2016 ‘Mudfest’ — Outdoor Activity Vehicle of the Year

© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience© Perry Stern, Automotive Content Experience
Best Compact — 2016 Mazda CX-3
Version Tested: Grand Touring AWD
Price as Equipped: $27,640
The smallest crossover in the Mazda lineup took the top honors in this hotly-contested class. On the road course the CX-3 stood out for its sporty handling and quick-shifting automatic transmission. When we took to the mud, the CX-3 benefited from its “predictive” i-ACTIV AWD system. This system takes into account 27 different types of data including outside temperature, wiper operation, incline, steering angle, individual wheel speeds, gas pedal position and more. The result is very little wheelspin — even when conditions get extremely slick. The Mazda’s only difficulty on the off-road course came from its low ground clearance — the small crossover kept digging into the mud with its lower fascia, but it still kept pushing through.

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