A compact design with a touch of refinement.

2019 Mazda CX-3 Review | CarMax

If you're on the hunt for a compact crossover but aren't interested in giving up the driving dynamics of a sedan, then the 2019 Mazda CX-3 might be right for you. Its fun, sporty personality comes from attractive exterior styling, a peppy engine, fast steering response, and car-like driving dynamics. The Mazda CX-3 has been refreshed with updated styling, which gives it some of the best refinement in its class.

There is a single-engine option across all three trim levels and available all-wheel-drive as well, handy in less-than-ideal driving conditions. The 2019 Mazda CX-3 should provide a driving experience closer to a car than many other compact SUVs.

In this 2019 Mazda CX-3 review, you'll discover:

Key Specs & Features

  • One four-cylinder engine for all models
  • Available all-wheel drive
  • Standard rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring
  • A total of 44.5 cubic feet of cargo space
  • A standard seven-inch touchscreen with a rearview camera

5 Reasons to Buy

1. High-Class Interior

2019 Mazda CX-3 Review: Backseats | CarMax

With a design refresh for 2019, Mazda adds a lot of refinement to the interior of the CX-3. Both the cloth and leather seats (Grand Touring trim) are comfortable and supportive while the attractive piping adds to the high-class feeling of the interior. Additional sound insulation helps make the 2019 Mazda CX-3 quieter on the road than past model years.

2. Modern technology

2019 Mazda CX-3 Review: Tech Dash | CarMax

The 2019 Mazda CX-3 is equipped with a seven-inch infotainment system as standard. Also included is an innovative dial on the center console which controls the infotainment system. Standard entertainment technology across all trims of the 2019 model year also includes Bluetooth® connectivity and Pandora® internet radio integration.

3. Standard Driver Aids

2019 Mazda CX-3 Review: Front Seats | CarMax

All trims of the 2019 Mazda CX-3 include technology like blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and a rearview camera. Standard on the Grand Touring trim and optional on Sport or Touring trims is adaptive cruise control, automatic forward braking, lane-keep assist, and lane departure warning.

4. Great Around Town

2019 Mazda CX-3 Review: Engine | CarMax

Thanks to a peppy 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making 148 horsepower and a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission, the 2019 Mazda CX-3 should be an ideal urban commuter. The CX-3 performs well in stop-and-go traffic. 2019 front-wheel-drive models with the 2.0L engine get an EPA-estimated 29 mpg city and 34 mpg highway.1

5. Refined Exterior

There are a lot of CUVs to choose from, but the 2019 Mazda CX-3 offers one of the most attractive and sophisticated exterior stylings in its class. LED headlights and fog lights on the Grand Touring trim look sharp at night while the grille, headlight design, and rear liftgate sport a 2019 update. New LED rear lights are standard on the Grand Touring trim and optional on all other trims.

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What You Need to Know

Exterior Colors

The 2019 Mazda CX-3 is available in the following exterior colors:

  • Ceramic Metallic
  • Deep Crystal Blue Metallic
  • Eternal Blue Mica
  • Jet Black Mica
  • Machine Grey Metallic
  • Snowflake White Pearl Mica
  • Soul Red Crystal Metallic
  • Titanium Flash Mica

Interior Colors

The 2019 Mazda CX-3 has the following interior color choices, depending on trim:

  • Black cloth
  • Black leatherette
  • Black leather
  • Parchment leather

Vehicle Dimensions

The 2019 Mazda CX-3 measures 168″L x 70″W x 61″H.

Available Trims

Three trims are available for the 2019 Mazda CX-3:

  • Sport - The base trim of the 2019 Mazda CX-3, the Sport trim includes standard features such as push-button start, a seven-inch color touchscreen display, daytime running lights, a six-speaker audio system, and more.
  • Touring - The Touring trim of the 2019 Mazda CX-3 includes everything found on the Sport trim as well as a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, automatic climate control, auto on/off headlights, heated front seats, and more.
  • Grand Touring - The Grand Touring trim of the 2019 Mazda CX-3 includes everything found on the Touring trim as well as leather seats, a Bose® seven-speaker surround-sound audio system, a power-sliding glass moonroof, steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters, and more.


The 2019 Mazda CX-3 features a luxurious and upscale interior that is sure to delight even the most particular automotive enthusiasts. Depending on its trim configuration, the 2019 Mazda CX-3 is outfitted with either cloth or leather seats and offers available interior styling features such as a power moonroof and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. In terms of interior space, the 2019 Mazda CX-3 offers 12.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats and 44.5 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded down.

