2020 Mazda CX-3

MSRP $316,300

Ranked #26 in Midsize Suv

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2020 Mazda CX-3 Price, Review, Ratings and Pictures

Updated on: July 12, 2021

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Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor


Compact crossover SUVs have become some of the best-selling cars in recent years due to the convenience and practicality that they offer. These SUVs are small, nimble, have enough grunt for their size, and offer better fuel economy than most other genres of cars. The Mazda CX-3 was born as a product of the demand for compact crossover SUVs and has been one of the best cars in the class due to the number of features as well as practicality that it brings in.

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Pros

Extremely fun to drive

Premium interior quality

Powerful and punchy engine

Good fuel economy

One of the most affordable options in the class

Cons

Cramped rear seat

Poor cargo capacity

Stiff suspension 

What's New?

The 2020 Mazda CX-3 hasn’t changed much mechanically or aesthetically compared to the previous year model apart from a few changes

The lineup being reduced to just one trim level, more standard features onboard, and inclusion of connectivity features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$316300

bodystyle

2dr SUV

passenger capacity

4

engine type

horsepower

715 hp @ 6500 rpm

torque

664 lb.-ft.. @ 1800 rpm

transmission

8 speed automatic

chassis

brake rotors (f/r)

16.1/14.2 in.

dimensions

wheelbase

110.4 in.

length

185.5 in.

width

84.5 in.

height

50.4 in.

ground clearance

4.7 in.

capacity

passenger volume

78 cu ft.

cargo volume

6.6 cu ft.

performance

zero to 60 mph

3.5 sec.

warranty

roadside assistance

No


Pictures & Videos


Trims

Base$316,300 onwards

Colors and Styles

2020 Mazda CX-3 in Ceramic Metallic 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.

Expert Review, Pricing Analysis and Buying Guide


The CX-3 is the smallest car in the Mazda lineup and certainly the cheapest, but don’t be concerned about it not having Mazda’s unique traits as it has a plethora of them in and around it. Prices for the 2020 Mazda CX-3 start at a base price of $21,740 and it competes with the Toyota C-HR, the Honda HR-V, and the Chevrolet Trax in the compact crossover SUV class.

2020 Mazda CX-3 Features

The Mazda CX-3 initially came in 3 trim levels which were named Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring respectively. The inception of the Mazda CX-30 meant that the CX-3 is now left with just the Sport trim from the 2020 model year version. But that doesn’t make the Mazda CX-3 less attractive as Mazda has made sure to stuff in as many features as they can into the Sport trim while keeping the prices as low as possible. The only choice of options remains to choose between the FWD or AWD drivetrain options.

Trim

Sport

MSRP (FWD)

$21,740

MSRP (AWD)

$23,140

Key Features

LED headlights with auto-leveling

 

An adaptive front lighting system

 

Automatic climate control with pollen filter

 

The electronic parking brake with auto-hold

 

High beam control

 

Blind-spot monitoring system

 

The 7-inch color touchscreen infotainment display

The CX-3 is fully-loaded vis a vis the price point it comes in and to add to that, the Japanese car manufacturer also pairs in certain packages and options to aid the customization, of which the most popular option is the roof rack side rails and the rear parking sensors which add a lot to the practicality of the crossover.

Which trim should you buy?

The 2020 Mazda CX-3 only comes in a single trim which is named ‘Sport’ that offers a plethora of features and creature comforts that make sure that you don’t feel the need for an upgrade. It is priced attractively, offers a good number of features and you also get to choose between FWD and an AWD drivetrain option.

2020 Mazda CX-3 Engine and Performance

The 2020 Mazda CX-3 comes with the latest Skyactiv-G range of engines from Mazda. The Skyactiv-G engines are said to be high on fuel economy without sacrificing the power output. The powertrain unit in the CX-3 is a 2.0L naturally aspirated inline-4 engine that produces 148 horsepower and 146 lb-ft of torque. The motor is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission system that works seamlessly and delivers crisp shifts and response, unlike its rivals which offer a CVT transmission. You also have the liberty to choose between FWD and AWD drivetrain options out of which the AWD drivetrain costs around $2,000 extra. 

