2019 Mazda CX-3

#8
in Suvs
2019 MODEL
$20,390 - $27,145 See Inventory Prices

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2019 Mazda CX-3 Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

It might seem small even for subcompact standards but Mazda CX-3 enters this year with a bang. Its nimble handling is what'll steal customers form other brands and the Miata like designing makes it a Samurai amongst regular soldiers. However, it's not immune to everything, low cargo space and miniature standard trunk feels like a dent in a showroom fresh car.

With the sticker price of $20,390, the Mazda CX-3 competes in the subcompact SUV segment. The long hood hides a 2.0L Inline 4 engine paired to an 6-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain pumps out 148 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque. There are three trims on the offer with an option for RWD and AWD.

See detailed review »

Pros

Class-leading fuel economy

Rich Safety feature list

Entertaining ride quality

Cons

Disappointing cargo space

Packed rear seats

What's New?

Slight tweaks on the exterior design

Slightly more powerful engine

Advanced safety features homogenous to all trims

A new center armrest


Pictures & Videos


Styles

 2019 Mazda CX-3 in Ceramic Metallic color  2019 Mazda CX-3 in Deep Crystal Blue Mica color  2019 Mazda CX-3 in Eternal Blue Mica color  2019 Mazda CX-3 in Jet Black color  2019 Mazda CX-3 in Machine Gray Metallic color  2019 Mazda CX-3 in Snowflake White Pearl Mica color  2019 Mazda CX-3 in Titanium Flash Mica color
Ceramic Metallic

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Engine

8.8

Interior

7.3

8.1

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


 2019 Mazda CX-3 Sport

Sport

power
148 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
31 combined

$20,390 - $21,790


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Sport 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $20,390 MSRP (29 mpg/31/34 mpg) 148 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2 L, I-4, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5
Sport 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $21,790 MSRP (27 mpg/29/32 mpg) 148 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2 L, I-4, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed shiftable automatic all wheel drive 5

 2019 Mazda CX-3 Touring

Touring

power
148 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
31 combined

$22,475 - $23,875


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Touring 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $22,475 MSRP (29 mpg/31/34 mpg) 148 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2 L, I-4, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5
Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $23,875 MSRP (27 mpg/29/32 mpg) 148 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2 L, I-4, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed shiftable automatic all wheel drive 5

 2019 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring

Grand Touring

power
148 hp @ 6000 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
31 combined

$25,745 - $27,145


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $27,145 MSRP (27 mpg/29/32 mpg) 148 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2 L, I-4, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed shiftable automatic all wheel drive 5
Grand Touring 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 6A) Starting at $25,745 MSRP (29 mpg/31/34 mpg) 148 hp @ 6000 rpm, 2 L, I-4, regular unleaded
See Full Specs
6-speed shiftable automatic front wheel drive 5

Top Mazda Cars

2017 Mazda 3
8.7/10

Engine: 184 hp @ 5700 rpm2I4

MPG: 32 mpg combined

2017 Mazda 3 Hatchback
8.7/10

Engine: 155 hp @ 6000 rpm2.5I4

MPG: 30 mpg combined

2017 Mazda 6
8.6/10

Engine: 184 hp @ 5700 rpm2.5I4

MPG: 29 mpg combined

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata
8.4/10

Engine: 181 hp @ 7000 rpm2I-4

MPG: 29 combined

2018 Mazda 3
8.3/10

Engine: 184 hp @ 5700 rpm2.5I4

MPG: 30 mpg combined

2018 Mazda 3 Hatchback
8.3/10

Engine: 184 hp @ 5700 rpm2.5I4

MPG: 30 mpg combined

2017 Mazda CX-5
8.5/10

Engine: 187 hp @ 6000 rpm2.5I4

MPG: 26 mpg combined

2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Convertible
8.3/10

Engine: 155 hp @ 6000 rpm2I4

MPG: 29 mpg combined

Expert Review


CARHP Editorial January 7, 2019

8.1

Overall Rating


You might have low hopes for the segment but it's the new fashion in the automotive bazar. The number of cars competing in the segment is mental, brands all over the world are offering their take on the segment. The CX-3 has to counter the likes of Honda-HRV, Toyota C-HR, Subaru Crosstrek, Hyundai Kona, Buick Encore and more. There is not a lot of changes for this years CX-3.


