David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
9/7/18 6:40 a.m.
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The Mazda CX-5 has been a GRM favorite for a while. At last count, we have two in the family–which is two more than the next popular crossover in the family.

The CX-3, though, hadn’t previously caught our eye. Is it just a jacked-up Mazda2 or its own unique animal? The Mazda media site makes a bold claim: “Creating the standard for a new era.”

The CX-3’s 2.0-liter engine now produces 148 horsepower along with 146 lb.-ft. of torque. The rest of the car got a big refresh for 2019 as well: new grille, new standard electronic parking brake, new center armrest, new seats, new available leather seating, new interior design, new wheel options, new packages and more. It’s like a new car.

The CX-3 lineup starts with the Sport: $20,390 with front-drive and $21,790 with all-wheel drive. The range tops out with the Grand Touring, our tester, that retails for $25,745 and $27,145, respectively.

The big question: Can the CX-3 replace the much-loved CX-5? Read the full review to see what our CX-5 owners had to say.

Read the rest of the story

T.J.
T.J. MegaDork
9/7/18 1:36 p.m.

I love that chromey deep red paint on these. I've seen it on some other Mazdas as well. Not sure what they call it, but it is a nice color. I usually don't like red cars.

 

EDIT: Soul Red Chrystal Mettalic looks like the color name. $595 option. http://www.repairerdrivennews.com/2017/06/09/mazdas-slick-new-soul-red-crystal-color-might-be-trickier-for-painters/

fidelity101
fidelity101 UltraDork
9/7/18 1:39 p.m.

I still don't know how I feel about these cars. a part of me is waiting for a slightly wrecked one to show up on co-part that is AWD cheap and make some sort of bizzare rally car out of it. The rest of me still knows its a mazda2 and I don't fit in it. 

ultraclyde
ultraclyde PowerDork
9/7/18 2:09 p.m.

I thought the CX5 was based on the 6.... eh, whatever. At least it looks decent.

T.J.
T.J. MegaDork
9/7/18 6:41 p.m.

I'm not interested in SUVs, I just like the paint. 

Robbie
Robbie PowerDork
9/7/18 9:20 p.m.

When will hot rodders start 'chopping' the tops of these cuvs?

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
9/7/18 10:11 p.m.
T.J. said:

I'm not interested in SUVs, I just like the paint. 

Mazda has the strongest red paint game this side of the alfa 8c. 

Snrub
Snrub HalfDork
9/7/18 10:32 p.m.

It seems like the CX-3 is a great vehicle for its class, but I don't personally understand the point. Compare it to the Mazda3 hatch. They have the same ground clearance (within .1").  Cargo volume seat up, the Mazda3 has significantly more. Seats folded down their cargo volumes are within 3 cubic feet. Combined fuel economy numbers are within 1 MPG. Total passenger volume is 9 cubic feet in favor of the Mazda3.

Marketing (aka. cladding) and optional AWD is the only thing differentiating them. The overall styling is pretty darn similar. Seems like Mazda could have just offered a 3 with AWD and saved a lot of money in development, etc. The CX-5 is on the same platform, so presumably it would be easy to reuse parts.

singleslammer
singleslammer PowerDork
9/8/18 7:39 a.m.

In reply to Snrub :

Look at what actually sells in the US and you have your answer. You are being far too clinical about the specs. Specs rarely sell a car to the layman.

Snrub
Snrub HalfDork
9/8/18 5:13 p.m.
singleslammer said:

In reply to Snrub :

Look at what actually sells in the US and you have your answer. You are being far too clinical about the specs. Specs rarely sell a car to the layman.

I get that crossovers are the thing that sells. I don't understand how it's a crossover other than the cladding. Seriously, what am I missing? :)

chuyler2
chuyler2 New Reader
9/12/18 9:55 a.m.

I had a CX5 and CX3 as loaner cars within a week of each other while I was getting warranty work done on my CX9.  If it weren't for towing capacity I would absolutely trade in my CX9 for the CX5.  It's a great vehicle that is just the right size.  On the other hand, the CX3 is very small.  It would be the perfect city bruiser that you could dart around traffic with. Tall enough to see around other vehicles with enough suspension travel to plow through pot holes and patchwork.  Just like the Mazda2 though, if you don't fold down the rear seats all you can fit in the back is 2 grocery bags.  Adults also won't be very comfortable in those rear seats.  The steep angle of the rear hatch and high floor means nothing tall will fit and it's a narrow hatch opening.  I wouldn't want to attempt to move out of a city apartment with a CX3.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
9/12/18 10:21 a.m.
Snrub said:
singleslammer said:

In reply to Snrub :

Look at what actually sells in the US and you have your answer. You are being far too clinical about the specs. Specs rarely sell a car to the layman.