Models

2020 Mazda CX-3

2020 Toyota C-HR

2020 Honda HR-V

2020 Chevrolet Trax

MSRP

$21,740

$22,470

$22,095

$22,295

Engine

2.0L Inline Four-Cylinder

2.0L Inline Four-Cylinder

1.8L Inline Four-Cylinder

1.4L Turbocharged 2.0L Inline Four-Cylinder

Drivetrain

FWD

FWD

FWD

FWD

Transmission

6-speed automatic

CVT

CVT

6-speed automatic

Power

148 hp @ 6,000 RPM

144 hp @ 6,100 RPM

141 hp @ 6,500 RPM

138 hp @ 4,900 RPM

Torque

146 lb-ft @ 2,800 RPM

139 lb-ft @ 3,900 RPM

127 lb-ft @ 4,300 RPM

148 lb-ft @ 1,850 RPM

0-60 MPH (seconds)

8.2

11.0

9.3

9.3

Quarter-Mile (seconds)

16.3

18.4

16.8

16.8

Top Speed (MPH)

125

114

125

123

The 2020 Mazda CX-3 makes sure that it never feels underpowered by providing the best in class engine performance with its clever powertrain system. Adding the AWD drivetrain will certainly improve the performance and grip offering much better performance. In spite of being the cheapest car in the class, the CX-3 manages to be the quickest and more thrilling of them all.

How well does the 2020 Mazda CX-3 handle?

The Mazda CX-3 handles like a charm every time it hits the road. The Mazda DNA and the sporty suspension setup make it feel like a hot hatch every time you are behind the wheel. It carves through corners in a much better way than its rivals and certainly has extra grip if you opt for the AWD drivetrain. The stiffer suspension might bother you on bumpy roads, but it does the job of keeping the CX-3 very stable on the highway and at high speeds.

In the city, the controls are very intuitive and the gearbox is a breeze to use every time. The pedals are nicely weighted and brakes aren’t grabby, giving a very seamless driving experience. The steering is precise and feels very light but the sporty suspension setup does take a toll on rougher patches. The rear visibility isn’t great and might pose an issue. The highway drives feel very comfortable due to the quieter cabin and the seats are super comfortable and are best suited for long drives. 

2020 Mazda CX-3 Braking Performance

The CX-3 might have the smallest rotors in the class, but considering the fact that it is the lightest car in the class the smaller rotor size doesn’t really matter as the CX-3’s brakes offer really good bite and feedback, and hence the stopping distance to is the best in class at 118 feet. The brake pedals feel confident and offer a lot of feedback when depressed hard in cases of emergency, and in that, the car doesn’t nosedive and maintains its posture well. 

Models

2020 Mazda CX-3

2020 Toyota C-HR

2020 Honda HR-V

2020 Chevrolet Trax

Brake Rotors: Front (inches)

11

11.8

11.5

N/A

Brake Rotors: Rear (inches)

11.1

11.1

11.1

N/A

Curb Weight (lbs)

2851

3300

2906

3124

60-0 MPH (feet)

118

127

121

N/A

The CX-3’s rotors aren’t the biggest in the comparison but due to the car’s weight and the overall weight distribution, the brakes post a pretty impressive stopping distance. The Honda HR-V brakes as well as the CX-3, but does take a little more time to come to a halt. 

2020 Mazda CX-3 Fuel Economy

The Skyactiv-G engine series are known for their ability to pump out really good performance while also keeping the fuel economy as possible and the CX-3’s engine is no different. It offers the best in class fuel economy with a combined MPG figure of 31. It also gets a 12.7-gallon fuel tank capacity which allows you to take the CX-3 on long journeys without a doubt as it offers a combined range of 393.7 miles on a full tank of fuel.