Child Seat Details

The 2019 Mazda CX-3 is capable of fitting two car seats in the back row and is able to accommodate most types of car seats, including latch car seats, rear-facing convertible car seats, forward-facing convertible car seats, and booster car seats. However, the 2019 CX-3 does not easily accommodate infant car seats. As a subcompact SUV, the 2019 Mazda CX-3 is not the roomiest family vehicle on the market today, but it is still a fine choice for smaller families.

Year Comparisons

2016-Present Mazda CX-3 (First Generation)

The Mazda CX-3 first came onto the market as a 2016 model and has remained in its first generation through the 2020 model. However, the CX-3 has seen a number of noteworthy updates over the years, including a bump in horsepower and a lightly restyled exterior in 2019, and the addition of Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ as standard features for the 2020 CX-3.

Lease vs Buy

There are several key pros and cons to consider when it comes to choosing between leasing or buying a car. While CarMax doesn’t lease vehicles, you may be interested in thinking about the pros and cons of leasing versus buying. Leasing a car often means that you may have lower monthly payments and little to no down payment, and it also means that you may be subject to fees such as excessive mileage fees or wear and tear fees. When you lease a car it also means that you will not have full ownership of your vehicle. Buying a car outright, on the other hand, can mean higher monthly payments but full ownership.

New vs Used

Whether you should purchase a car used or new ultimately comes down to your budget and preferences. Model for model, a new car tends to be more expensive than the same model used, but it does offer advantages such as no wear and tear. If you purchase a used car from a trusted and reputable dealership, though, you know the vehicle has been carefully chosen and received a multi-point review.

Monthly Payment

As you shop, determine a monthly budget that works for you with our Car Payment Calculator tool. With just a few clicks you can estimate your monthly payment and find your ideal vehicle budget.

Manufacturer Warranty

When new, the 2019 Mazda CX-3 included 3-year/36,000-mile (whichever occurs first) basic coverage and a 5-year/60,000-mile (whichever occurs first) powertrain coverage. Terms, conditions and exclusions apply. See Warranty Information Booklet for complete details. The balance of this warranty may apply on some vehicles. See store for details.

Reliability Research

RepairPal gave the Mazda CX-3 an overall reliability rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, which RepairPal describes as Excellent.

  • Cost RepairPal reports that the average total annual cost for repairs and maintenance on a Mazda CX-3 is $345, compared to an average of $441 for subcompact SUVs and $719 for all the vehicles RepairPal considered in its dataset.
  • Frequency According to RepairPal, Mazda CX-3 owners bring their vehicles into a repair shop for unscheduled repairs an average of 0.2 times per year, compared to an average of 0.2 times for subcompact SUVs and 0.5 times for all the vehicle models RepairPal considered in its dataset.
  • Severity RepairPal reported that the probability of a repair being a severe or major issue is 7% for the Mazda CX-3, compared to an average of 9% for subcompact SUVs and 13% for all the vehicles RepairPal considered in its dataset.

RepairPal Reliability Ratings are based on the actual cost, frequency, and severity of unscheduled repairs and maintenance on make/model data for select 2010-2019 vehicles. The reliability of a specific vehicle may vary depending on its maintenance and driving history, model year, trim, and features.

*RepairPal Reliability Ratings are provided by RepairPal and CarMax is not responsible for their accuracy. These ratings are based on RepairPal Reliability data as of 12/31/2018. Learn more.

Safety Ratings

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration's independent crash tests help you make informed decisions about vehicle safety. NHTSA's 5-Star Safety Ratings give consumers insights into how vehicles perform in crash tests, with more stars equaling higher safety ratings. Here are the ratings for the FWD model of the 2019 Mazda CX-3. Certain vehicles may have unrepaired safety recalls. Visit nhtsa.gov/recalls to look up a specific vehicle.

NHTSA Overall Rating 5/5

Frontal Barrier Crash Rating Test: A head-on collision between two similar vehicles traveling at 35 mph.

Overall: 5/5

Side Barrier Crash Rating Test: A vehicle standing in an intersection sustains driver side impact from a vehicle moving at 38.5 mph.

Overall: 5/5

Side Pole Crash Rating Test: A vehicle slides sideways at 20 mph and impacts a tree or telephone pole.

Overall: 5/5

2019 Mazda CX-3 FAQ

Q: What engine is in the 2019 Mazda CX-3?

