2018 Mazda CX-3

The 2018 Mazda CX-3 is a subcompact mainstream crossover that slots below the compact Mazda CX-5 and midsize Mazda CX-9 in brand’s SUV lineup. The CX-3 offers nimble handling and a cozy, thoughtfully arranged  interior. Prices start at an MSRP of $20,110.

Pros: Nimble, Nice Design Inside & Out, Efficient

Cons: Small Interior, Road Noise & Isolation

Looks Best In: Soul Red exterior/Black/Parchment interior

 

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Competition: Hyundai Kona, Ford EcoSport, Honda H-RVToyota C-HRSubaru CrossTrek

Safety Score: The 2018 Mazda CX-3 was awarded the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick distinction.

Summary: The 2018 Mazda CX-3 manages to exude an elegance that eludes many of its competitors, where cost-cutting measure are obvious. The value quotient for the CX-3 is high, however be sure to try out the smallish interior for goodness of fit. If the interior is just too small for your needs, consider the compact 2018 Mazda CX-5.

A common complaint for the CX-3 has been that it could use more isolation from road imperfects and that it lacks sufficient sound-deadening to make highway speed cruising more tolerable. Luckily, Mazda has addressed these concerns with the 2019 model due for released soon. Ubran drivers likely won’t notice much difference, however if you frequently travel on the highway, wait for the 2019 model.

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[Images: Mazda]

2018 Mazda CX-5

The 2018 Mazda CX-5 is a mainstream compact SUV, slotted above the subcompact Mazda CX-3 and below the midsize Mazda CX-9 in the brand’s crossover lineup. Available with a variety of trim levels, it can be optioned out with the latest technology and creature comfort. Mazda is known for adding a bit more driving dynamics and styling flair relative to the competitors, and that is no different with the CX-5. It’s a more interesting alternative to segment stalwarts like the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V. Pricing for the 2018 Mazda CX-5 starts at an MSRP of $24,150.

Pros: Expressive “Kodo” design language,  MPGs, Good Handling, Available Upscale Features

Cons: Firm Ride May Deter Some, Smaller Interior Than Competitors

Looks Best In: Eternal Blue (light blue) or Deep Crystal Blue (dark blue) exterior/Parchment interior

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Competition: Chevrolet Equinox, Kia Sportage, Toyota RAV4Honda CR-V, Hyndai Tucson

Summary: The well-rounded 2018 Mazda CX-5 is a recommended choice for shoppers willing to sacrifice some interior space for handling agility. It’s an efficient compact SUV with a premium flair.

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[Images: Mazda]

2018 Mazda CX-9

The 2018 Mazda CX-9 is the brand’s midsize SUV, slotting above the compact Mazda CX-5 and subcompact Mazda CX-3. With three rows of seats, it competes with a number of mainstream and luxury family haulers. It’s packed with safety and convenience features, plus has a sporty driving demeanor. Pricing starts at an MSRP of $32,130.

Pros: Interior Craftsmanship, Exterior Styling, Dynamic Handling

Cons: Tight Third Row, Less Interior Volume Overall Than Competitors, Limited Towing Capacity

Looks Best In: Titanium Flash exterior/Auburn interior

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Competition: Ford ExplorerHonda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, Dodge Durango, Kia Sorento, Chevrolet Traverse

Summary: The Mazda CX-9 is a great alternative to more popular midsize SUVs from mainstream automakers. It has luxurious accommodations and is more enjoyable to drive than competitors, making it a must-see in the midsize three-row SUV segment.

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[Images: Mazda]