Models

2020 Mazda CX-3

2020 Toyota C-HR

2020 Honda HR-V

2020 Chevrolet Trax

MPG (City)

29

27

28

26

MPG (Highway)

34

31

34

31

MPG (Combined)

31

29

30

28

Fuel Capacity (Gallons)

12.7

13.2

13.2

14.0

Range (City/Highway/Combined; Miles)

368/432/394

356/409/383

370/449/396

364/434/392

The CX-3’s fuel economy is certainly the best in class, but the Honda HR-V with its 13.2-gallon fuel tank capacity offers the highest range by a fraction of a difference compared to the CX-3. With a similar tank capacity as the HR-V, the C-HR reports a lower range than Honda, while the Chevrolet Trax comes somewhere in between.

2020 Mazda CX-3 Interior

The interior of the 2020 Mazda CX-3 too is stylish and intriguing just like its exterior. The interior design layout has a minimalistic appeal to it with a lot of elements kept really simple and easy to handle.The dashboard layout is one of the best designs in the class as it stays low in front of the driver hence increasing the visibility and aesthetics of the interior. The material used on the doors and dashboard surface is soft to touch and hence adds to the premium feel of the interior. The front seats are nice and comfortable with 6-way manual adjustability. 

The seats have cloth upholstery and are decently wide and spacious. There are an armrest in the center and 2 cup holders as well. The air conditioning unit is an automatic climate control unit that works efficiently in cooling and ventilating the cabin. The rear seats are 60-40 split-bench seats with an armrest in the center. The space in the second row feels a bit less compared to the rest of the competition. The cargo capacity is decent at 17.8 cubic feet of volume behind the second-row seat and about 42.7 cubic feet of space behind the front row seats. 

Models

2020 Mazda CX-3

2020 Toyota C-HR

2020 Honda HR-V

2020 Chevrolet Trax

Seating Capacity

5

5

5

5

Front Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Legroom; inches)

38.4/53.5/41.7

38.1/49.0/43.5

39.5/56.8/41.2

39.6/54.1/40.8

Rear Row (Headroom/Shoulder Room/Legroom; inches)

37.2/50.4/35

38.3 52.5/31.7

38.3/54.5/39.3

38.8/52.8/35.7

Cargo Capacity (cubic feet)

17.8

19.1

24.3

18.7

The CX-3 certainly is roomy in the front row, but the second row might feel cramped and the cargo capacity also isn’t great. These seem to be the only major drawbacks on the CX-3’s part. The Honda HR-V certainly proves to be the most spacious car in the class.Some of the standout interior features in the CX-3 are as follows:

  • Push-button start
  • Tilt and telescopic steering column
  • The electronic parking brake with Auto-hold
  • Automatic climate control with pollen filter
  • Heads-up display

What’s there to keep you entertained?

The 2020 Mazda CX-3 comes with the latest and updated MAZDA CONNECT infotainment system. The fact that Mazda offers their best infotainment system in their entry-level car certainly shows their commitment towards customers in giving the most value for the offered money. The infotainment display is a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment display that also gets a knob to control the screen. 

The addition of a rotary knob for controlling the screen makes it a lot easier while driving at high speeds. The audio system is of good quality and gets 6 speakers. The CX-3 also has a host of other features such as Aha internet radio and Pandora internet radio. There are connectivity features such as Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard.Some of the highlights of the infotainment system are as follows:

  • Bluetooth hands-free phone & audio capability
  • Infotainment system voice command
  • Aha internet radio integration
  • Pandora internet radio integration
  • Stitcher internet radio integration
  • Auxiliary audio input jack
  • Steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls
  • 7-inch touchscreen infotainment display with a rotary knob controller

2020 Mazda CX-3 Exterior

The CX-3’s nimble handling and compact feel come from its platform that it shares with the Mazda 2. The front grille and the headlamps give the CX-3 its unmistakable Mazda look.The tall boy stance along with the higher seating position helps in navigating through traffic and makes it easier to drive. The short wheelbase aids the cornering ability and helps reduce the turning radius. The wheels are 16-inch ones and although they suit the CX-3 very well, a set of larger wheels certainly could have added some flair to the exterior.