 

8.8/10
Engine

 
 

7.3/10
Interior

 
 
 
 
 

2019 Mazda CX-3 Features

This 5 seater baby SUV is offered in 3 trims, Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. With the starting price of $20,390 the CX-3 is offered in both Rear-wheel-drive and All-wheel-Drive and is priced accordingly for all three trims. Being a rather new concept compact SUVs are still evolving. Bold styling, rich feature list, and miniature rear seats is currently the class defining norms for a compact SUV and the Mazda is no different. All three trims share the same 2.0L Inline-4 power train so, the difference lies in the standard feature list.

Trim

Sport

Touring

Grand Touring

MSRP RWD

$20,390

$22,475

$25,745

MSRP AWD

$21,790

$23,875

$27,145

Key Features

16-inch aluminium alloy wheels with 215/60 R16 all-season tires

18-inch wheels

Adaptive headlights

 

Body-colored power side mirrors with integrated turn signals

Heated mirrors

LED exterior lighting

 

Dual exhaust outlets with bright finish

Automatic headlights

Chrome exterior trim

 

Rear roofline spoiler

Automatic wipers

Paddle shifters

 

Variable-intermittent windshield wipers

Piano black exterior trim

Head-up display

 

Rear intermittent windshield wiper

Keyless entry and ignition

Full leather upholstery

 

Roof-mounted "shark fin" antenna

Automatic climate control

Seven-speaker Bose premium audio system with satellite and HD radio

 

Air conditioning with pollen filter

Leather-wrapped steering wheel and an overhead console with sunglasses holder

Advanced safety features include adaptive cruise control with full-speed range

 

60/40 split fold-down rear seatback

Simulated leather and cloth upholstery

Forward collision mitigation with pedestrian detection

 

MAZDA CONNECT™ Infotainment System5

Heated front seats

Lane departure warning and automatic high beams

 

7" full-color touch screen display

   
 

Advanced front air bags, front side-impact air bags and side-impact air curtains

   
 

Hill Launch Assist

   
 

Smart City Brake Support

   
 

Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert

   
 

LATCH child safety seat lower anchors & upper tethers

   
 

Engine immobilizer anti-theft system

   

We Recommend

We would recommend you to buy the base sport trim as it has the same engine as the upper trim levels. Just make sure you compliment your CX-3 with the Sport I-Activsense Package. This package adds Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Smart Brake support, Lane Departure warning, High beam control and more.

2019 Mazda CX-3 Engine

8.8/10
“Engine improvements include a couple of extra horses in output. It doesn’t turn the 2019 CX-3 into a rocket sled, but the relatively modest 148 horsepower is only part of a larger equation that includes well-calibrated suspension and steering systems”- KBB

Engine and Transmission

Sufficient for a compact SUV, Mazda’s choice of engine is remains modest for 2019 CX-3. The 2.0L Inline-4 engine was tuned to muster more horses and make the throttle sharper than the yesteryear’s variant. Mazda backs it’s engine with a supple 6-speed automatic transmission. The powertrain works beautifully on the highway and maintain a low gear on climbs, to further complete the magic a torque controlling system modulates the power delivers on the front wheels for better cornering.

As for the throttle response there is a lot of humming from the exhaust. The power delivers feels delays for initial gears, also the engine feels jolly only in this denial state. When you press out more power it screams-out to loosen the grip.

Models

Mazda CX-3

Honda HR-V

Toyota C-HR

Hyundai Kona

Buick Encore

Subaru Crosstrek

Chevrolet Trax

Ford Ecosport

MSRP

$20,390

$20,520

$20,945

$19,990

$23,200

$21,859

21,300

19,995

Engine

2.0 Liter Inline-4

1.8 Liter Inline-4

2.0 Liter Inline-4

2.0 Liter Inline-4

1.4 Turbocharged Inline-4

2.0 Liter Boxer-4

1.4L 4-cylinder


Intercooled Turbo Regular Unleaded I-3, 1.0 L

Transmission

6-Speed SKYACTIV-Drive Automatic -inc: manual-shift mode and sport mode

CVT with Overdrive

CVT with Overdrive

6-speed automatic

6-Speed Automatic w/SelectShift

- - -

Horsepower

148 @ 6000

141 hp@6500 rpm

144 @ 6100

147 @ 6200

138 @ 4900

152 @ 6000

138 hp @ 4900

123 @ 6000

Torque

146 @ 2800

127 lb. ft. @ 4300 rpm

139 @ 3900

132 @ 4500

148 @ 1850

145 @ 4000

148 lb-ft @1850

125 @ 3500

The competition is mad for these mini-SUVs, every brand packs up a lucrative deal with resembling power and practicality for the majority of things. Mazda established its territory with its tad more horsepower than the usual, though Subaru Crosstrek further turns up the heat with its 152 horsepower. The CZX-3 features a 6 speed automatic over its arch rivals like Honda HR-V and Toyota C-HR who settled for a CVT transmission.