I get that crossovers are the thing that sells. I don't understand how it's a crossover other than the cladding. Seriously, what am I missing? :)

Nothing. You're just making the typical, contrarian GRM "it's not something that I would buy, so why does ANYONE else buy it" post that is very common.

Carsandbikes
Carsandbikes New Reader
9/12/18 2:35 p.m.

I either read it somewhere or somehow overheard it but the CX2 far outsells the Mazda3....at least the 3 sedan (does anyone buy a 3 sedan?) and most buyers are young women buying their 1st new car. 

CyberEric
CyberEric HalfDork
9/12/18 2:43 p.m.

My dad bought the 3 sedan! Ha, I didn't understand it, but apparently my mom couldn't see out the back of the hatch, and she has backed into several cars over the years, including my E36 M3 TWICE! And yes, backup camera didn't help. 

What's the price difference between a CX-3 and a 2.0 3 hatchback? 

 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
9/12/18 3:19 p.m.
CyberEric said:

My dad bought the 3 sedan! Ha, I didn't understand it, but apparently my mom couldn't see out the back of the hatch, and she has backed into several cars over the years, including my E36 M3 TWICE! And yes, backup camera didn't help. 

What's the price difference between a CX-3 and a 2.0 3 hatchback? 

 

www.mazdausa.com devil

CyberEric
CyberEric HalfDork
9/12/18 4:04 p.m.

I'm too lazy! cheeky

William
William None
9/21/18 1:22 p.m.

No manual transmission available on the CX's.

Deal killer.

Rotaryracer
Rotaryracer Reader
9/21/18 2:17 p.m.
William said:

No manual transmission available on the CX's.

Deal killer.

I'm holding out for the CX3 GTX, with the 2.5L turbo motor, 6-spd, and AWD (with the ability to lock the center diff at 50/50).

And for pigs to fly.

RX Reven'
RX Reven' SuperDork
9/21/18 6:56 p.m.
Snrub said:

It seems like the CX-3 is a great vehicle for its class, but I don't personally understand the point. Compare it to the Mazda3 hatch. They have the same ground clearance (within .1").  Cargo volume seat up, the Mazda3 has significantly more. Seats folded down their cargo volumes are within 3 cubic feet. Combined fuel economy numbers are within 1 MPG. Total passenger volume is 9 cubic feet in favor of the Mazda3.

Marketing (aka. cladding) and optional AWD is the only thing differentiating them. The overall styling is pretty darn similar. Seems like Mazda could have just offered a 3 with AWD and saved a lot of money in development, etc. The CX-5 is on the same platform, so presumably it would be easy to reuse parts.

I’m giving serious consideration to buying a new one now.

Essentially, I’m 54 with a bad knee and park on a steep driveway so not having to squat down too much during entry and egress is a big plus. Front seat, rear seat, cargo space with seats up, and cargo space with seats folded down match my requirements so perfectly that it’s spooky.

This will be my sixth Mazda…Mazda gets me.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
9/21/18 7:28 p.m.

Seat height matters a lot to people, especially older people with money who buy new cars. I fall into my Accord and I fall out of my truck, but the seat in my Forester is just right. Give people the right seat height and good forward visibility and they'll ignore a lot of other things. 

And don't forget, if you don't buy new cars you don't matter and you only get to sift through other peoples choices. 

CyberEric
CyberEric HalfDork
9/21/18 8:37 p.m.

Touche Seth. 

RX Reven, that Matt Farah guy did a drive with the CX-3 and pretty much loved it. I've been driving the 3 sedan my dad owns (he's 72), and it's a pretty nice ride. I'd imagine the CX-3 is too. Some people like the CX-3 interior more to boot. 

CyberEric
CyberEric HalfDork
9/21/18 8:38 p.m.

In reply to Rotaryracer :

Me too! Mazda, DO IT.

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