Seat Time: 2016 Mazda CX-3

August 31st, 2015 at 2:00pm


Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

Reviewer: Sean McElroy
Manufacturer: Mazda
Make: Mazda
Model: CX-3
Type: Subcompact Crossover
Competitors: Honda HR-V, Fiat 500X, Buick Encore, Nissan Juke
Price: Base – $20,840; Grand Touring – $25,870 + options
Made in: Hiroshima, Japan
Drivetrain: 2.0L SKYACTIV-G; 6-speed AT; optional AWD
EPA Ratings: 29 city/35 highway/31 combined (27/32/29 AWD)

Final Impression:
Mazda-CX-3-Interior-1Mazda is a hard brand to figure out. It seemingly makes some very good products, but yet it’s barely increasing sales in a market that’s seeing some pretty good growth. Its sales are up just .26% so far this year, while the total market is up 4.7%. But the automaker is looking to change that around as it jumps into the red-hot subcompact crossover segment with the CX-3. And if you pair the way it drives with the way it looks, the CX-3 fits right in with Mazda’s sporty persona.

It’s powered by a 2.0L 4-cylinder engine, which can be found in other vehicles in its lineup and is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission. The suspension package features a MacPherson strut setup in front and torsion-beam out back. So, how does this translate to the road? Well, I think it’s better than any other little CUV out there today. While the CX-3 has a ride quality similar to its competitors on surface streets and the highway, this small crossover really starts to shine when you push it. It’s surprisingly well balanced through tight twisting turns. Push a little too hard and the weight up front does want to carry you wide, but the vehicle gives ample feedback before that happens. This can partly be attributed to a reworked all-wheel-drive system that’s now taking readings from 7 additional sensors, which helps it predict what’s going to happen. And for a little extra fun, switch into sport or manual mode to hold gears a little longer and get the most out of its torquey engine, which starts to kick in around 3,000 RPM.

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AAH #300 – 6 Years, 300 Shows & 1 of the Most Beautiful Cars in History

August 28th, 2015 at 2:48pm

Audio-only version:

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- Dodge Barracuda and Ford Bronco coming back.
- Is it time for closed cockpits in racing?
- Chaos in the Market: What it means for August sales.

All that and much more with John McElroy,; Gary Vasilash, Automotive Design & Production; Karl Brauer, Kelly Blue Book; Michelle Krebs, AutoTrader

Thanks to our sponsors who make Autoline After Hours possible: Bridgestone, Ram Trucks and Hyundai.

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NVIDIA’s Brain Teaches a Car to Think – Autonomous Cars 2015

August 26th, 2015 at 5:03pm

Danny Shapiro is the Senior Director of Automotive for NVIDIA. He talks with John McElroy about the company’s supercomputer “brain” for autonomous cars, which accepts all of the automobile’s sensory inputs and makes sense of them. Shapiro demonstrates how NVIDIA’s hardware can tell the difference between trucks, cars, police vehicles, ambulances and so forth. He also makes his prediction for when we’ll see the first autonomous cars ready for primetime.

My Car is More Autonomous than Your Car – Autonomous Cars 2015

August 26th, 2015 at 3:02pm

Manuela Papadopol is the Global Marketing Director for Elektrobit Automotive. She talks with John McElroy about the changing face of marketing as the era of self-driving vehicles closes in. She says that as the driver becomes a passenger we will see the battle between “economy and business class” accommodations in vehicles.

Auto Tune: “Busload of Faith” by Lou Reed

August 26th, 2015 at 3:00pm

Driving, riding, roads and of course cars themselves have all been immortalized by writers, composers and musicians around the world. Auto Tune is our way to spotlight a unique transportation song to celebrate these “ridden” gems along with the artists or composers who crafted them. Some you may know, many we’re sure you don’t.

Lou_Reed_New_YorkI’ve never actually loved New York City though I do worship Lou Reed’s contributions to our musical lexicon. So I guess, by extension, I must love New York because that’s exactly who Lou Reed was. The city was infused in both him and his in early six decades of work. Whether it was the hustle on the streets, the banging cabs, the screech of the subway and those unique, interesting people he always sang about, it was always there.

In fact Lou loved NYC so much he even devoted an entire album to the city called, simply enough, New York. From that album we could’ve chosen a half-a-dozen songs that would’ve fit our Auto Tunes criteria, however, “Busload of Faith” stands above the rest.

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Inside the Connected Vehicle Trade Association – Autonomous Cars 2015

August 26th, 2015 at 2:00pm

Scott McCormick is the President of the Connected Vehicle Trade Association. He talks with John McElroy about what the organization does for its members to keep them educated about the state of connected vehicles and about other functions of the association performs.

The Cost of a Crashproof Car – Autonomous Cars 2015

August 25th, 2015 at 5:21pm

Richard Wallace is the Director of Transportation Systems Analysis at the Center for Automotive Research. He talks with John McElroy about when autonomous cars will be available to real consumers and what they will cost. Wallace asks: what premium would you pay for a car that can never crash?

Making Cars Safe Through Open Source – Autonomous Cars 2015

August 25th, 2015 at 3:02pm

Joel Hoffmann is with Renesas Electronics. He talks with John McElroy about taking car software open source to iterate faster and close security holes. Hoffmann discusses the GENIVI Alliance, a non-profit consortium of auto companies, tier one suppliers and software manufacturers advocating for open source solutions in automotive.

Understanding Consumer Acceptance of Self-Driving Tech – Autonomous Cars 2015

August 25th, 2015 at 12:41pm

Craig Giffi is the Vice Chairman and U.S. Automotive Leader for Deloitte. He talks with John McElroy about what research says about consumer acceptance and adoption of autonomous technology. According to Giffi there is a great disparity between what drivers in developed countries want and what customers in emerging markets will accept — the difference may surprise you.

2017 Cadillac CT6 is Hands-Free Autonomous – Autonomous Cars 2015

August 25th, 2015 at 12:10pm

Cem Saraydar is the Director of the Electrical and Control Systems Research Lab for General Motors. He talks with John McElroy about the company’s Super Cruise feature, which will debut on the 2017 Cadillac CT6 flagship sedan. Saraydar tells Autoline that, unlike luxury competitors, drivers will not have to keep their hands on the steering wheel while driving autonomously.