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2019 Mazda CX-3 Review

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In the subcompact crossover market, you have plenty of options. The Mazda CX-3 makes its case for your attention with athletic styling and handling, competitive pricing and high resale value. In Mazda’s crossover lineup, the CX-3 is the smallest and least expensive, with its larger siblings being the compact CX-5 and the midsize CX-9.

2019 Mazda CX-3 pricing

The CX-3 has three trim levels with a starting manufacturer’s recommended price (MSRP) of $20,390 for the base model. About $5,400 more will get you the top Grand Touring trim level.

Trim Sport Touring Grand Touring
MSRP $20,390 $22,475 $25,745


The MSRP is not necessarily the price you should pay for the vehicle, depending on where and when you car shop. Shop around to check prices and check out an industry guide — Kelley Blue Book or NADAguides, for example — to find a fair market price.

What’s next? For most buyers, what’s next after deciding on a car is deciding on a car loan. Car dealers tend to raise customer APRs, so it’s important to apply for a car loan outside of a dealership. Potential lenders could include Mazda financing, your bank, credit union or online lender. You could also go to LendingTree, fill out the online form and based on your creditworthiness possibly be matched with up to five different loan offers from lenders. It doesn’t hurt your credit to apply to multiple lenders any more than it does to apply to one if you do all your applications within 14 days — and some credit scoring methods may even allow you up to 45 days.

2019 Mazda CX-3 safety

The 2019 CX-3 earned a five star crash test safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) chose it as a Top Safety Pick. The IIHS however noted that the CX-3’s headlights and the ease of use of the child safety seat anchors were “acceptable,” one ranking below “good.” NHTSA also noted a safety concern during side crash tests.

Mazda corrals many of its active safety features in the i-Activsense package. The base model of the CX-3 may include the following active safety features in that package:

  • Smart City Brake Support. The car can automatically apply the brakes at speeds between 2 and 18 MPH if it senses an imminent collision.
  • Blind Spot Monitoring. With the turn signal on, the car can alert the driver of another vehicle in the driver’s blind spot.
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert. When in reverse, the car can alert the driver of oncoming passing traffic.
  • Hill Launch Assist. The car can assist the driver in accelerating from a stop while on a slope.

You may get even more safety features on the Grand Touring CX-3 including:

  • Smart City Brake Support with Collision Warning. The car can alert the driver if a crash seems imminent and allow for full and immediate braking power. It can also apply the brakes if the driver does not. In such a situation, the car can also reduce engine output to reduce its speed and ignore it if the driver slams on the gas pedal instead of the brake.
  • Advanced Smart City Brake Support with Pedestrian Detection. The “advanced” part of this features is in the name — it may be able to detect people as well as other vehicles.
  • Lane Departure Warning. The car can warn the driver of unintentional lane departure.
  • Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop and Go. The car can adjust and maintain a safe following distance from a vehicle in front of it while cruise control is on.

2019 Mazda CX-3 competitor comparison

The base model of the CX-3 has a lot of standard technology and excellent gas mileage compared to competitors in the same segment.

Mazda CX-3 Hyundai Kona Subaru Crosstrek Honda HR-V
Base MSRP $20,390 $19,990 $21,895 $20,520
Expert Scores 4.2 4.3 4.2 4.1
Standard Technology 7″ Screen, Rearview Camera, Smart City Brake Support 7″ Screen, Hyundai Smart Sense, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto All Wheel Drive, Bluetooth, 6.5″ Touch Screen Bluetooth, 5″ Screen, Rearview Camera
Fuel Economy 31 MPG 30 MPG 25 MPG 30 MPG

*Chart data is for base 2019 models. Expert score averages Kelley Blue Book (KBB) and Edmunds expert ratings. Standard technology refers to features included in the lowest trim level for each model at no extra cost (not an exhaustive list). Fuel economy is combined city / highway mileage as defined by the EPA.

2019 Mazda CX-3 trim comparison

Unlike some competitor automakers, Mazda doesn’t offer more than 10 trims with multiple engine and package availabilities. It also doesn’t have a $17,000 price difference between the least and most expensive trim on the same vehicle. Mazda keeps things simple. The CX-3 has three trims: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. The higher up you go, the more luxurious the car, the more expensive the price tag.

Trim Sport Touring Grand Touring
MSRP $20,390 $22,475 $25,745
Standard Features Keyless Entry, Bluetooth, Active Safety Features, Anti-Theft System, 7″ Screen Rain-Sensing Windshield Wipers, Leather-Trimmed Interior, Heated Side Mirrors Premium Audio, Navigation, Moonroof, Advanced Active Safety Features


The trims above build upon each other, so each has or improves upon the features of the trim(s) before it. For example, the Touring has everything the Sport does, plus new features.

Mazda model comparison

Mazda not only keeps its trims simple, it keeps its vehicle offerings low, too. Its crossover line only has three vehicle models, the CX-3 being the smallest and CX-9 being the largest. Both the CX-3 and the CX-5 are capable of seating five; the CX-9 is capable of seating seven.

CX-3 CX-5 CX-9
MSRP $20,390 $24,350 $32,280
Expert Scores 4.2 4.4 4
Standard Features 7″ Touch Screen, Keyless Entry, Bluetooth, Active Safety Features 7″ Touch Screen, Bluetooth, HD Radio, Active Safety Features 7″ Touch Screen, 3rd Row Seats, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, Active Safety Features
Fuel Economy 31 MPG 28 MPG 24 MPG


Mazda does plan to add a new crossover in 2020, the CX-30, which will slot between the CX-3 and the CX-5.

2019 Mazda CX-3 – the bottom line

You might like this car if a zippy subcompact SUV crossover is what you’re looking for. You might not like this vehicle if you need something with higher ground clearance or more room. The good news, you could easily check out its CX siblings, its sedan cousins (the Mazda3 and Mazda6) or take a look at these best crossover SUVs. Unless, of course, the words “coupe convertible” catch your eye, then check out the Mazda Miata.

MSRPs in the article are accurate as of the date of publishing.


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