Road Trip in Small Car: 2017 Mazda CX-3

Road Trip in Small Car: 2017 Mazda CX-3   via

What a way to bring in 2017 by driving the new 2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring FWD!

It's been awhile since I've last reviewed a car, and this is because of my previous home only had a one-car garage which made it hard to park the review vehicle, my own car and Mr. M's, plus the family emergency that happened towards the end of the year.

But now I'm back to doing what I love, reviewing cars!  Especially cars from Mazda, they're becoming one of my favorite brands making me want to trade in my Toyota Rav-4 for one of their cars.

I wanted to review an SUV for my road to Florida, but none were available except one of Mazda's smallest cars.

When it comes to road trips, I want as much space as possible for leg room, storage, over-all comfort.  But I was up for the challenge to see if driving a small vehicle with a family of four would work.

Before the car arrived at my house, the girls kept asking me if the car would have a tv in it and lounge chairs like the KIA van I reviewed before.  I didn't want to bust their bubble, so I had them wait and see.

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The morning before the trip, the Dynamic Blue 2017 Mazda CX-3 was dropped off, and the girls ran to the window, and you should've seen the disappointment in their faces.

"How can we even fit our suitcases in that?  We are going to be squished!" said the girls loudly.

Road Trip in Small Car: 2017 Mazda CX-3  via  www.productreviewmom.comRoad Trip in Small Car: 2017 Mazda CX-3  via

I knew we could make it work.

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I did a walk around the car and remembered that I previewed the 2016 model before when I had lunch with Mazda, but never had a chance to review it.  I guess now was my time, however with the 2017 model.

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Not much of a difference between 2016 and 2017 model.  The looks of it are still the same which I appreciate because I hate to buy a car a year before and when the new year models come out the look is entirely different body style making your vehicle now look old.

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What I love about Mazda is the exterior.  Masculine, powerful, no matter if the car is big or small, it has a presence that demands attention.  And that is what the Mazda CX-3 had.  It may be little, but it wasn't getting pushed around by all the bigger cars.  And with the blue color, it stands out from the crowd.  Just like how I like to live my life, standing out, not blending in.

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It's a bit slower than the other Mazda models due to the smaller engine, but it packs a bit of speed when you hit that SPORTS button, had us zoom zooming in and out of traffic!

Speaking of traffic, something that is new about this CX-3 model when you're not maintaining your lane, not only does it alert you; it gives you a bit of a nudge too to get back into your lane.  Smart feature!

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Active driving display by the steering wheel is one of the best features with Mazda helping me know how fast I'm driving and measuring the distance between the car in front of me making sure I'm not riding someone's bumper.

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The two-tone leather seating in the interior gave this peppy car a coolness factor.  Makes you not think about how small the inside is.

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And you know what?  The space inside wasn't that bad.  I could stretch my legs, and so could my family.  Maybe because we're a bunch of shorties, LOL!  But really, I was quite surprised by this because the outside of the car looks super small, but inside had enough space for us.

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We even had space to pack our suitcases!  Yes, it blocked pretty much the whole back window, but hey our bags fit and that's what matters most.

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Another thing that had me singing praises was the gas!  We saved a lot of money on gas!  $25 filled the tank to full, and it took one tank of gas to get to Florida from Atlanta, very impressive!  (31 MPG/ 29 City)

Although we enjoyed Blueberry (what my daughters called the car), there were some things I thought needed some changes.

Once again Mazda, please make a more user-friendly navigation system!!!  It took us 10 minutes or more just to program driving destinations, which made us resort to using our cell phone GPS half the time.

I didn't like how the front armrest was because it was hard putting drinks in and out of the cup holder under it.

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The seating is manual which cheapens the car, along with the non-digital thermostat.

Now this is something Mazda can't do anything about, but when we were on the road and had a taller cars behind us it felt like the cars were high beaming us, their headlights would shine right through the car at nights.

Overall, this is a great car for teens, singles, and small families.  Don't believe the hype that you must have a big car for road trips; small cars works perfectly fine.  You save money on gas, can park in tight parking spaces, plus have great bonding moments with your family.  The CX-3 is ready for a adventure!

So, what's the cost for this little roadster?  The Mazda CX-3 starting price is $24,990, but if you want all the bells and whistles, then the price will be $27,260.  Not bad, I feel these are good prices for a Mazda.

Disclosure: I was provided this car free for 7 days to review and give my honest opinions.

What are your thoughts about driving a small car for road trips?  Would you do it, or not?

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  1. Anonymous5:25 PM

    OUr family of six need a large car for road trips but if we don't travel with all the kids we prefer a smaller car when taking trips.

    1. When I don't have my kids with me, I prefer a small car as well.

  2. I actually prefer small cars and I am a nervous driver. Again on my goal list for the year is to get my l's. Last year I managed to get my permit, but now I am too nervous to take the drivers test despite acing the on road drivers course. This car is cute, but I wonder if it would be able to fit two car seats and a booster seat in it comfortably? My kids are young still so car seats take up a ton of space.

  3. Yes, this is definitely a great starter or "ender" car as it was perfect for me to zip back and forth to work. It however, wouldn't be good as a family car. Great review sis and am glad you had a safe trip. #ProductReviewParty

  4. It looks like a comfortable car for a small family or for single use.Hope you had enjoyable time with the car...

  5. Cute car, luv the blue. The cargo room actually seems larger once you had everything loaded than it appeared empty! #ProductReviewParty

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