Originally Posted by Jay
Welcome back to Mazda
Did you get a chance to look at the competition to see what its like compared to the CX-3?
I took a couple Mini Cooper S Clubmans out for test drives. One a regular S, the other a John Cooper Works edition. Both 2009 models. JCW with manual and regular S with automatic. Both were used, obviously. They were amazingly fun to drive. My wife wasn't crazy about the little suicide door on one side only. Kids didn't like having to crawl all the way across to the driver-side rear seat. Cargo space was extra tight, 3 cu. ft. less than the CX-3 with the seats up and around 10 cu. ft. less with seats down. And having to run premium gas sucks. All that said, I was strongly considering the all-new 2016 Cooper Clubman coming out in January which addresses most of those concerns with the exception of the premium gas. The new Clubman is adding more rear seat space, 10 inches more cargo space, and replacing the single rear door with two regular doors.
I also took a 2012 Ford Focus SEL hatchback for a spin. It was fun, but the rear seat leg room was a bit too cramped, the center console was just too busy, and it didn't have as much, well, zoom-zoom like I'm used to. Handled very well, just lacked power. The CX-3 isn't much better in that regard, but I do like the gear selection Mazda made with this transmission. Feels more powerful than it is.
Last car I drove was a 2016 Mazda 6. One I drove was almost fully loaded. Outstanding car for the money. I liked almost everything about it. Almost. They even offered me as much as $5000 for my old 6 in trade for one, plus 1.9% APR financing, plus an extra $1000 incentive besides the $500 Mazda loyalty bonus. It was an extremely good deal, and truth be told, I probably should have taken it. The bigger Mazda 6 is probably a more practical car overall, and it's more fuel efficient, so the total cost of ownership is probably lower.
But the CX-3 just spoke to me more. Better handling and AWD weighed heavily in my decision.
Other cars I considered, but didn't test drive: Subaru Impreza, Outback, and Legacy, Ford Flex (kinda going the other way there...), Chevy Volt, and Mazda CX-5.