2018 Mazda CX-3 GT

Words & Photos by: Jimmy Mak

Not too long ago I’ve got a chance to review the Mazda Cx-3 in the base GX trim, and I have to say I loved it. Today I bring along the Cx-3 in the GT trim, priced ten thousand dollars more than the base model at $32,015 is there more to love? Or has it gone to waste? Read on to find out.

Based on the Mazda 2 of the past the Cx-3 has always been a looker. In 2018 Mazda added safety improvements such as Smart City brake support which allows the Cx-3 to apply the brakes if it senses an imminent threat automatically. As well as G-Vectoring control, more on that later. In general, the Cx-3 remains mostly unchanged since it’s introduction in 2016.

Inside the GT trim, there’s plush leather on the doors and dash. Something you won’t find in this price bracket. There’s even red leather on the side of the centre console offering the front occupants extra padding for their knees. The steering wheel is brand new for 2018, reducing the number of buttons on the wheel and making the spokes a bit smaller gives it a sportier feel.

Sitting high and centre of the dash is Mazda’s infotainment system. It’s more of an if it’s not broke why fix it kind of thing. It works, it’s simple and even allows touch input when stationary but it lacks Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and in 2018 is hard to endure. Luckily, Mazda did mention that for the 2019 model it will be an option and it is backwards compatabile. So maybe in 2019 older Mazda models can be retrofitted to have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Front occupants are treated to nice white leather that will stain with blue jeans, so buyer beware. BUT! They are gorgeous, and with the sunlight, it does make the cabin seem more significant than it is. On GS trim and above the front seats are also heated giving passengers a touch of luxury, on top of that even the steering wheel is heated. Like all Mazdas, the steering wheel has heat only at the 3 and 9 o’clock position.

For the rear, I do like how the headrest slides down over the top of the seats for better rearward visibility. Even with blind-spot monitors, better visibility is always appreciated.

Driving the Cx-3 is fun. The chassis is very tossable and the since the overall length of the vehicle is short turn-ins are sharp and precise. This GT trim is 244lbs heavier than the manual GX trim I’ve previously tested. With no additional power and some powertrain loss to the automatic as well as the all-wheel-drive system, the 2.0L engine under the hood has to work just a bit harder. At 146hp it’s enough to propel the Cx-3 to triple digits speeds in about 8 seconds. It’s not going to win drag races, but it will induce smiles in every turn. Mazda engineers have placed an excellent system called G-Vectoring control. What the system does is during turn-in, the engine will decelerate slightly transferring weight to the front wheels allowing the turns to feel more sharp. This neat little system won’t be used in most day to day driving. However, out in the switch-backs it makes the Cx-3 is astonishing to drive.

As I mentioned previously in the older Cx-3 reviews, it’s not here to win the best overall award. As it’s nowhere near as pratical as some of it’s competitors like the HR-V from Honda or even as quick as the turbocharged Hyundai Kona but the Cx-3 is fun to drive. It fits in for younger families as it’s plenty of space for two and all their things. As for the trim, honestly Mazda has put a lot of work into the GT model, and for those who want something a bit more unique, it is worth the extra money. For those who need the bare essentials, Mazda rolled out a 25th-anniversary edition which includes most of everything one would need including all-wheel-drive for $28,000.

Thank you to Mazda Canada for providing the vehicle.