You Should Buy the 2021 Mazda CX-30, Not the CX-3

The 2021 Mazda CX-30 and 2021 Mazda CX-3 are subcompact SUVs with similar overall scores and identical road test scores. Yet the owner satisfaction rating on the 2021 Mazda CX-30 is twice as high as that of the 2021 Mazda CX-3. What do owners of the CX-30 like so much more than the CX-3?

A red 2021 Mazda CX-3 parked with a city in the background.
2021 Mazda CX-3 | Mazda

Consumer Reports surveys tell part of the picture

Consumer Reports sends surveys to current owners of the vehicles it tests to gather information about how happy they are with their vehicles. 

The CX-30 gets an excellent predicted owner satisfaction score, at a 4/5. The driving experience gets an 87, while comfort gets a 78. Styling gets an 87, and value is a 65, which is high for a value score. 75% of people would buy the CX-30 again.

The CX-3 gets a poor owner satisfaction score, at a 2/5. The driving experience gets a 70, while comfort gets a 43. Styling gets a 74, and value is a 56. Only 52% of people would buy the CX-3 again.

Both the CX-30 and CX-3 lack comfort

The 2021 Mazda CX-3 gets an okay 3/5 for its ride, as well as for noise. Front-seat comfort is also okay, at a 3/5. Rear seat comfort gets only a 2/5. Interior fit and finish get a very good 3/5. The trunk and cargo space scores only a 1/5, with just 18 cubic feet of storage space.

Consumer Reports notes that the improvement in size over the CX-30 is minor. They say “Although not as tiny as the CX-3, the CX-30 still feels cramped inside. The cockpit and center console are nicely trimmed and conceal lots of storage for small items, but the snug design encroaches on the driver and front passenger. The rear seat is tight, and small side windows hurt outward visibility.”

The 2021 Mazda CX-30 gets an okay 3/5 for its ride, as well as for noise. Front-seat comfort is pretty good, at a 4/5. Rear seat comfort gets only a 3/5. Interior fit and finish get a very good 4/5. The trunk and cargo space scores only a 1/5, with just 21.5 cubic feet of storage space. Although this isn’t an amazing score, it’s better than the CX-3. 

You won’t lose safety in either SUV

Both the 2021 Mazda CX-30 and 2021 Mazda CX-3 have been crash-tested by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and National Highway Traffic Administration. They have identical safety ratings. The IIHS gives them both good ratings for everything. The NHTSA gives them five stars for everything except for rollover rating. The rating for both the 2WD and 4WD rollover is four stars.

Both the 2021 Mazda CX-30 and 2021 Mazda CX-3 are good options for anyone looking for a subcompact SUV. Yet the Mazda CX-30 is a better choice thanks to its owner satisfaction rating and increased comfort. If you’re torn between the CX-30 and the CX-3, the CX-30 is the way to go.

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