For its price, Mazda’s 2018 CX-3 subcompact crossover looks better than it should, handles better than it should and has way more features than it should.

The 2018 CX-3 comes in Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trims, all of which are surprisingly well-equipped and affordably priced. I was amazed at the amenity sheet of this week’s test car, a 2018 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring model with front-wheel drive.

Included were rain-sensing wipers, heated mirrors, a rear roof spoiler, a tilt and telescoping heated steering wheel, heated seats, pushbutton start with paddle shifters, automatic adaptive LED headlights and fog lights, automatic climate control, a 7-inch color touchscreen, Bose HD radio, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, a power moon roof, radar cruise control, lane departure warning, high beam control, traffic sign recognition, a pop-up head’s up display and a driver’s memory seat.

Sounds like a $30,000-plus car, right?

But the bottom line on the test car was just $25,165. That is not a typo. My test Grand Touring trim had an optional premium package which brought the out-the-door price to $27,425 plus $840 in freight.

And that’s about the most expensive CX-3 you can get. The CX-3 Sport starts at $20,110, and a CX-3 Touring starts at $22,195.

The CX-3 is loaded with technology and features, but perhaps the most attractive thing, other than its price, is the safety that Mazda has packed into this crossover. Mazda doesn’t limit its best safety technology to just the upper trims, but adds it to all CX-3s.

The big safety news for 2018 is Mazda’s standard Smart City Brake Support, an urban automatic emergency braking system which can stop the car at speeds 19 mph or slower. A higher speed emergency braking system is optional.

Also standard is a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning and automatic high beams.

Both the government and the insurance industry have taken notice. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the 2018 CX-3 a “Top Safety Pick +” award, while the feds give the CX-3 five Safety Stars in every category.

The CX-3 cabin is very nice with fine materials and quality craftsmanship. The two-tone seats in the test car were leather trimmed and comfortable, and the heated steering wheel and heated seats came in very handy during Baton Rouge’s recent sneaux day.

Vehicle systems are primarily governed by a control knob surrounded by buttons. It’s a simple, intuitive system to use. At the bottom of the center stack, a pair of USB ports, an AUX port and a 12v jack are convenient.

The center armrest isn’t so convenient, folding down over the drink holders. A small cup of coffee will fit in the drink holders with the armrest in place, but large drinks require the armrest to be raised. You can have a Big Gulp or an armrest, but not both.

Without a moon roof, headroom in front is 38.4 inches, and in back it’s 37.2 inches. Legroom in back is 35 inches. Cargo volume is 12.4 cubic feet with all seats in place and up to 44.5 cubic feet with the second row folded down.

All CX-3s are powered by a 2.0-liter Inline 4-cylinder engine that develops 146 horsepower and 146 lb.-ft. of torque. Mazda thankfully puts a smooth 6-speed automatic transmission with a manual-shift mode in the CX-3 instead of a CVT. For an extra $1,250, you can get AWD, which is always great addition.

The engine isn’t overpowering, but it gets the job done. Fuel economy figures are quite good: 29 mpg in the city, 34 mpg on the highway and 31 mpg combined. The CX-3 handles well and has good road manners, with scant body roll in tight corners.

If you’re looking for a small crossover that has lots of features, an excellent safety record and won’t bust your budget, you should take the 2018 Mazda CX-3 for a spin.

2018 Mazda CX-3

Engine:

2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder

Horsepower/Torque:

146/146 lb.-ft.

Transmission:

6-speed automatic

Price:

$25,165 plus options & freight

EPA mileage estimates:

29 mpg city/34 mpg highway/31 mpg combined

Estimated highway range:

For its price, Mazda’s 2018 CX-3 subcompact crossover looks better than it should, handles better than it should and has way more features than it should.

The 2018 CX-3 comes in Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trims, all of which are surprisingly well-equipped and affordably priced. I was amazed at the amenity sheet of this week’s test car, a 2018 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring model with front-wheel drive.

Included were rain-sensing wipers, heated mirrors, a rear roof spoiler, a tilt and telescoping heated steering wheel, heated seats, pushbutton start with paddle shifters, automatic adaptive LED headlights and fog lights, automatic climate control, a 7-inch color touchscreen, Bose HD radio, Bluetooth, a rearview camera, a power moon roof, radar cruise control, lane departure warning, high beam control, traffic sign recognition, a pop-up head’s up display and a driver’s memory seat.

Sounds like a $30,000-plus car, right?

But the bottom line on the test car was just $25,165. That is not a typo. My test Grand Touring trim had an optional premium package which brought the out-the-door price to $27,425 plus $840 in freight.

And that’s about the most expensive CX-3 you can get. The CX-3 Sport starts at $20,110, and a CX-3 Touring starts at $22,195.

The CX-3 is loaded with technology and features, but perhaps the most attractive thing, other than its price, is the safety that Mazda has packed into this crossover. Mazda doesn’t limit its best safety technology to just the upper trims, but adds it to all CX-3s.

The big safety news for 2018 is Mazda’s standard Smart City Brake Support, an urban automatic emergency braking system which can stop the car at speeds 19 mph or slower. A higher speed emergency braking system is optional.

Also standard is a rearview camera, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning and automatic high beams.

Both the government and the insurance industry have taken notice. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the 2018 CX-3 a “Top Safety Pick +” award, while the feds give the CX-3 five Safety Stars in every category.

The CX-3 cabin is very nice with fine materials and quality craftsmanship. The two-tone seats in the test car were leather trimmed and comfortable, and the heated steering wheel and heated seats came in very handy during Baton Rouge’s recent sneaux day.

Vehicle systems are primarily governed by a control knob surrounded by buttons. It’s a simple, intuitive system to use. At the bottom of the center stack, a pair of USB ports, an AUX port and a 12v jack are convenient.

The center armrest isn’t so convenient, folding down over the drink holders. A small cup of coffee will fit in the drink holders with the armrest in place, but large drinks require the armrest to be raised. You can have a Big Gulp or an armrest, but not both.

Without a moon roof, headroom in front is 38.4 inches, and in back it’s 37.2 inches. Legroom in back is 35 inches. Cargo volume is 12.4 cubic feet with all seats in place and up to 44.5 cubic feet with the second row folded down.

All CX-3s are powered by a 2.0-liter Inline 4-cylinder engine that develops 146 horsepower and 146 lb.-ft. of torque. Mazda thankfully puts a smooth 6-speed automatic transmission with a manual-shift mode in the CX-3 instead of a CVT. For an extra $1,250, you can get AWD, which is always great addition.

The engine isn’t overpowering, but it gets the job done. Fuel economy figures are quite good: 29 mpg in the city, 34 mpg on the highway and 31 mpg combined. The CX-3 handles well and has good road manners, with scant body roll in tight corners.

If you’re looking for a small crossover that has lots of features, an excellent safety record and won’t bust your budget, you should take the 2018 Mazda CX-3 for a spin.

2018 Mazda CX-3

Engine:

2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder

Horsepower/Torque:

146/146 lb.-ft.

Transmission:

6-speed automatic

Price:

$25,165 plus options & freight

EPA mileage estimates:

29 mpg city/34 mpg highway/31 mpg combined

Estimated highway range:

432 miles