This week we had the pleasure of test driving the 2017 Mazda CX-3, which falls into the subcompact crossover class of vehicles. For both my partner and I, this was a first.

Its exterior styling was guided by “KODO, the Soul Of Motion” philosophy. Where Mazda designers sculpted the CX-3 with well‑balanced proportions. And like the other vehicles in the 2017 mazda line up, the front end is defined by its long and aggressive look.

Comparing the interior, it was very similar to the Mazda 3, that we had a few weeks back. Except that it came with an extra pedal. For those unfamiliar, this was the clutch on their 6speed manual transmission. My partner was excited to drive a manual car since most of the modern vehicles we have been steering lately have been automatic. He appreciated a taste of analog, where modern connivence has replaced many with their digital counterparts. I used this as a good opportunity to brush up on my manual driving skills.

As expected the short wheelbase and Mazda’s well designed chassis made this little car handle more like a kart. We found it easy to zip around town with. And the SKYACTIV-G 2.0L engine produces 146hp, which is class-leading in fuel economy. So naturally it was good on gas, making it ideal for longer drivers and road trips. That and the fact it is surprisingly quiet at higher speeds. This was a treat and a great way to flex your driving muscle.

Once again thanks to Mazda Canada for giving us the opportunity to try their line of little road monsters, it has really opened our eyes, giving us a finer appreciation for the brand.