The 2019 Mazda CX-3 Is a ‘Willing Dance Partner’

In a class of so-so options, the 2019 Mazda CX-3 is one that truly shines. The CX-3 is both efficient and entertaining to drive, helping it stand out from class rivals. And as a used model, this 2019 Mazda continues to impress with its predicted reliability.

What it’s like to drive the 2019 CX-3

The Mazda CX-3 is a safe, dependable, and modern subcompact crossover developed by Mazda to be their entry-level model.
Mazda CX-3 | Mazda

The 2019 CX-3 gets its power from a 148-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a six-speed automatic. It’s reasonably quick for the subcompact SUV class, plus it’s fuel-efficient too. The 2019 CX-3 has an EPA rating of up to 31 mpg overall, which is excellent. It’s standard with front-wheel-drive, but you can shop for models with all-wheel-drive.

Consumer Reports is among the reviewers to sing the CX-3’s praises. CR appreciates that this teeny SUV is easy to park and sporty. This organization went on to say that the CX-3 brings more pizazz than many of its rivals, and its handling makes it a “willing dance partner.”

“On the track the little Mazda was a delight. It was fun to dive into any corner and let the nimble chassis change its cornering attitude based on the driver’s’ throttle and steering input. Even though outright cornering grip is not abundant, the car’s handling finesse and intuitive balance made it predictable, forgiving, and fun. 

Consumer Reports (2019)

On the inside 

A sideview of the CX-3's car cabin.
2019 Mazda CX-3 Sport interior | Mazda

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The CX-3 presents an upscale interior, especially as you climb trim levels. Technically, the CX-3 is a five-seater, but its cabin is snug, as CR notes. You’ll want to consider rivals like the Honda HR-V for more interior space. The CX-3 is also a bit loud on the inside, which isn’t uncommon for a subcompact SUV. On a brighter note, the CX-3 offers some attractive in-car tech. 

Many drivers will be happy with the entry-level CX-3 Sport trim since it comes with helpful safety features, including blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. It also comes with a 7-inch touchscreen display and Bluetooth. Next up is the Touring trim, which CR recommended as the best version to get when the 2019 CX-3 was new.

Front seats of the 2019 Mazda CX-3
2019 Mazda CX-3 front seat display | Mazda

Touring models replace the CX-3’s standard cloth seats with leatherette-trimmed ones. Other frills include heated side mirrors and the Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry System. If you opt for the top-tier Grand Touring trim, you get a Bose seven-speaker sound system and more safety gadgets, including pedestrian detection. As CR pointed out, the main downside to the Touring and Grand Touring versions is that their 8-inch tires make for a stiffer ride. Another bummer is that Mazda didn’t initially offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity on the 2019 CX-3.

Is the Mazda CX-3 expensive to maintain?

A red Mazda CX-3 in a showroom.
A Mazda CX-3 on display | Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

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The CX-3 is an excellent choice for low ownership costs. CR ranks it as one of the most reliable subcompact SUVs, and so does RepairPal. According to RepairPal, the average annual repair cost for the 2019 CX-3 is $345. Plus, the severity and frequency of repairs are far lower than other vehicles. The average price range for a used CX-3 falls between $16,850 and $20,975.