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Comparing two SUVs from the same brand that are nearly identical can be tricky. The 2020 Mazda CX-30 is the replacement for the 2020 Mazda CX-3, but these two used Mazda SUVs existed simultaneously for a short time. You might not expect such closely related models to be compared together, but that’s what we’ve got for you. So, which of these used subcompact SUVs has what you’re looking for?

An overview of Mazda’s subcompact SUV models

A great jumping-off point for these two used subcompact SUVs answers the most common questions about these two models. Using information from a side-by-side comparison provided by U.S. News, we learn:

 2020 Mazda CX-302020 Mazda CX-3
Average used price$19,829$17,538
Engine2.5-liter 4-cylinder2.0-liter 4-cylinder
Horsepower186 hp148 hp
Torque186 lb-ft146 lb-ft
Transmission6-speed automatic6-speed automatic
Acceleration (0-60 mph)7.8 seconds8.2 seconds
Top speed126 mph122 mph
Fuel efficiency25/33 mpg29/34 mpg
Cargo capacity20.2/45.2 cu-ft17.8/42.7 cu-ft
J.D. Power reliability rating80/100Not rated

From this information, we learn the Mazda CX-30 is more powerful, has more cargo room, is faster, and is a little more expensive than the CX-3 it replaced.

What does the 2020 Mazda CX-30 offer?

Mazda chose to bring a larger subcompact SUV to the market as the new CX-30 for the 2020 model year. Three years later, this used subcompact SUV can be a good choice for those looking for a small SUV to drive. The pros and cons from U.S. News are:

CX-30 pros

  • Pleasing interior quality
  • Engaging handling
  • Comfortable ride

CX-30 cons

  • Meek acceleration
  • Mixed infotainment system reviews

What does the 2020 Mazda CX-3 offer?

Although the Mazda CX-3 would survive one more year after the 2020 version, it’s easy to see the benefits of the larger CX-30. Still, when considering this small Mazda, the U.S. News pros and cons are:

CX-3 pros

  • Lively handling
  • A long list of standard features
  • High-quality interior

CX-3 cons

2020 Mazda CX-30 vs. 2020 Mazda CX-3: Driving and performance

The more powerful Mazda CX-30 should be the better choice in terms of driving and performance, but U.S. News has the CX-3 rated higher in terms of performance. This could be due to the smaller size of the CX-3. Regardless, either of these used subcompact SUVs will give you a fun driving experience, which is part of what Mazda offers across the board.

2020 Mazda CX-30 vs. 2020 Mazda CX-3: Interior and tech

The Mazda CX-30 is the clear winner regarding interior comfort, spaciousness, and tech. Although the tech is a bit of a sore spot for some drivers, the CX-30 is the newer model, which means it received the most advanced features, while the Mazda CX-3 was stuck with items already part of the mix.

2020 Mazda CX-30 vs. 2020 Mazda CX-3: Trim levels and features

For the 2020 model year, the Mazda CX-30 was offered in four trim levels (Sport, Select, Preferred, and Premium). These trims offer various features and qualities, with some of the items found in the top Premium trim being:

  • Cylinder deactivation
  • Head-up display
  • Leather seats
  • Power liftgate
  • Roof rails

As an outgoing model, the 2020 Mazda CX-3 was reduced to only one trim level (Sport). This version offered some desirable features, including:

  • Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
  • Automatic climate controls
  • All-LED exterior lighting
  • 16-inch alloy wheels

Which used subcompact SUV is the right fit for you?

The 2020 Mazda CX-30 is the newer of these two used subcompact SUVs, offering a more powerful engine, more passenger and cargo space, and the most advanced technology of these two SUVs. The 2020 Mazda CX-3 only came in one trim, but it was a little more fun to drive with its smaller size and more affordable. Additionally, the CX-3 was discontinued after the 2021 model year, ending its time and making room for the CX-30 to continue on.