2018 Mazda CX-3

Research, photos, specs, and expertise
7 photos

Mazda CX-3 highlights

Customer rating


  • Attractive interior
  • Engaging driving experience
  • Impressive fuel economy estimates


  • Tight rear seat
  • Small cargo space
  • Firm suspension

Mileage (EPA estimate)

27 city, 32 highway, 29 combined

Pricing for current inventory

(no current inventory)

7 photos

2018 Mazda CX-3 brings style and fun driving dynamics to the compact SUV market

Mazda’s entry-level compact crossover SUV, the CX-3 comes into the 2018 model year with the same styling as the previous year but with additional standard and optional features. All CX-3s come standard with Mazda’s Smart City Brake Support, which provides automatic emergency braking at speeds below 19 mph. Suspension updates and throttle and transmission revisions were made to improve driving dynamics. The improved door seals, thicker rear glass, and sound suppression mats are designed to create a better overall experience behind the wheel. Available in three trim levels—Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring—the CX-3 comes standard with front-wheel drive and can be equipped with all-wheel drive. Some may find the ride on the stiff side, but this firm suspension gives the CX-3 its fun-to-drive characteristics. The cabin has a premium vibe, but the single-knob navigation for the infotainment system can be cumbersome and frustrating. The rear seat and cargo space are limited in this small crossover, but its overall drivability and attractive styling keep the CX-3 competitive.

All Mazda CX-3 years

What is new for the 2018 Mazda CX-3?

  • CX-3 trims have been upgraded with Leatherette & Cloth as standard equipment this year.
  • Memory Seat(s), Power Seat(s), and Running Boards features are now available as options on select trims.

2018 Mazda CX-3 trims

Curious how Mazda CX-3 trims differ? Use our side-by-side vehicle comparison to see the differences and similarities



Grand Touring:

Mazda CX-3 photos

5 reasons to buy the 2018 Mazda CX-3

What We Like

Driving: Driving performance is one of the CX-3’s strong suits, and it's one of the most enjoyable compact crossovers to drive in its class. It may not win any races, but the CX-3 feels quick. Handling is sharp and responsive, with excellent steering feedback and good stopping power, making it a joy to drive when the road gets twisty and easy to maneuver in the city.

Comfort: The front seats are supremely comfortable, with a firm back and good lateral support during enthusiastic driving. The rear seats are a bit tight, but the outboard seats are plush, and the seatback isn’t too upright. The CX-3 was already quieter than many of its competitors, and with the improvements made to the 2018 model, this has only improved.

Interior: The front doors open wide, making getting in and out easy. Headroom is good, aided by the low seat height, and even the rear seat offers good headroom, although the legroom in the back is pretty tight. Materials are among the best in the class, which gives the small CX-3 a premium feel, especially in the top-level Grand Touring with its synthetic suede trim.

What Needs Improvement

Utility: The cargo area in the CX-3 is relatively small, with just 12.4 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats. With the seats folded, it does expand considerably, but the seats don’t fold completely flat. Up front, there isn’t much storage space—instead of a center armrest bin there’s just a tiny square cubby.

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Ratings & reliability

Customer ratings

4.5 out of 5

2 customer reviews

RepairPal gave the Mazda CX-3 an overall reliability rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars, which RepairPal describes as Excellent. This rating ranks Mazda CX-3 2nd out of 8 among Subcompact SUVs.

View RepairPal's full rating of the Mazda CX-3

Mazda CX-3 features and specs

Grand Touring 2WD 4D Sport Utility

Standard Features

  • ABS Brakes
  • Air Conditioning
  • Alloy Wheels
  • AM/FM Stereo
  • Automatic Transmission
  • Auxiliary Audio Input
  • Blind Spot Monitor
  • Bluetooth Technology
  • BOSE Sound System
  • Cruise Control
  • Front Seat Heaters
  • Head Up Display
  • Leather & Suede Seats
  • Navigation System
  • Overhead Airbags
  • Power Locks
  • Power Mirrors
  • Power Windows
  • Rear Defroster
  • Rear View Camera
  • Satellite Radio Ready
  • Side Airbags
  • Smart Key
  • Sunroof(s)
  • Traction Control
  • Automated Cruise Control
  • Full Roof Rack
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Memory Seat(s)
  • Parking Sensors
  • Power Seat(s)
  • Remote Start
  • Running Boards

Drive Wheels

Front Wheel Drive (2WD)

Engine size




Torque (ft-lbs)


Engine type


Fuel capacity




Overall length






Leg room

F 41.7"/R 35"

Head room

F 37.6"/R 37.2"

Front tires


Rear tires


Seating capacity




2018 Mazda CX-3 FAQ

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