One of the most remarkable automotive trends of the past 25 years has, without a doubt, been the rise of Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) as the vehicle of choice for North Americans. Where the main debate used to be between the sedan-style car, the minivan, and the all-purpose truck, many drivers today prefer a vehicle that blends the best features of all three into a new, hybrid package that delivers the power of a truck, the roominess of a minivan, and the agility and comfort of a car.
As the SUV has grown in popularity, however, there has been a growing demand for choice, and automotive companies have responded by creating subcategories that adapt the basic SUV model for different audiences. For example, if you check out the new Mazda lineup you will find that a range of SUVs, each of which is designed to fit the needs of a particular lifestyle. From the mid-size, three-row CX-9 to the subcompact CX-3, Mazda has created three unique takes on the SUV idea, each of which is geared toward specific needs.
So, which Mazda SUV is right for you? Here’s a brief outline of the comparative strengths of the three vehicles.
Subcompact SUVs are the most recent stage in the evolution of the sport utility vehicle, and no one does it better than Mazda with its CX-3. Subcompacts like the CX-3 are a good choice for drivers who want the sportiness of the SUV style, but in a more agile and efficient package. The CX-3 is graceful, engaging, and offers fantastic fuel economy, which might be the reason it consistently gets such strong ratings.
You might say the CX-5 is the Goldilocks of SUVs: it’s not too big, it’s not too small, and it offers the best features of both a car and a full-size. The CX-5 is one of the best-selling Mazda vehicles, and is rapidly becoming one of the best-selling SUVs in Canada, period. It has the easy handling and fun, responsive driving experience that Mazda is known for, and also delivers a smooth, silent ride and borderline luxurious interior.
When SUVs first became popular in the 1990s, consumers wanted large vehicles that could fit the whole family with ease, but which had a sportier, more rugged feel to them. Over the years, and in part because of rising fuel prices, the market for full-size SUVs has shrunk. Most people in the market for a three-row SUV want something that still feels spacious but that doesn’t take up as much room on the road — and keeps costs down at the pump. The CX-9 is the perfect example of a mid-size crossover that feels sporty and fun while also having that luxurious SUV feel on the inside.
When it comes to cars, people’s needs are as diverse as their lifestyles. One of the factors driving the proliferation of different types and styles of SUVs over the past twenty years has been consumer desire for the vehicle that is just right for them. And with so many excellent SUVs to choose from, now is one of the best times to start thinking about which SUV is right for you.