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2019 Mazda CX-3 Review

The 2019 Mazda CX-3 finishes in the top half of our subcompact SUV rankings. It's one of the most fun-to-drive vehicles in the class, and it has a top-notch interior. However, the CX-3's undersized cargo hold and subpar predicted reliability rating hurt its overall score.

Pros & Cons

  • Sporty handling
  • Excellent fuel economy ratings
  • Premium interior
  • Limited cargo room
  • Small rear seats
  • Subpar predicted reliability rating

New for 2019

  • Blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert became standard
  • Slight bump in horsepower
  • Lightly restyled exterior

Rankings & Awards

The 2019 Mazda CX-3's #4 ranking is based on its score within the 2019 Affordable Subcompact SUVs category. It was a finalist for our 2019 Best Subcompact SUVs for the Money award. Currently the Mazda CX-3 has a score of 7.7 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 33 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 8.3
Performance: 8.5
Interior: 5.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.1
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Is the 2019 Mazda CX-3 a Good Used SUV?

Yes, the 2019 CX-3 is a good used subcompact SUV. In fact, if you value driving enjoyment, it's arguably the best choice you can make. The CX-3 features an energetic engine and lively handling, and it still provides a buttery ride and gets good gas mileage. Inside, you'll find one of the most upscale cabins in the class, with comfortable and supportive front seats and a generous list of standard features.

However, this Mazda crossover isn’t perfect. It has a below-average predicted reliability rating, and it doesn't have common smartphone connectivity features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. What's more, the CX-3's rear seats and cargo hold are decidedly on the small side.

Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve researched 33 Mazda CX-3 reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability ratings and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking the best cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years’ worth of auto industry experience combined. To keep our reviews unbiased, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside company manages our advertising.

How Much is the 2019 Mazda CX-3?

Based on listings for the 2019 Mazda CX-3, the average list price is $18,285. Prices range from $18,285 to $23,970 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2019 Mazda CX-3 Cost to Own?

The 2019 CX-3’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, taxes, fees, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be about $24,750, or $4,950 per year. That’s below average for the class.

2018 vs. 2019 Mazda CX-3: What's the Difference?

There are some differences between the 2018 and 2019 CX-3 models, but they may not be significant to most people. The engine in the 2019 model gained 2 horsepower, and previously optional features like blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert became standard. The 2019 CX-3 also saw a few exterior styling updates.

Compare the 2018 and 2019 CX-3 »

Here are the key changes for the Mazda CX-3 since it debuted for 2016:

  • 2017: no major changes
  • 2018: retuned suspension; automatic emergency braking became standard; heated steering wheel and power-adjustable driver’s seat became available
  • 2019: updated exterior styling; newly standard driver assistance features; slight horsepower increase

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2016 CX-3, 2017 CX-3, and 2018 CX-3 reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Reliable Is the 2019 Mazda CX-3?

The 2019 Mazda CX-3 has a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five.

Read more about CX-3 reliability »

2019 Mazda CX-3 Recalls

There are no major recalls for the 2019 Mazda CX-3 at this time.

See more information on Mazda CX-3 safety recalls »

Which Used Mazda CX-3 Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2019 Mazda CX-3 comes in three trims: Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring. All models feature a 148-horsepower four-cylinder engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and front-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is available in all trims.

The base trim comes with an appealing array of amenities, so you may want to stick with it. However, you can get more comfort and active safety features by climbing the trim ladder.

When new, Mazda offered a lot of options for the 2019 CX-3. That means you may be able to find Mazda CX-3 models with features in addition to those listed here.

  • Mazda CX-3 Sport: The base CX-3 Sport comes standard with remote keyless entry, push-button start, cloth upholstery, a rearview camera, low-speed automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and the Mazda Connect infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen, a six-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, and a USB port.
  • Mazda CX-3 Touring: The CX-3 Touring trim adds automatic high-beam headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, proximity keyless entry, automatic climate control, synthetic leather upholstery, and heated front seats.
  • Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring: The CX-3 Grand Touring model tops out the lineup. It comes with a moonroof, leather-trimmed seats, a Bose audio system, satellite radio, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, a head-up display, and navigation.

See 2019 Mazda CX-3 trims and specs »

What Does Mazda's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Mazda offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 80,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. Mazda extends the original limited powertrain warranty to seven years from the original sale date or 100,000 miles and provides a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty after the expiration of the original three-year/36,000-mile warranty. Every CPO Mazda must pass a 160-point inspection. Additional benefits may include towing, a 90-day complimentary SiriusXM satellite radio trial subscription, extended coverage, and 24-hour roadside assistance, so read the Mazda warranty page carefully.

