• Review 2021 Mazda CX3 GS

Mazda CX-3 provides a means for freedom and escape 

Event manager’s new Mazda was for work but ended up being her lifeline.

Avatar By: Liz Beddall March 15, 2021

For nearly a decade, Paula Perri’s 2005 Honda Civic did her family proud. Fondly named Betty, the two-door chariot was passed back and forth between Perri and her brother as they each evolved in their respective careers.

By the time the car was retired in late 2019, Perri had gone from burgeoning businesswoman to being a vice president at a thriving Toronto-based event agency. Her calendar was jammed full of festivals, galas and conferences. That was until COVID-19 hit, and everything slowed down for Perri.

With time on her hands, she went ahead and purchased a 2020 Mazda CX-3 GS, in hopes the event industry would rebound. Instead, she said her new SUV helped her in ways she didn’t expect. Here is what Perri loves about her vehicle.

“I ended up buying the car in July at Mazda of Toronto in North York,” said Perri, explaining the Mazda CX-3 caught her eye because of its affordability, design and ample cargo space. “I suppose it was a kind of a hope-for-the-future type purchase.

Review 2021 Mazda CX3 GS

“Prior to COVID I was always doing site visits and would have to lug decor or flowers or safety kits to different venues. I needed a car to be able to do those things efficiently for my business – whenever business happened to come back.  Since that time many of our company’s in-person events have gone virtual — and obviously, the on-site work and driving around hasn’t really been necessary.

“Because of that, the car has kind of taken on a new meaning to me. Instead of it all being about work, it’s surprisingly become more about relaxation and play. Between lockdowns I’ve been able to go hiking quite a bit and get out of the city. I’ve been able to visit with my grandmother more often in Hamilton and it’s just given me more comfort knowing that I’m a drive away from my family members in Niagara.

“To be honest, there have been times I’ve felt really confined and overwhelmed with the situation and I’ve jumped into my car and had a little drive around the city with the windows down — just to kill time and to clear my mind. In-person events will come back, but in the meantime the car has really become a means of freedom and escape for me. That’s been important.”

Review 2021 Mazda CX3 GS

A CLOSER LOOK: The 2021 Mazda CX-3 GS


While Perri purchased a 2020 CX-3 GS, Mazda Canada said in an email to the Star that any differences between it and the 2021 CX-3 GS are “very minimal.” The exterior comes equipped with heated mirrors, automatic headlights and rain sensing front whippers for any sudden downpours. Inside, there are automatic climate controls, both the front seats and the leather-wrapped steering wheel are heated for those colder days, and an overhead console features a dedicated sunglasses holder so you can keep them handy for those longer road trips when conditions change.


Just as in life, the roads we travel down aren’t always smooth. When it comes to your vehicle, irregularities can cause it to move in unexpected ways and force the driver to make frequent steering corrections. For all those dreaming of a smoother drive, the Mazda CX-3 offers Skyactiv-Vehicle Dynamics with G-Vectoring Control that subtly adjusts engine torque and optimizes vehicle weight transfer. The result? More precise steering, less body sway and an overall more enjoyable (and less tiring) driving experience for you and your passengers.


As a Mazda owner, your passion for adventure will be heightened by the knowledge your vehicle is equipped with technology that will help keep you feeling safe on the road. The manufacturer’s i-Activsense suite of safety features found in the GS — including its Smart City Brake Support, Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert — automatically sense your vehicle’s surroundings and help enable drivers to recognize hazards, avoid collisions and reduce the severity of accidents at times when they cannot be avoided.

This article was edited for space and clarity. Want to be featured in Why I Love My Vehicle? email us at wheels@thestar.ca with “Why I Love” in the subject line.

Liz Beddall / Special to Wheels

2021 Mazda CX3 GS

BODY STYLE: 5-Seat Compact Crossover SUV
DRIVE METHOD: Skyactiv-AT 6-speed automatic transmission with manual-shift mode, a drive selection switch and paddle shifters
ENGINE: Skyactiv-G 2.0 L DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder
FUEL ECONOMY (CITY/HIGHWAY: 6AT FWD 8.3/6.9 7 litres for FWD and 8.6/7.4 for AWD per 100 km
CARGO VOLUME: 504 litres behind second row seats
PRICE: Starts at $23,650 for the FWD and $25,650 for the AWD
WEBSITE: mazda.ca