Acceleration

Shoppers in the small SUV segment won’t buy the CX-3 as a sprinting animal, it’s more of a tamed cruiser for the majority of time. The pickup isn’t that lively but its gains momentum as you are deep into the throttle. Mazda makes the 60 mph test in 8.5 seconds, similar to its last year’s performance. Press even further and the SUV hits the chequered flag for the quarter mile in 16.3 second.

Models

Mazda CX-3

Honda HR-V

Toyota C-HR

Hyundai Kona

Buick Encore

Subaru Crosstrek

Chevrolet Trax

Ford EcoSport

0-60 MPH (sec)

8.5

9.3*

11.0

10.0

8.4

9.0

9.3

8.8

Quarter mile (sec)

16.3

16.8*

18.4

17.3

16.2

16.9

16.8

16.5

Engine

2.0-L I-4

1.8-L I-4

2.0-L I-4

2.0-L I-4

1.4-L I-4

2.0-L I-4

1.4-L I-4

2.0-L I-4

Emission

(Tons/yr. of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)

5.7

6.3*

6.0

5.9

6.3

7.0

6.3

7.0

Even with similar engines and power, Mazda’s sorcery keeps the CX-3’s acceleration under 9 seconds while the latter were mostly over this bar. Even the powerful Subaru managed a 9.3 second performance, well size do hinder performance. For the quarter mile distance HR-V catches up to the CX-3 with its 16 second performance but the Toyota was nowhere to be found.

Ride and Handling

The CX-3’s handing is sharp and reminds of Miata performance cars. The power might feel undermining but its actually satisfying for a car of this statures. Steering is nicely weighted and has a good balance delivering a zippy ride. You get a lot of road communication as the driver has control over everything. Highway cruising comes easy to the CX-3 however, the cornering will not have the slingshot effect, but the Skyactiv-Vehicle Dynamics and the G-vectoring control make corners entertaining. A newly tuned suspension with control arms, bushing, and shocks makes the ride more refined.

Compared to last year, this year’s CX-3 is better in every but is prone to few jiggles on the rear side. You won’t even feel the need to switch the Sport mode, the ride is too sporty in the comfort mode as well. Being a baby SUV the body is compact which makes it easy to cut the city’s traffic.

Braking

The 2019 Mazda CX-3 has everything to become a great daily driver including good brakes. Front brakes are rated at 11 inches and the rear set is followed by 11.1 inches of brake rotors. The pedal feels firm and composed for the majority of time though it still suffers from fade. It’s a light compared to its adversaries like Toyota C-HR, Subaru Crosstrek, and Buick Encore.

Model

Mazda CX-3

Honda HR-V

Toyota C-HR

Hyundai Kona

Buick Encore

Subaru Crosstrek

Chevrolet Trax

Ford Ecosport

Brake Front (in.)

11

11.5

11.8

11.8

11.6

11.8

- -

Brake Rear (in.)

11.1

11.1

11.1

10.6

10.8

9.0

- -

Curb Weight (lbs.)

2809

2906

3300

3237

3113

2805

3020

-

60-0 MPH (ft.)

- - - - - - - -

The braking figures were unavailable for the CX-3 as for any other SUV in the comparison. However, every car is backed with equally competitive brakes which leaves us on weight. The CX-3 is a shredded SUV with its 2800 pound weight though keeping its build quality rock-hard. The HR-V follows the drill but other boxy SUVs like Toyota C-HR, Subaru Crosstrek, and Buick Encore are over 3000 pounds which any impact their braking performance.

2019 Mazda CX-3 Fuel Economy

Fuel economy is the winning point for this baby SUV segment. Every SUV boast a decent mileage figures encouraging the buyer to invest in this budding segment. Mazda delivers a well rounded package with its 29 mpg of city and 34 mpg of highway mileage. Together you will have a 31 mpg of combined mileage. The All-Wheel-Drive system adds 150 pounds of weight dropping this figure to 29 mpg.

Model

Mazda CX-3

Honda HR-V

Toyota C-HR

Hyundai Kona

Buick Encore

Subaru Crosstrek

Chevrolet Trax

Ford Ecosport

MPG (city)

29

28

27

27

26

23

25

27

MPG (highway)

34

34

31

33

31

29

33

29

MPG (combined)

31

30

29

28

25

28

28

-

Clean and efficient, most of these baby SUVs are efficient and save you the frequent trips to the gas station. The 2019 Mazda CX-3 is the most fuel efficient SUV in the segment, its combined 31 mpg mileage is the best in the class. Honda is breathing down Mazda’s neck with its 30 mpg mileage.

