKYACTIV-DRIVE six-speed automatic transmission. In front-wheel-drive configuration, it nets a class-leading EPA-estimated fuel economy of 29 mpg city/35 mpg highway/31 mpg combined or 27 mpg city/32 mpg highway/29 mpg combined with i-ACTIV for the AWD.

All CX-3 models also come with MAZDA CONNECTTM, a seven-inch, full-color touchscreen infotainment suite that is integrated with a commander control knob and Bluetooth hands-free phone pairing and audio streaming. MAZDA CONNECTTM helps drivers and passengers safely keep connected while on the go, integrating phone controls, radio, internet radio services like Pandora and Aha by Harmon, and available navigation into a single system.

The 2016 CX-3s will also have a backup camera and push-button starter as well as power windows, power door locks and remote keyless entry.

Stepping up from CX-3 Sport to the mid-level CX-3 Touring yields additional niceties like leatherette seating surfaces with cloth inserts, heated seats, Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM), Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA), Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry, heated door mirrors, a center armrest and leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter. The available Touring Technology Package adds a one-touch power moonroof, SiriusXM and HD radio and a rear cargo cover.

CX-3 Grand Touring ups the ante with a one-touch power moonroof, navigation, Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), Active Driving Display pop-up head-up display, leather and Lux Suede two-toned seats, a seven-speaker Bose® premium audio system with SiriusXM satellite and HD radio, a rear cargo cover, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters and LED headlights, fog lights, daytime running lights and tail lights.

When equipped with the Grand Touring i-ACTIVSENSE package, CX-3 packs features unavailable in rival vehicles like Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Smart City Brake Support, Smart Brake Support, High Beam Control System, Lane Departure Warning System, rain-sensing wipers and auto on/off headlights.

Cost: For each CX-3 trim level prices are as follows (add $1,250 to each model for i-ACTIV all-wheel drive):

CX-3 Sport: $19,960

CX-3 Touring: $21,960 or with Touring Technology Package: $1,410

CX-3 Grand Touring: $24,990 or with i-ACTIVSENSE safety package: $1,920

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