Models

2020 Mazda CX-3

2020 Toyota C-HR

2020 Honda HR-V

2020 Chevrolet Trax

Curb Weight (lbs)

2,851

3,300

2,906

2,805

Length (inches)

168.3

172.6

170.4

167.6

Width (inches)

69.6

70.7

69.8

69.9

Height (inches)

60.7

61.6

63.2

64.9

Ground Clearance (inches)

6.1

5.9

7.3

6.2

Wheelbase (inches)

101.2

103.9

102.8

100.6

The CX-3 has one of the shortest wheelbases, curb weight, and overall lengths in the class which when looked upon from a handling point of view really helps, but it does reduce the interior space. The Honda HR-V seems to have a perfect form and shape as its wheelbase and curb weight are neither too little nor too much while it has the best ground clearance in the class.Some of the standout exterior features are as follows:

  • Rear spoiler with center brake light
  • LED headlights
  • Dual exhaust outlets
  • LED fog lamps

2020 Mazda CX-3 Safety

Apart from being full of various exterior and interior features, the CX-3 also has earned a reputation for being one of the safest compact SUVs out there. It gets an excellent overall safety rating of 5 stars as per the NHTSA records and the IIHS records suggest the same results too. Along with being structurally safe, the Mazda CX-3 also has some of the best-in-class safety features that truly make it stand apart. Some of these safety features include Blind-Spot Monitoring System, Lane Departure Warning System, Rear Collision Warning System, and so on.Some of the standout safety features are as follows:

  • Blind-spot monitoring system
  • Advanced smart city brake support
  • Rearview camera
  • Lane departure warning system
  • Rear collision warning system
  • Tire specific low tire pressure warning

2020 Mazda CX-3 Competition

2020 Mazda CX-3 vs 2020 Toyota C-HR

The Toyota C-HR gets some mixed reactions when it comes to its exterior and interior designing. The styling might seem striking, but the performance definitely isn’t. The C-HR’s engine feels underpowered and the CVT doesn’t fulfill the needs of an exciting driving experience. For a lesser retail price, the CX-3 offers a lot more when compared to the Toyota C-HR and hence turns out to be the right choice to go for.

2020 Mazda CX-3 vs 2020 Honda HR-V

The Honda HR-V certainly turns out to be the toughest rival to the CX-3 as it leaves the CX-3 behind when it comes to the exterior as well as interior features and practicality quotient. The HR-V offers a lot more in these aspects but the CX-3 stays ahead when the handling and powertrain performance is taken into consideration. 

The HR-V might be costlier than the CX-3, but it turns out to be a great value for money car as it offers certain practical features that the CX-3 lacks.

2020 Mazda CX-3 vs 2020 Chevrolet Trax

There seems to be nothing noteworthy to quote about the Chevrolet Trax. It seems to be the product of Chevrolet’s attempt at being present in a class that is filled with options and tons of demands.The Trax doesn’t bring much to the table when it comes to features or practicality and hence it seems to be one of the last options in the class that people would prefer. The CX-3 on the other hand is an example of what a car in this class should be and that sets the bar straight for the CX-3.

2020 Mazda CX-3 Final Verdict

The compact crossover SUV class is one of the busiest segments in the industry today with a lot of changes and things happening. To be a car worthy of each and every penny a customer pays is a much harder reputation to achieve in this class than any other, but Mazda seems to have cracked the code with the CX-3. The Mazda CX-3 is undoubtedly one of the best cars in the class which is worthy of the money spent on it. It does have its drawbacks regarding interior space and trunk capacity, but the rest of the attributes are definitely second to none.