Buyer's Guide

2021 Mazda Cx-3
Select a Different Model (2 Available): Sport AWD
Fuel Economy $ 27 / 32 mpg
Cargo (Std/Max) 45 cu.ft.
Seating (Std/Max) 5/5
Horsepower 148@6,000
See All Specs
Free Price Quote From a Local Dealer
2021 Mazda CX-3 MODEL OVERVIEW

Pros

  • Fun handling
  • Great fuel economy
  • Tasteful interior and exterior design

Cons

  • Loud cabin
  • Cramped rear seat
  • Limited cargo volume

The CX-3 is the smallest of Mazda's crossover SUVs, positioned below the CX-30, CX-5, and CX-9. It was introduced for the 2016 model year and has since seen a slight facelift and the addition of standard driver-assist active safety features, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. The single-trim CX-3 competes alongside other subcompact utelettes including the Honda HR-V, Toyota C-HR, Hyundai Venue, and Ford EcoSport.

Looking for info on the slightly larger Mazda CX-30? Head here for the full story.

What's New

  • Night Pedestrian Detection added to Advanced Smart City Brake Support
  • Updated key fob design and badge font

What We Think

The CX-3 is a strong representation of what we loved about Mazda five years ago; it's an inexpensive enthusiast's pick in a mostly underwhelming segment. This subcompact crossover provides precise steering and great body control unmatched by most of its competitors. Its 148-hp four-banger provides ample acceleration and great fuel economy to boot.

Unfortunately, the CX-3 is not immune to Mazda's foibles. Its interior is loud on the highway, and both rear seat space and cargo volume fail to impress. The infotainment system can take some getting used to as well. As long as you're not trying to help a friend move or go on a road trip with more than one other full-sized adult, the CX-3 is a stylish, fun-to-drive little SUV.

Performance and Fuel Economy

Regardless of trim, every CX-3 is powered by a 2.0-liter non-turbo four-cylinder developing 148 hp and 146 lb-ft of torque. Buyers have a choice between FWD and AWD layouts but all CX-3s transmit power to the wheels with help from a six-speed automatic. Front-drivers are EPA-rated at 29/34 mpg city/highway; AWD models lose 2 mpg in both categories. In our testing, a FWD CX-3 can hit 60 in 8.2 seconds and the heavier AWD car trails it by 0.2 second.

Safety

The CX-3 is a very strong performer in IIHS safety testing. It earns the highest available designation of 2020 Top Safety Pick+ with excellent crashworthiness scores, Acceptable headlights, and Superior front crash prevention. The small Mazda also receives a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA, with the caveat that the left rear door panel intruded on the cabin during the side barrier test, striking the torso of the rear passenger dummy.

Starting in the 2020 model year, Mazda's i-Activsense collection of active safety features has been standard on the CX-3. The bundle of features includes adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.

Cargo Space and Interior Room

The CX-3 seats five with 41.7 inches of legroom up front and a relatively tight 35.0 inches in the rear. There's only 17.8 cubic feet behind the rear seat, but if you fold those seats down, capacity expands to 42.7 cubic feet.

Technology

The CX-3 operates with an older version of Mazda's rotary dial-controlled infotainment system. In this application, it features a 7.0-inch touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support plus six-speaker audio.

Key Competitors:

  • Honda HR-V
  • Subaru Crosstrek
  • Kia Soul

2021 MAZDA CX-3 SPECIFICATIONS
OVERVIEW
FEATURES
WARRANTY/RECALL
SAFETY
REBATES
Engine Name
Engine: 4-Cyl 2.0 Liter SKYACTIV-GĀ®
Transmission Name
Transmission, SKYACTIV-DRIVEĀ® 6 Speed Automatic with Manual Mode
Trim
Sport AWD
Class
Compact Utility
Horsepower
148@6,000
Standard MPG
27/32
Body Style
SUV/Crossover
Drivetrain
AWD
Fuel Type
Unleaded Regular
Seating Capacity
5/5
Package Invoice Retail
Show Full Specs
Corrosion Warranty Miles
Unlimited
Maintenance Warranty Months
none
Corrosion Warranty Months
60
Powertrain Warranty Miles
60,000
Full Warranty Miles
36,000
Powertrain Warranty Months
60
Full Warranty Months
36
Roadside Assistance Miles
36,000
Maintenance Warranty Miles
N/R
Roadside Assistance Months
36
IIHS Best Pick
0
NHTSA Rating Front Driver
Not Rated
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
N/R
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
Not Rated
IIHS Front Small Overlap
N/R
NHTSA Rating Front Side
Not Rated
IIHS Overall Side Crash
N/R
NHTSA Rating Overall
Not Rated
IIHS Rear Crash
N/R
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
Not Rated
IIHS Roof Strength
N/R
NHTSA Rating Rollover
Not Rated
Amount Description Expiry Date
$500 Mazda announces a Bonus Cash offer for active duty Military personnel. 03-31-2021
$0 0.9% Financing available for varying term lengths : 24, 36, 48, 63 Months - Mazda announces APR rates on select models. 02-01-2021
$0 2.9% Financing for a maximum term of 72 Months - Mazda announces APR rates on select models. 02-01-2021
$1000 Mazda announces a Lease Cash offer for a Special Lease through MCS. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 02-01-2021
$1000 Mazda announces a Standard Lease Cash offer through MFS. 02-01-2021
$500 Mazda announces an APR Cash offer. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 03-31-2021
$500 Mazda announces Customer Cash on select models. [Regional Incentive. See dealer for availability.] 03-31-2021