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Both the Mazda CX-30 and the Mazda CX-3 are good choices for SUVs. They’re solid vehicles with good safety ratings and systems. One is the 30 and one is the 3; is the 2021 Mazda CX-30 ten times better than the 2021 Mazda CX-3? Consumer Reports tested both SUVs and gave them pretty similar overall scores. So should you choose the Mazda CX-30 or Mazda CX-3?

The back of a 2021 Mazda CX-30 sitting in a field.
2021 Mazda CX-30 | Mazda

Both the 2021 Mazda CX-30 and Mazda CX-3 have good road test scores

Consumer Reports tests vehicles at its huge Connecticut facility. Consumer Reports purchase the cars so that there’s no question about bias. This also means testers can be sure car manufacturers are giving them vehicles that represent the model as a whole. Consumer Reports conducts tests such as emergency handling, braking, and comfort. 

The road test score for both the CX-30 and CX-3 is a 64/100. Although they both get a 3 for acceleration, the CX-30 is a little faster, going from 0 to 60 in 8.7 seconds. It takes the CX-3 9.6 seconds to do that. 

However, the CX-3 gets a better score for its transmission and routine handling. Routine handling is measured by how agile Consumer Reports finds the SUV to be. The emergency handling scores for both vehicles are the same, at a four out of five. Emergency handling is rated by several factors, including its max avoidance speed. Braking is also the same for each, at a four out of five. 

Reliability is excellent in both the Mazda CX-30 and CX-3

To determine the reliability of a vehicle, Consumer Reports sends out surveys to people who have bought previous versions of the vehicle. They then combine this survey data with what they know about the current model. They say that with these two pieces of information, they can “expertly predict the reliability of new and redesigned models.”

The 2021 Mazda CX-30 and CX-30 each get a five out of five for their reliability ratings. However, the CX-30 gets a far better owner satisfaction score, getting a four out of five. The CX-3, on the other hand, only scores a two out of five. This means that only two out of five people who bought the 2021 Mazda CX-3 would definitely buy it again. 

They both have almost the same exact safety equipment

The 2021 Mazda CX-30 and 2021 Mazda CX-3 both have a lot of the advanced safety systems that Consumer Reports recommends. They each come standard with forward collision warning, pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking for the city and highway, lane departure warning, rear-view camera, anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control, and daytime running lights. 

Rear cross-traffic warning and blind-spot warning are optional in the Mazda CX-30, but standard in the CX-3. However, lane-keeping assistance is standard in the CX-30 but not even available in the CX-3.

Crash and rollover test ratings are identical in both the CX-30 and CX-3. They both get a good score in all of the IIHS crash tests that Consumer reports shares. The NHTSA ratings are also mostly good, getting five out of five stars. The only exception to this is both 2WD and 4WD versions of the CX-30 and CX-3. These each get four out of five stars. 

So is the 2021 CX-30 ten times safer than the 2021 CX-3? Not even close. The Mazda CX-30 and CX-3 are pretty much identical. Though there are a few exceptions, a few areas where one SUV does better than the other in a category and vice-versa, owner satisfaction is a standout difference. With twice as many people being happy with purchasing the CX-30 over the CX-3, the CX-30 is only twice the car the CX-3 is.