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Mazda will continue to offer the CX-3 in just one trim level for the 2021 model year

The Mazda CX-3 remains mostly unchanged for the 2021 model year

Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

Last year, Mazda confirmed that it was only going to offer the CX-3 subcompact SUV in one trim level: Sport. The company will continue that for 2021.

The exterior of the CX-3 is unchanged for the 2021 model year. It features all-LED exterior lighting and rain-sensing windshield wipers. The headlights are self-leveling. Mazda's smallest SUV rides on 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels, has a roof spoiler and dual stainless-steel exhaust outlets, and features a black grille up front.

There are three premium paint colors available that carry a surcharge. Soul Red Crystal Metallic (Mazda's signature red color) will cost an extra $595. Machine Gray Metallic and Snowflake White Pearl Mica are $495 and $395, respectively.

The 2020 Mazda CX-3 Sport is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that is rated to deliver 148 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque. The engine is paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. The Japanese automaker is selling the CX-3 with standard front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is available.

The Mazda CX-3 Sport comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Active Driving Display and automatic climate control are also standard. It comes with a 7.0-inch infotainment touch screen. Mazda Connect, Bluetooth, and a six-speaker audio system come on the vehicle as well as auto-hold, push-button start, keyless entry, automatic one-touch up/down driver's window, and cloth seats.

Mazda has enhanced the SUV's safety technology for 2021 adding Night Pedestrian Detection to its Advanced Smart City Brake Support tech. Adaptive cruise control, Smart Brake Support with collision warning, lane departure warning, high beam assst, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert are all standard.

The 2021 Mazda CX-3 goes on sale with a starting MSRP of $20,640 and will arrive at dealerships next month. The price is unchanged from the 2020 model year.

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Highway safety

U.S. roadway fatalities up in 2021

Ford, Microsoft team to use quantum-inspired technology to understand traffic congestion
Photo coursesy of Ford Motor Company

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has just released its estimates on traffic fatalities for the first quarter of 2021 and the numbers aren't promising. In the first quarter of this year alone, 8,730 people died in motor vehicle crashes. Last year's cumulative numbers weren't much better, coming in higher than any year since 2007.


U.S. Roadways Traffic may be going up, but fuel fill ups are down according to the latest research automotivemap.com


The grim statistics represent a 10.5 percent increase from the same time period last year, a time when we were already marveling at the numbers. Further data reported by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) indicate that the number of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) decreased by 2.1 percent, which makes the increase in fatalities all the more striking a statistic. Initial projections pegged the number of fatalities per 100 million VMT at 1.12, but it instead climbed to 1.26 fatalities per 100 million VMT.

Regionally, most areas in the United Statessaw an increase, though two did not. The Midwest region, which includes Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, and Arkansas did not change, while the mid-east coast states of North Carolina, Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and West Virginia actually saw a six percent decline in fatality counts.


Highway 1 big sur Highway 1 near Big Sur includes the Bixby Creek Bridge, a famous landmark. Photo by\u00a0Getty Images


What's behind all of this? Last year, the NHTSA reported that, with fewer people on the roads, those that were driving were engaging in risky behavior. What's more, Automotive News reports, that the number of deaths involving people not wearing seatbelts increased 15 percent last year and speeding deaths climbed 10 percent.

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Both the Jetta and Jetta GLI are refreshed for 2022.

Volkswagen

Volkswagen is busy in 2021. The automaker has a brand-new SUV in its lineup and is implementing tech updates for almost all of its vehicles. The venerable Jetta sedan is one of them, but along with new tech, the car receives a new engine and updated safety features for the 2022 model year.


2022 Volkswagen Jetta The Jetta GLI gets standard projector LED headlights.Volkswagen


The 2022 Jetta gets the new turbo-four that powers VW's freshman SUV, Taos. It's a 1.5-liter unit that makes 158 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with either a six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission. The Jetta GLI is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 228 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard, and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is available.

Both cars are based on VW's MQB platform, but the GLI gets additional go-fast chassis and handling components. Like its spiritual cousin, the Golf GTI, the Jetta GLI carries a VAQ electronically-controlled torque-sensing limited-slip differential. That extremely hyphenated component works with the car's XDS Cross Differential System and DCC adaptive dampers to help keep things tidy when the driver puts their right foot down.


2022 Volkswagen Jetta The Jetta comes standard with a digital gauge cluster.Volkswagen


Styling updates include new front and rear bumpers with a new grille and chrome trim pieces. The GLI features a signature red accent strip and a honeycomb lower fascia. The standard Jetta gets LED headlights and daytime running lights, while top Jetta trims and the Jetta GLI get projector LEDs.

New standard tech headlines the cars' interior updates and include a standard digital gauge cluster, measuring eight inches for the Jetta and ten inches for the Jetta GLI. The Digital Cockpit system can display maps, audio information, and other data from the car's infotainment system. Top Jetta trims and the Jetta GLI also come with VW's MIB3 infotainment software, which brings wireless charging and wireless app connectivity.


2022 Volkswagen Jetta New safety tech is available for the 2022 Jetta.Volkswagen


The Jetta's standard and available safety technologies also get an overhaul for 2022. Front assist, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alerts are now standard, while Volkswagen's IQ.DRIVE safety package is available for some cars and is standard for the GLI. The package includes a lane-keeping system, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, a semi-automated driving assistance system, and a semi-automated medical emergency vehicle assistance system.

Pricing details for the 2022 Volkswagen Jetta have not yet been released. The automaker expects the cars to begin arriving on dealers' lots in the fourth quarter of 2021.

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