Crossover & Midsize

The 2020 Mazda CX-3 Fails as an SUV in This Category

While Mazda might not enjoy the easy brand recognition and high sales of other car manufacturers, drivers who have purchased Mazda vehicles love the brand. As a rule, Mazda vehicles such as the Mazda CX-3 are super fun to drive, reliable, and are fairly easy on the budget. While the Mazda CX-3 fits the expectations drivers have when it comes to Mazda vehicles, there’s a pretty big reason why it isn’t many people’s first choice when they’re shopping for a new SUV.

How the 2020 Mazda CX-3 differs from previous years 

A 2016 Mazda CX-3 on display at the Washington Auto Show in Washington, USA
The Mazda CX-3 | Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

While Mazda has tweaked the 2020 Mazda CX-3, the newest vehicles aren’t hugely different from previous versions. The company did decide to not only add both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to the Mazda CX-3, but they also made them standard features available in all trim options. The same is true of the i-Activesense program which provides drivers with handy safety features such as forward collision warning, adaptive headlights, blind-spot monitoring, a head-up display, and auto emergency braking when the vehicle detects a potential threat ahead of it.

The biggest change is that in 2020, Mazda will no longer make the Touring and top-spec Grand Touring trims CX-3 trims. Instead, the company took the features found in those trims and incorporated them into the CX-30.  

Things to love about the 2020 Mazda CX-3 

The Mazda CX-3 ticks all the boxes that drivers expect from a Mazda. It has an attractive, sporty design. It has awesome handling, speedy acceleration, and is a fun vehicle to drive. It’s well-made, fairly low-priced for a crossover in its class, and has great fuel economy.  

The best thing about Mazda vehicles is that they are a joy to drive, and the 2020 CX-3 isn’t an exception. While the 146-hp four-cylinder engine isn’t the most powerful engine you’ll find in the current crop of crossovers, its smooth, fast acceleration and seamless ability to shift from one gear to the next makes this a fun car for both city and highway driving. 

The overall feel of the interior is another point in the 2020 CX-3’s favor. The way the cabin is designed and the appearance of the material used in its construction creates the illusion that you’re driving a luxurious crossover. The interior feels like it hugs your body and provides drivers with a comfortable driving experience.

Where the 2020 CX-3 comes up short 

The 2020 CX-3 has one major problem that prevents it from being one of the best crossovers on the market. There is a serious lack of storage space in the trunk. While the vehicle feels roomy enough for the driver, once you start adding passengers and cargo, it quickly feels cramped. The entire layout is more like what you’d expect in a compact car than a crossover.  

The lack of cargo space makes this a difficult vehicle to use for long road trips, transporting a large family, or for use as a utility vehicle. 

Not only does the 2020 CX-3 lack sufficient cargo space, but drivers are also quick to note that the few storage options it does provide are awkward to use and stingy in terms of space.  

While the lack of storage space is a serious deterrent for many drivers, the vehicle’s other attributes are strong enough for Consumer Reports to consider the 2020 Mazda CX-3 as the fourth-best subcompact SUV currently on the market. They’ve given the CX-3 an overall score of 73 out of a possible 100. While the predicted customer satisfaction is quite low, the overall reliability is an impressive five out of five.