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The Mazda CX-3 Wins AJAC's 2016 Utility Vehicle of the Year

Bigger doesn't always mean better when it comes to Sports Utility Vehicles, eh? It seems that Canadians have really warmed up to the idea of driving SUVs that fall into the subcompact crossover category. Why not? These vehicles are typically more affordable and get better fuel economy than larger SUVs. The popularity of subcompact crossovers was recently confirmed when The Mazda CX-3 claimed top honours this year from the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).

It came as no surprise that the critically praised CX-3 easily won in its own category for "Best New SUV/CUV (under $35,000)." The real triumph came with the Mazda product being awarded the highly coveted Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year title.

Why the Mazda CX-3 is a Winner

Director of Marketing, Vincent Reboul, had this to say about the CX-3 taking the AJAC top SUV honour:

"We are absolutely delighted that AJAC members have voted for the Mazda CX-3 as the Canadian Utility Vehicle of the Year. Being chosen over the very worthy competition we faced is a strong endorsement of everything the CX-3 brings to the table: show-stopping KODO design, excellent real-world fuel efficiency thanks to SKYACTIV Technology, and all-weather capability with Mazda’s predictive i-ACTIV AWD system."

Utility Vehicle of the Year Mazda

  • Exciting Driving Dynamics: The four-cylinder engine that comes standard with the CX-3 provides what automotive journalists call "good acceleration off the line and for driving around town." Test drivers have praised the 2016 Mazda CX-3 for its athletic handling, calling it "one of the sportiest performers in the class." These drivers have also been impressed with its accurate steering and cushioned ride.
  • Outstanding Fuel Economy: The FWD 4dr Sport CX-3 gets 8.2/6.7L/100 km city/highway and the All-Wheel Drive version gets 8.8/7.3L/100 km city/highway. You can get a lot of kilometers out of your gas money with the CX-3. This is great news for many SUV drivers, who tend to enjoy outdoor adventures and family vacations. The vehicle seats five, so load up your gang and hit the trails.
  • Lots of Standard Features: Highlights from the CX-3's long list of standard features include: Brake Assist, a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), speed-sensing double action door locks, a 7" colour touch screen display with MAZDA CONNECT, MP3 functionality for the CD player, a rear view camera and an engine immobilizer theft-deterrent system. Considering that a basic CX-3 GX will start for around $20,695 (excluding freight, P.D.E. and fees), this subcompact crossover has a lot to offer for a fairly affordable price tag.

For the most part, the only negative criticism that has been leveled at the Mazda CX-3 is that it has limited cargo capacity and the back seats are not exactly spacious. However, these complaints seem fairly minor when compared to how much praise the Mazda CX-3 has received from both automotive journalists and drivers.


Category winners of AJAC titles are selected by the largest group of Canada's best-known automotive journalists, and their votes are hardly based on speculation. Instead, these journalists gather in Clarington, Ontario for a four-day test-drive evaluation of brand-new or significantly changed models. The event is known as "TestFest," and the most recent one was hosted by Canadian Tire Motorsport Park and Shell Canada.

Gary Grant, co-chair of the Canadian Car of the Year committee, states that "TestFest is the most intensive new-vehicle evaluation process on the planet. No other organization employs such stringent testing methods to determine its award winners."

And the methods employed at TestFest are quite rigorous. The program approximates real-world driving on public roads. This is because testers want to drive the vehicles where consumers drive so that the data collected will be directly relevant to potential buyers. It is also important to note that the results of the eventual voting are not based on the personal opinions of just a handful of journalists. Rather, awards are agreed upon by 71 automotive journalists who have driven each vehicle in their respective categories on the same day and under the same conditions.

Your Next Car, Truck or SUV

If you are excited by the prospect of owning a Mazda CX-3, or have your sights set on a particular sedan, hatchback, pickup truck or any other vehicle, it is wise to get your financing sorted out first. This is especially true if you are currently dealing with less than perfect credit, and you are worried about getting an auto loan approval.

This is where Canada Auto Loan can help. Regardless of what your credit looks like, we can connect you with a dealer in your area who is qualified to work with your situation. Our service is free, and you are under no obligation to buy when you fill out our fast and 100% secure online application. Get started today.