2019 Mazda CX-3 Interior

7.3/10
“The CX-3 gets high marks for its attractive interior that makes use of high-quality materials. But points were deducted for the cramped rear-seat space, and outward visibility is merely average”- Edmunds

Seating and Comfort

It’s totally clear that the CX-3 was built for 2 passengers. Its seems like the ideal of 4 was a post built decision. The front cabin and seats are present with a lot of headroom and legroom. The doors are wide which makes entry and exit natural. There is nothing cheap on this Mazda, hard plastic were absent throughout the cabin. The leather/suede seats are comfortable and have a high belt line, the front seats are 6-way manually adjusted but requires a rough hand.

Now the rear seat is what’s wrong about this great SUV. Entering through the rear doors is like entering a tunnel and the seats are too cramped for comfort. The coupe like roofline hinders the headroom, but it’s the tiny grey space between the seats which Mazda calls legroom that’s the real problem. You have a decent 40 inch legroom in the front but its reduced to just 35 for the rear cabin. You get an update of heated steering and leather trimmed seats on the higher trims.

Model

Honda HR-V

Toyota C-HR

Hyundai Kona

Buick Encore

Mazda CX-3

Subaru Crosstrek

Chevrolet Trax

Passenger Capacity

5

5

5

5

5

5

5

Front (cu. ft)

Head room

39.5

38.1

39.6

39.6

38.4

39.8

Shoulder room

56.8

49

55.5

54.2

53.5

56.7

54.1

Leg room

41.2

43.5

41.5

40.8

41.7

43.1

40.8

Rear (cu. ft)

Head room

38.3

38.3

37.8

38.8

37.2

38

Shoulder room

54.5

52.5

54.5

52.5

50.4

55.6

52.8

Leg room

39.3

31.7

34.6

35.8

35

36.5

35.7

Other SUV’s like the Toyota and Hyundai Kona get the befit of their boxy body style. There is no problem with the rear headroom and legroom is better than the Mazda, which possibility is the worst in the class.

Infotainment System

The Mazda’s i-pad styled infotainment screen earns extra points for the interior. A mono-spec 7-inch infotainment screen comes installed with the Mazda’s CONNECT infotainment system with voice commands, multifunction commander control, Aha internet radio and more. The system is easy to use and have a one touch response without any delay. Menus are clear and obvious but some features take too long to access. A rotary dial on the console is another way to go about the features on the screen. The absence of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is still absent from 2019 CX-3.

Interior Features

  • Audio And Cruise Controls On Steering Wheel
  • Overhead Console With Storage
  • Front Seatback Storage
  • Cruise Control
  • Leather Steering Wheel
  • Keyless Ignition
  • Climate Control
  • Turn Signal In Mirrors
  • Front And Rear Cupholders
  • Front And Rear Door Pockets
  • Electric Power Steering
  • Rear View Camera
  • Tilt And Telescopic Steering Wheel
  • Dual Vanity Mirrors
  • Interior Air Filtration

Cargo volume

Cargo volume is not the most bright thing on the CX-3’s brochure. The 12.4 cubic feet cargo volume is worst in the lot. Further more the rear seats are foldable to unlock the SUV’s 44.5 cubic feet of cargo bay, which is competitive with other boxy competitors.

Model

Mazda CX-3

Honda HR-V

Toyota C-HR

Hyundai Kona

Buick Encore

Subaru Crosstrek

Chevrolet Trax

Ford Eco sport

Trunk Volume (ft.3)

12.4

24.3

19

19.2

18.8

20.8

18.7

20.9

Cargo Volume with Rear seats folded (ft.3)

44.5

58.8

36.4

45.8

48.4

55.3

48.4

50

Cargo Volume (ft.3)

- - - - - - - -

2019 Mazda CX-3 Exterior

“The 2019 Mazda CX-3 channels hatchback style for its clean good looks. It avoids that cliched territory altogether with the 2019 CX-3. A sleek hatchback in all ways save for ride height, the CX-3 offers a fresh look and a well-composed if bland cockpit for the driving”- The Car Connection

Design and Styling

Mazda has always been a strong opposer of rudimentary designs and styling. Where other SUVs play on similar style the designers at Mazda get to work and deliver something exotic, you won’t find a crossover close to this one. Rather than having straight lines and muscles Mazda opted for a curvaceous body design. The long nose hood adds the Miata mystic to this small SUV. For 2019 the design received some tweaks with more chrome touches, and minor improvements in the front and the rear grills.

