2016’s Best 2WD SUV under $35,000

Moving Well | RACV | Posted on 21 February 2017

RoyalAuto reviews the best compact SUVs of 2016.

Winner: Mazda CX-3 Maxx

This is the new boom vehicle class, and among a plethora of new models Mazda CX-3 Maxx has taken the ABC award by quite a margin. It was consistently strong across nearly every judging criterion with class-leading scores for depreciation, performance and handling and equal class-leading scores for environment, seating comfort, ergonomics, build and finish, braking and smoothness and quietness.

The 2.0L petrol engine is a strong and willing performer but not at the expense of fuel economy, where its 6.1L/100km is more than 10% better than the other finalists.

While CX-3 rides compliantly, it can become a little brittle over bumps, but it outpoints the others for handling with impressive turn-in, balance and grip levels.

Comfort matches considerable style in the interior where occupants will find soft yet supportive seats and a modern, functional dash in front of them. And there is plenty of travel in the driver’s seat slide adjustment to provide generous legroom.

Judges’ Choice: The CX-3 was the vehicle the judges decided had the most impact on the market in the past year, with great scores all round and an excellent drive experience.

Side view of the Mazda CX-3 Maxx