We recently attended the launch of the all-new 2016 Mazda CX-3. As the latest addition to the family, this vehicle is bound to catch its share of the headlines this year. Our first impression was resoundingly positive. During the technical presentation, we were surprised to find out that it will come factory standard with a 2.0L four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission with Sport mode.
This begged the question: Why omit the manual transmission when the brand’s other models (except the CX-9) include it? Sure, the automatic gearbox is very effective, but a manual would offer a double-edged advantage in that it would cost less and deliver a more dynamic ride. After all, isn’t that Mazda’s signature?
According to the people at Mazda, the decision was not based on technological constraints, as this combo is already used on the CX-5. Market demand was the reason. Today, few buyers actually choose manual transmissions when buying Mazda SUVs. So this time, the automaker decided to analyze the market and public reaction before adding a manual to the menu. In other words, there’s still hope! Mazda usually does a good job responding to demand, as seen when they recently added a manual gearbox to the Mazda3 GT 2.5L.
No towing either
Some readers have also been wondering about the CX-3’s towing capacity. The answer is pretty cut and dry: Mazda simply doesn’t recommend it. Under its SUV exterior, the CX-3 is actually a raised Mazda2. And even if this vehicle is (or might be) capable of towing, Mazda doesn’t want to make any claims, probably for legal reasons. This is often the case with smaller vehicles.