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2020 Mazda CX-3 Performance


MSRP
$20,640
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Mazda CX-3 Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.4

The 2020 Mazda CX-3 offers excellent handling and decent acceleration. Fuel economy is excellent for the subcompact SUV class.

  • "[The CX-3’s] 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine produces 148 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque, giving the 2,809-pound CX-3 class-average acceleration. But horsepower and torque are the only elements where the CX-3 feels garden-variety." -- CNET (2019)
  • "The relatively modest 148 horsepower is only part of a larger equation that includes well-calibrated suspension and steering systems." -- Kelley Blue Book (2019)
  • "The quick-shifting automatic transmission is responsive. In low-speed driving, it can hunt around a bit, although Sport mode helps. The CX-3 is easy to maneuver in tight spaces." -- Edmunds (2018)

Acceleration and Power

The Mazda CX-3 comes with a 148-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. A six-speed automatic transmission is standard. The CX-3 has decent acceleration from a stop, but the engine can be loud at higher speeds. The transmission delivers smooth and timely shifts.

With standard front-wheel drive, the 2020 CX-3 gets an EPA-estimated 29 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway, which is very good for a subcompact SUV. With all-wheel drive, fuel economy is 27 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.

  • "It's not the most potent four-cylinder engine in this segment … but our all-wheel-drive test vehicle made it from zero to 60 mph in 8.1 seconds. The engine itself sounds coarse, particularly at high speeds, but its rev-happy nature adds a raciness its rivals lack." -- Car and Driver
  • "The CX-3 isn't quick, but these other components help make the Mazda feel more alert and engaging than its power figures might suggest. The six-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly, and is more than willing to kick down in order to keep what little power there is on boil." -- CNET (2019)
  • "Power is modest in the CX-3, as it is in most of its rivals. It's quick for the class, though." -- Edmunds (2018)

Handling and Braking

The CX-3 has deft handling and responsive steering. Body motions are well-controlled around corners, and the brakes feel strong. The suspension is on the stiffer side, however, so some bumps in the road are clearly felt.

  • "The CX-3 clings to the Mazda brand's sporting ethos and is without a doubt the most athletic offering in this class. Its fun-to-drive character is composed of many elements, including a lively chassis, well-controlled body roll, and masterful suspension tuning that walks the fine line between firm and too firm. It all adds up to a control-enhancing predictability that makes it easy to drive quickly." -- Car and Driver
  • "The steering is direct and responsive, with high levels of feedback. … The suspension is definitely on the stiffer side of what you'd expect for a compact crossover, but it's never uncomfortable. … The solid chassis makes me more comfortable chucking the CX-3 a little harder into tight corners, with a welcome lack of body roll. The brakes, too, slow things down with confidence, with instant bite." -- CNET (2019)
  • "The steering feels perfectly natural. It's nicely weighted, and there's good feedback through the wheel. The CX-3 turns in quickly without ever being twitchy and feels just as light and small as it is. … Small pavement ripples are handled well, though some vibrations will enter the cabin." -- Edmunds (2018)
U.S. News Best Price Program

2020 Mazda CX-3

MSRP: $20,640 - $22,040

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