Dimensions and Weight

Subtle design upgrades spices up the exterior, that’s for sure but the curvaceous body might create a problem of cabin space. It’s not the biggest small SUV in the lot like the Subaru Crosstrek. Right from its long nose hood the CX-3 measures 168.3 inches. The total ear to ear width and height are rated at 69.6 and 60.7 inches respectively. As per the evolving compact SUV norms Mazda feature a respectable 101 inches o wheelbase and 6.1 inches of ground clearance.

Model

Mazda CX-3

Honda HR-V

Toyota C-HR

Hyundai Kona

Buick Encore

Subaru Crosstrek

Chevrolet Trax

Ford Eco Sport

Curb weight (lbs.)

2809

2906

3300

2890

3237

3157

2805

3020

Length(in)

168.3

170

171.2

168.41

168.35

175.8

167.2

161.3

Width(in)

69.6

69.8

70.7

70.9

70.1

71

69.9

69.5

Height(in)

60.7

63.2

61.6

61

65.2

63.6

64.9

64.8

Ground clearance (in)

6.1

5.4

5.9

6.22

8.7

6.2

- -

Wheelbase (in)

101.2

102.8

103.9

102.4

100.6

104.9

100.6

99.2

Track width (in) F/R

60/59.5

60.4/60.6

60.6/60.6

60.62/60.62

61/61.2

60.6/60.6

59.8/59.7

-

As aforementioned, Subaru Crosstrek is the biggest small SUV in the lot. It does not carry a lot of weight given it has a big body. Rest of the class feature similar dimensions without alienating things. However, you can all the CX-3 the smallest SUV in the lot.

Exterior Features

  • Wheel Locks
  • Rear Bumper Guard
  • Machine Gray Metallic Paint Charge
  • Roof Rack Side Rails
  • Front And Rear Bumper Trim Package
  • Soul Red Crystal Metallic Paint Charge
  • Snowflake White Pearl Mica Paint Charge

2019 Mazda CX-3 Safety

  • Smart Brake Support with Collision Warning 
  • Lane Departure Warning System 
  • Blind Spot Monitoring 
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert 

2019 Mazda CX-3 Competition

Honda HR-V vs Mazda CX-3

Honda markets the HR-v on its practicality and comfortable seating, while Mazda delivers the sheer pleasure of driving. Both cars are backed with similar engines and share a competitive price tag which makes the choice even more puzzling. Honda’s cargo bay is impressive and complements you travel plans plus it’s smart placement of the rear seats earns it more points. However, Mazda’s driving dynamics are zippy which the HR-V couldn’t match.

Both SUVs might compete in similar segments but their powers are polar opposites to each other. So, if you are looking for practicality and a feasible daily driver then Honda might be the right choice. 

Toyota C-HR vs Mazda CX-3

Crossover segment has created a lot of buzz these day and Toyota cannot abandon such area. The Toyota C-HR is a solid offering with a sufficient power and entertaining ride quality but that’s something Mazda offers as well. It suffers from the same germ of low cargo volume, but manages to deliver a habitable rear legroom. However, Mazda would win buyers with its great handling, acceleration, and better fuel economy numbers. Also, the C-HR doesn’t have a AWD option.

The C-HR sure is nice but people a buyer of Crossover SUVs sure will find Mazda more desirable.

Subaru Crosstrek vs Mazda CX-3

In the segment of efficient small SUVs Subaru delivers something more. Its comical how an SUV like Crosstrek competes with these baby SUVs, its bigger, more powerful, and offers a lot of space for a crossover hatch. Also, it’s a crossover mud cake as it comes with off-road capabilities. Clearly Subaru had differing ideology for Crosstrek. However, its handling is not over the top and fuel economy is subpar compared to other baby SUVs. Mazda on the other hand is an entertaining ride with class defining fuel economy numbers.

We would only suggest the Subaru Crosstrek only if you are looking for an baby off-roader otherwise you are fine with the Mazda CX-3.

2019 Mazda CX-3 Final Verdict

Right from its inception in 2015, Mazda CX-3 was known for their superior handling prowess and good road manners. These traits were inherited as the SUV aged and has become a relevant point of value. Now there is nothing new for this year’s CX-3 just little tuning to chassis, more safety features, few tweaks on the exterior, and more cubby holes and an armrest , rest remains the same. 

The engine is powerful for a subcompact in a way that you wont feel the need for more horses. The economy is top of the line but practically is where things go downhill. Overall, it’s a strong offering from Mazda and you won’t be disappointed with your choice.