According to our research, Mazda’s CPO program is about average for an affordable auto manufacturer. Honda, Hyundai, and Kia all have better programs.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the CX-3?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2019 CX-3 an overall safety rating of five out of five stars, with five stars in the frontal and side crash tests and four stars in the rollover test. The NHTSA noted that during the side crash test, the left rear door intruded into the rear-seat passenger space.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2019 CX-3 a Top Safety Pick and gave it the highest rating of Good in all six crash tests. Grand Touring, Sport, and Touring trims equipped with the i-Activsense package received the second-highest rating of Acceptable for how well their headlights illuminate the road ahead. Sport and Touring trims without the package received the lowest rating of Poor.

The IIHS uses a different scale for grading collision avoidance features. The CX-3 earned the highest rating of Superior for its available vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, while the available vehicle-to-pedestrian system received the second-highest rating of Advanced.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Rearview camera
  • Low-speed automatic emergency braking
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert

Available advanced safety features:

  • Head-up display
  • Full-speed forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane departure warning
  • Automatic high-beam headlights
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Traffic sign recognition

See CX-3 safety scores »

2019 Mazda CX-3 Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2019 Mazda CX-3 or 2019 Honda HR-V?

The better choice between the 2019 Honda HR-V and the Mazda CX-3 comes down to your priorities. The HR-V is more practical thanks to its roomier back seats and higher cargo capacity. And, unlike the CX-3, the HR-V is available with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration. The Honda is on the shortlist of rivals that can match the Mazda's fuel economy as well. However, when it comes to athleticism, the CX-3 wins, hands down. It also has a higher safety score than the HR-V.

Which Is Better: 2019 Mazda CX-3 or 2019 Toyota C-HR?

The 2019 Toyota C-HR is one of the least impressive subcompact SUVs, and the CX-3 is clearly better in most regards. The Mazda features a more dynamic powertrain, is the only one in this pair available with all-wheel drive, handles better, has a much nicer interior, and gets better gas mileage. Also, the C-HR is one of the few vehicles in the class with less cargo space than the CX-3. The Toyota earns a better predicted reliability rating and comes with more standard features than the Mazda, but those are its only advantages here.

Compare the CX-3, HR-V, and C-HR »

2019 CX-3 Performance

How Does the 2019 Mazda CX-3 Drive?

The CX-3 is one of the more athletic small crossovers out there. Its engine delivers eager acceleration and moves the SUV easily in just about all driving situations. The CX-3 feels nimble and stays planted around turns, and it has sturdy brakes and sharp steering. Even better, this engaging performance doesn't come at the expense of a cushioned ride.

  • Engine: 148-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder
  • Drivetrain: standard front-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: six-speed automatic
Does the 2019 Mazda CX-3 Get Good Gas Mileage?

This Mazda gets better gas mileage than many of its peers. Front-wheel-drive CX-3 models get 29 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. All-wheel-drive models get slightly lower ratings of 27 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.

Read more about CX-3 performance »

2019 CX-3 Interior

How Many People Does the 2019 CX-3 Seat?

The 2019 CX-3 seats five people in two rows. This Mazda crossover features one of the finest interiors in the class. It looks and feels upscale, with stylish design touches and plenty of premium materials. The front seats are comfortable, roomy, and supportive. However, the rear seats have less head- and legroom than in many rivals, and adults may not be able to ride comfortably in the back.

Standard seating features:

  • Cloth upholstery

Available seating features:

  • Synthetic leather upholstery
  • Genuine leather upholstery
  • Power-adjustable driver's seat
  • Heated front seats
  • Heated steering wheel
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2019 Mazda CX-3?

The 2019 CX-3 has two complete sets of LATCH car-seat connectors for the rear outboard seats and an upper tether for the rear middle seat. The rear middle seat has the ability to borrow the lower anchors from both sides. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this LATCH system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for ease of use because the lower anchors are set too deeply in the seats.

2019 Mazda CX-3 Features

There's a bit of a learning curve with the Mazda Connect infotainment system. Some functions are buried under several layers of menus, regardless of whether you're using the touch screen or the physical controls. However, the screen is easy to see and reach, and it's fairly responsive. Unlike several competitors, the CX-3 doesn't offer Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.

  • Standard infotainment features: the Mazda Connect interface, a 7-inch touch screen, a six-speaker audio system, a USB port, and Bluetooth
  • Available infotainment features: a seven-speaker Bose sound system, satellite radio, HD Radio, and navigation
  • Other available features: a moonroof and automatic climate control

See 2019 Mazda CX-3 specs »

Read more about CX-3 interior »

2019 Mazda CX-3 Dimensions

Mazda CX-3 Cargo Space

The CX-3 has 12.4 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and 44.5 cubic feet with them folded. Most other subcompact SUVs – and indeed some hatchbacks – provide more cargo space.

2019 Mazda CX-3 Length and Weight
  • Length: 14 feet
  • Curb weight: 2,809 to 2,952 pounds

Where Was the 2019 Mazda CX-3 Built?

Mazda built the 2019 CX-3 in Japan.


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