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TFL took the Mazda CX-3 AWD out in the Colorado Rocky Mountains in order to test out its off-road abilities. The test car is powered by a 2.0-liter SkyActiv engine that produces 146 horsepower and 146 lb-ft of torque, and is outfitted with a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Mazda's i-ACTIV all-wheel drive system accounts for temperature, road conditions, steering angle and weather in order to distribute engine power to the wheels for optiaml performance and stability.

Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMKbhpJOH9Q

2016 Mazda CX-3 AWD Snowy Rocky Mountain Off-Road Review [Video] | TFLCar.com: Automotive News, Views and Reviews
 

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Great to know it performs very well off road and on snow but I can just see a rock jutting out and scraping the bottom.
Interesting to hear that AWD will compensate for the lack of front wheel traction when he was going up a hill and funnels power to the rear wheels.
 

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Good work Nathan and TFL. I've been dying to see a review like this.

Now all we need is the legendary Dave Erickson to take one in the mud. Come on Dave, We're banking on you......
 

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Nice video but a little scary to watch. Pretty sure mazda intended this CUV to be On-road only. Imagine the damage after the video. I would love to see more snow videos. TFL recently did a similar video with the HRV and hated the CVT tranny.
 

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I think the CUV is capable of off road, just not on roads where you usually take a wrangler on. It has enough ground clearance for the average dirt road like the ones in the review.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
It has to be somewhat capable of off-roading since it is claiming to be a CUV. That's the "utility" part, right?

Though most won't have to deal with off-road conditions at all.
 

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we have two seasons on our roads.

Winter & construction :eek:
 

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I agree with all of it except for one thing, and it is something that a lot complain about, and as an owner, I'm not seeing it. The complaints about rear seat room is unwarranted. Yes there are better, the HRV for example, has more leg room. But, at 6ft, and in driving position, I can sit directly behind me, and I'm comfortable, I've got room. Not CX9 room, but there is room. I fit people back there just fine, and never hear complaints, and trust me, my parents love complaining. The only thing I don't like seat wise is that I can't sit in the front ones on the side, like to just turn on radio or whatever, because the sides are high. I understand they are "bucket seats", or an attempt to be, but it is kinda annoying.

Other than that counter complaint, I agree with lack of storage, and poor rear vision (Which doesn't bug me, combination of rear camera and side mirrors always got the job done, and in actual fact, in any vehicle I've driven, I've never used looked through back window for backing up or anything.
 

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I love TFL. Always enjoy their reviews.

I really wish they would have gone into more details about Mazda's AWD system. For example, it always starts off in AWD then switches over to just front depending on conditions. Other than the Subaru Crosstrek, I'm not sure any other small/mid sized utility/crossover does this.

So far we've only had a little snow and its done really well and although I'm not looking forward to a lot of snow, I'm anxious to see how it does when we get more snow. I will be happy to post more videos when I get the CX in deeper snow.
 

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......and just in case anyone would like another little read on this amazing system;
 

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Interesting, anchorman. I find the stock tires to be pretty crappy and I'll be happy to be rid of them. They aren't TERRIBLE, like the RE-92s that a lot of Subarus came with, though..thank god.
 

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The only thing I don't like seat wise is that I can't sit in the front ones on the side, like to just turn on radio or whatever, because the sides are high. I understand they are "bucket seats", or an attempt to be, but it is kinda annoying.
You all need to start doing what I'm doing. I've owned Mazda Miata with leather seats and seen what happens to the raised lateral support.
Even on a Porsche after about 30k miles that piece will be damaged and worn out from entry and exits.
The only way to make the seat last is to slide it back all the way every time you get out of the car. There will be less rubbing and pressure on it.
Better still if you lower the seat all the way.
I'm getting my wife to get used to that method. I've shown her my old Miata leather seat so she saw first hand of the damage the seats will have in 2-3 years.
 

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If anyone wants to off-road their CX-3, first step is to replace wheels with 16" and get bigger thread block tires.
 

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The CX-3 really isn't suitable for off-road. The approach angle looks worse than a lot of cars. One would have to jack it up sky-high.

It does look reasonably capable for unpaved and light snow on forest roads, but I wouldn't push it.
 

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The CX-3 really isn't suitable for off-road. The approach angle looks worse than a lot of cars. One would have to jack it up sky-high.

It does look reasonably capable for unpaved and light snow on forest roads, but I wouldn't push it.
Agreed on the above. I think TFL.com was trying to cite an extreme case i the above review.
 
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