Another welcome CX-3 trait is its thrifty fuel economy. With front-wheel drive, you'll see an impressive 31 mpg in combined city/highway driving, according to the EPA, while the all-wheel-drive version still registers 29 mpg highway. That's about as good as it gets in this segment. Unlike many fuel misers, the CX-3 can also get out of its own way, providing respectable acceleration that takes some of the stress out of highway merging and passing.
Subcompact crossovers haven't been around for very long, but there's already a critical mass of competitors for the CX-3 to check out. Tops on the list is the 2016 Honda HR-V, which lacks the CX-3's quickness and agility but counters with comparable fuel economy and superior cargo capacity. You've also got the Fiat Chrysler cousins, the 2016 Fiat 500X and the 2016 Jeep Renegade, with the former offering Italian flair and the latter boasting real off-road ability. Another rival worth trying is the venerable Nissan Juke, which is the quickest of the bunch in a straight line but has comparatively little interior space. They're all worthy candidates, but the 2016 Mazda CX-3 keeps them honest with its strong performance across the board.