2019 BMW X1 vs. 2019 Mazda CX-3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The X1 has standard Park Distance Control to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The X1’s optional driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Compared to metal, the X1’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mazda CX-3 has a metal gas tank.

Both the X1 and the CX-3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available all wheel drive.

The BMW X1 weighs 591 to 888 pounds more than the Mazda CX-3. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

Warranty

The X1 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The CX-3’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The X1’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the CX-3’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X1 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Mazda doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the CX-3.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X1 first among small premium SUVs in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The CX-3 isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 11th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 22nd, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 17 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 14th.

Engine

The X1’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 80 more horsepower (228 vs. 148) and 112 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 146) than the CX-3’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the BMW X1 is faster than the Mazda CX-3:

 

X1

CX-3

Zero to 30 MPH

2.4 sec

2.8 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6.3 sec

8.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

17.1 sec

23.8 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

7.3 sec

8.3 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.5 sec

3.9 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

4.6 sec

5.7 sec

Quarter Mile

14.9 sec

16.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

86 MPH

Top Speed

129 MPH

120 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the X1’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the X1’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The CX-3 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The X1 has 4.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-3 AWD’s standard fuel tank (16.1 vs. 11.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The X1 has 3.4 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-3 FWD’s standard fuel tank (16.1 vs. 12.7 gallons).

Environmental Friendliness

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the BMW X1 higher (7 out of 10) than the Mazda CX-3 (3 to 7). This means the X1 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the CX-3 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

An eight-speed automatic is standard on the BMW X1, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the CX-3.

The X1’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The CX-3 doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the X1’s brake rotors are larger than those on the CX-3:

 

X1

CX-3

CX-3 AWD

Front Rotors

13 inches

11 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.8 inches

11.1 inches

11.1 inches

The X1’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the CX-3 are solid, not vented.

The X1 stops much shorter than the CX-3:

 

X1

CX-3

 

70 to 0 MPH

170 feet

181 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

134 feet

135 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

142 feet

148 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the X1 has larger tires than the CX-3 (225/50R18 vs. 215/60R16).

The X1’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the CX-3 Sport’s standard 60 series tires. The X1’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the CX-3 Grand Touring/Touring’s 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X1 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the CX-3 Sport. The X1’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the CX-3 Grand Touring/Touring.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the X1 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The CX-3 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the BMW X1 has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Mazda CX-3 has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The X1 has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The CX-3’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The X1 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the X1 flat and controlled during cornering. The CX-3’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X1’s wheelbase is 3.9 inches longer than on the CX-3 (105.1 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X1 is 1.5 inches wider in the front and 1.7 inches wider in the rear than on the CX-3.

The X1’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (56.5% to 43.5%) than the CX-3’s (59% to 41%). This gives the X1 more stable handling and braking.

The X1 xDrive28i handles at .87 G’s, while the CX-3 Touring AWD pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The X1 xDrive28i executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the CX-3 Grand Touring AWD (26.8 seconds @ .65 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .66 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the X1 has a 1.1 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the CX-3 (7.2 vs. 6.1 inches), allowing the X1 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The X1’s minimum ground clearance is 1 inch higher than on the CX-3 Touring/Grand Touring (7.2 vs. 6.2 inches).

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the X1 xDrive28i is quieter than the CX-3 Touring AWD (75 vs. 78 dB).

Passenger Space

The X1 has 13.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CX-3 (101.2 vs. 87.6).

The X1 has 3.5 inches more front headroom, 2.1 inches more front shoulder room, 2.2 inches more rear headroom, 2 inches more rear legroom and 4.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the CX-3.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the X1’s available rear seats recline. The CX-3’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The X1 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the CX-3 with its rear seat up (27.1 vs. 12.4 cubic feet). The X1 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the CX-3 with its rear seat folded (58.7 vs. 44.5 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the X1 easier. The X1’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 28.5 inches, while the CX-3’s liftover is 30.6 inches.

The X1’s cargo area is larger than the CX-3’s in every dimension:

 

X1

CX-3

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

35.1”/69”

27.8”/58”

Max Width

51.5”

n/a

Min Width

39.5”

39.4”

Height

33”

26.6”

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the X1. The CX-3 doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the X1 has a standard power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or optionally by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Servicing Ease

The X1 uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The CX-3 uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that BMW service is better than Mazda. J.D. Power ranks BMW 8th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 71% lower rating, Mazda is ranked 27th.

Ergonomics

The power windows standard on both the X1 and the CX-3 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the X1 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The CX-3 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The X1’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The CX-3’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the X1 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the CX-3 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The X1’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The CX-3’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The X1 has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The CX-3 only offers an automatic headlight on/off feature as an extra cost option.

The X1’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Mazda only offers heated mirrors on the CX-3 Touring/Grand Touring.

When the X1 is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The CX-3’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The X1 offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The CX-3 offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The X1’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The CX-3 doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the X1 and the CX-3 offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the X1 has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The CX-3 doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The X1’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The CX-3 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the X1 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the X1 with a number “3” insurance rate while the CX-3 is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

The X1 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the X1 will retain 48.72% to 48.91% of its original price after five years, while the CX-3 only retains 45.65% to 46.16%.

Recommendations

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X1 first among small premium SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The CX-3 isn’t in the top three.

The X1 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Five/10Best Trucks” for 2 of the last 3 years. The CX-3 has never been a Car and Driver “Top Five/10Best Truck” pick.

The BMW X1 outsold the Mazda CX-3 by 77% during the 2018 model year.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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