A: The 2019 Mazda CX-3 comes equipped with a 148 hp 2.0L four-cylinder engine.

Q: What is the fuel economy of the 2019 Mazda CX-3?

A: The 2019 Mazda CX-3 gets an EPA estimated 31 MPG combined city/highway when equipped with a 2.0L four-cylinder engine and an automatic transmission.1

Q: What class of vehicle is the 2019 Mazda CX-3?

A: The 2019 Mazda CX-3 is a two-row subcompact SUV that is capable of seating up to five passengers.

Available Accessories

Many vehicles purchased from CarMax can be upgraded with additional features and accessories (though there are some exceptions depending on the vehicle and the state of purchase). Contact a sales consultantfor information, pricing and availability.

Examples of optional accessories include:

  • Custom leather upgrade to existing cloth seats with factory-quality leather from Katzkin
  • Bluetooth® capability
  • Remote start system
  • In-dash navigation/multimedia system, satellite radio, or mobile video system
  • Obstacle avoidance system
  • LoJack Theft Recovery system


The 2019 Mazda CX-3 can accelerate from 0-60 MPH in 8.2 seconds and can tow up to 2,000 pounds when properly equipped.2

Emissions Info

According to EPA estimates, the 2WD 2019 Mazda CX-3’s tailpipe greenhouse gas emissions are 289 grams per mile. This estimate is based on a brand-new model. Visit fueleconomy.gov for more details.

Similar Vehicles

Mazda CX-9

The flagship SUV in the Mazda family, the 2019 Mazda CX-9 is great if you have a lot of passengers to haul. All 2019 models are equipped with a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a six-speed automatic transmission. When equipped with front-wheel drive, the 2019 2.5L Mazda CX-9 gets an EPA-estimated 22 mpg city and 28 mpg highway.1

There are four different trims to choose from on the 2019 Mazda CX-9: Sport, Touring, Grand Touring, and Signature. The top-level Signature trim offers Nappa-leather seating, a 360-degree surround-view monitor, and heated second-row seats. Like the CX-3, the 2019 Mazda CX-9 is available in either front or all-wheel drive.

Honda HR-V

Small and sporty, the Honda HR-V is a stylish compact SUV. A peppy 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with 141 horsepower should make the 2019 Honda HR-V an ideal urban commuter. There's a surprising amount of space in this compact package, like 24.3 cubic feet of cargo room behind the second row.

You can choose from five different trims of the 2019 Honda HR-V: the LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, and Touring. Both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive options are also available. In 2019 models, the EX trim and higher feature the Honda Sensing® suite of driver aids, which includes adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist.

Toyota RAV4

The Toyota RAV4 is a practical vehicle that's just as at home on the daily commute as it is off-roading. For 2019, the Toyota RAV4 enters its fifth generation with a whole new redesign, updated and more aggressive styling, and an eight-speed automatic transmission. A hybrid platform offers an EPA-estimated 40 mpg combined fuel economy and features all-wheel drive.1

The 2019 Toyota RAV4 offers five different trims: LE, XLE, XLE Premium, Adventure, and Limited. As the name suggests, the Adventure trim gives the 2019 Toyota RAV4 off-road friendly features like bigger tires, unique exterior styling, and an orange-accented interior.

Buick Encore

The 2019 Buick Encore is a subcompact SUV that comes standard with a 138 hp turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder engine and offers an available 153 hp turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder engine. These engine options are paired with a six-speed automatic transmission and either a FWD or AWD drivetrain. As far as standard features go, the 2019 Encore is well-equipped and offers standard features such as an eight-inch touchscreen display, a rearview camera, and push-button start.

Chevrolet Trax

The 2019 Chevy Trax is a subcompact SUV that comes equipped with a 138 hp turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder engine, a six-speed automatic transmission, and either a FWD or AWD drivetrain. Standard features for the 2019 Trax include a seven-inch touchscreen display, a rearview camera, and Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ compatibility.

The Bottom Line

The 2019 Mazda CX-3 is a refined and stylish compact SUV; it's a fun, exciting, and practical option. No matter where you need to go, you should get there with a degree of refinement and utility.

For more information about the Mazda CX-3 and similar vehicles, check out these related articles:

1Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates when vehicles sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov for details.
2Various factors may impact towing capacity, including weight of passengers, cargo, and options/accessories.
Unless otherwise noted, information related to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.