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I've owned my 2018 for 4 months now and am just starting to use the downshift feature coming off the freeway. I rarely go over 3000rpm or pass on the highway so there's no need to use Sport mode. I want my car to last 10 years and a good way to do that is to keep the revs down. That said, winter is coming and I'm anxious to see how the AWD and my winter tires perform. Snow is the great equalizer where raw horsepower becomes less important than traction and sure-footedness.
 

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I've owned my 2018 for 4 months now and am just starting to use the downshift feature coming off the freeway. I rarely go over 3000rpm or pass on the highway so there's no need to use Sport mode. I want my car to last 10 years and a good way to do that is to keep the revs down. That said, winter is coming and I'm anxious to see how the AWD and my winter tires perform. Snow is the great equalizer where raw horsepower becomes less important than traction and sure-footedness.
You are going to absolutely LOVE how your CX-3 handles in the snow with winter tires!

The balance of power and weight between front and rear wheels together with the AWD system, which works flawlessly, allows the car to just do what you want, before you even know what is needed. I came from a FWD Tribute that was okay in the snow and every time I drive my CX-3 in the snow I have this big grin on my face. I'm a skier, so I will drive through the worst that winter can dish out just to get to a powder day on the slopes.

Most of the time I take it easy in my cars. I do drive on the highway and I like using the paddle shifters around town the odd time, just to see how much differently the car accelerates. The Sport mode is fun as well. I wouldn't be concerned about the CX-3 lasting 10 years. I've owned four Mazdas over the years and my '09 Tribute was 10 years old with 200K km at trade-in. My '04Mazda3 had even higher mileage and lasted over 9 year before I sold it.

Have fun out there playing in the snow.
 

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justt here to reiterate that the tires make a world of difference in the snow lol. Going from overly aggressive deep snow rated ko2 offroad tires to regular all season touring cooper tires was a ridiculous difference and I beached myself twice with the cooper tires. The ko2s would haul me through anything even snow higher than the front bumper as I pushed forward through the snow using my condensor/radiator as a plow unintentionally.

Just keep in mind that even if the tires get you going, stopping is always a different story as is ice.
 

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justt here to reiterate that the tires make a world of difference in the snow lol. Going from overly aggressive deep snow rated ko2 offroad tires to regular all season touring cooper tires was a ridiculous difference and I beached myself twice with the cooper tires. The ko2s would haul me through anything even snow higher than the front bumper as I pushed forward through the snow using my condensor/radiator as a plow unintentionally.

Just keep in mind that even if the tires get you going, stopping is always a different story as is ice.
Which is why I said "with winter tires". All season tires just don't cut it, even with AWD.

My current winter tire option is a set of Michelin X-Ice winter tires mounted on 17" aluminium aftermarket rims. I've found these tires to be very good on both snow and ice and have never had an issue starting, or stopping the car in the extreme conditions I tend to drive through to get to ski hills.
 

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2016 CX-3 GT, Soul Red, 28k miles as of July 2021.
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You are going to absolutely LOVE how your CX-3 handles in the snow with winter tires!

The balance of power and weight between front and rear wheels together with the AWD system, which works flawlessly, allows the car to just do what you want, before you even know what is needed. I came from a FWD Tribute that was okay in the snow and every time I drive my CX-3 in the snow I have this big grin on my face. I'm a skier, so I will drive through the worst that winter can dish out just to get to a powder day on the slopes.

Most of the time I take it easy in my cars. I do drive on the highway and I like using the paddle shifters around town the odd time, just to see how much differently the car accelerates. The Sport mode is fun as well. I wouldn't be concerned about the CX-3 lasting 10 years. I've owned four Mazdas over the years and my '09 Tribute was 10 years old with 200K km at trade-in. My '04Mazda3 had even higher mileage and lasted over 9 year before I sold it.

Have fun out there playing in the snow.
So true. AWD systems is so smart, had it in 16in snow and drifts, and deep sand dunes at the beach, as well as off road. Never got stuck, not even close. Then there is the 'active' part where it balances handling in all weather or dry, creating a neutral handling chassis with near no understeer or oversteer. I drive the car hard (and change oil often), and it never let me down, not even in heavy rain at the roadcourse. Owned many cars, and types from a GTI I raced to several Mustangs and everything in between. THIS is the best of them all.
 

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2017 CX-3 Grand Touring
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Just curious about whether I should bow to my wife's insistence on getting an AWD CX-3. We have two homes, one in Beaver Creek, CO (a ski area) and one in Puerto Vallarta. We bought a CX-3 here in Mexico and my wife wants to buy one for Colorado, too. But we leave Colorado every year at the end of September because we don't like cold weather and don't return until June (don't ask why we bought a place in a ski area...it's complicated🥴). This year, we only saw a few inches of snow on the ground before we left and the roads are meticulously plowed constantly. Reading about the importance of snow (vs.M&S) tires made me even more convinced of these lunacy of getting AWD for the short time we're there at the beginning of the season. But my wife is a nervous passenger, often slamming the dashboard in anticipation of an imminent collision. Any suggestions on how to talk my wife out of this irrational, expensive and rarely-if-ever-used option?
 

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@Montalvo, An AWD will do very little to calm your nervous passenger. Perhaps more defensive driving, or earlier braking might help her worries:D.
Seriously though, if you rarely drive in snow you really don't need winter tires on any vehicle. An all-season tire on an AWD vehicle will be more than adequate to handle the conditions you describe. Even a FWD CX-3 would be perfectly fine between June and September in Colorado if you keep to the paved roads.
 

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2017 CX-3 Grand Touring
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@Montalvo, An AWD will do very little to calm your nervous passenger. Perhaps more defensive driving, or earlier braking might help her worries:D.
Seriously though, if you rarely drive in snow you really don't need winter tires on any vehicle. An all-season tire on an AWD vehicle will be more than adequate to handle the conditions you describe. Even a FWD CX-3 would be perfectly fine between June and September in Colorado if you keep to the paved roads.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Malks. I have to confess that I'm anything BUT a defensive driver (I drove a cab in LA for a year and picked up some bad habits). I've got seven months before we return to CO so maybe in that time I can reform my aggressive driving to the point where my wife can feel less anxious about driving in a little snow.
 
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