Car of the Future, Today: The 2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring FWD

Front 3/4 view of 2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring FWD
The 2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring FWD.
Apart from electrification and autonomy (both of which are more real and more imminent than a lot of us think), this is what the folks in the know say the future of cars is:  Small crossover SUVs.

That may be the fact, and if it is, they should all be as good and as satisfying as the 2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring.

Rear 3/4 view of 2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring FWD
2017 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring FWD.
We had our last time in the CX-3 almost a year ago, and found it to be, as all Mazdas are, an immensely fun car to drive.  If you have to have a crossover, why not have one from the folks who make the MX-5 Miata?

Interior view of 2017 Mazda CX-3
2017 Mazda CX-3 interior.
Everything we wrote about the '16 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring holds true for the '17.  The only real difference between the car we drove last year and the one we drove this year is that this year's was blue, not red, and that it was the front-wheel, not the all-wheel drive version.

That choice saves a bit of weight, a bit of complexity, two miles per gallon on the highway (34 versus 32) and $1,250, bringing the base price to $24,990, which brings with it a remarkable list of standard equipment (Grand Touring being the top of the line).

Our tester had the optional GT i-Activesense package (radar cruise control, smart city brake support variable rain-sensing wipers, lane departure warning, automatic on/off headlamps with automatic highbeam control) for $1,170 plus door sill trim plates and a rear bumper guard, which are $100 each. With $900 delivery, processing and handling fee, the bottom line came to $27,260.

That's below the average price of a new car in the U.S. these days, and for it, you get an excellent compact vehicle capable of carrying more stuff than a compact sedan that's fun to drive.  There are a lot worse ways to spend $27,260 at a car dealership.