2019 BMW X2 vs. 2019 Mazda CX-3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The X2 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.

Compared to metal, the X2’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 X2 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, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

The BMW X2 weighs 547 to 912 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 X2 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 X2’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the CX-3’s (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X2 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

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the X2’s reliability 28 points higher than the CX-3.

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 X2’s standard 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. The X2 M35i’s standard 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 154 more horsepower (302 vs. 148) and 176 lbs.-ft. more torque (322 vs. 146) than the CX-3’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the BMW X2 s/xDrive28i is faster than the Mazda CX-3:

 

X2

CX-3

Zero to 60 MPH

6.3 sec

8.6 sec

Quarter Mile

14.9 sec

16.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

92.9 MPH

83 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the X2’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 X2’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 X2 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 X2 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 X2 higher (7 out of 10) than the Mazda CX-3 (3 to 7). This means the X2 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 X2, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the CX-3.

The X2’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 X2’s brake rotors are larger than those on the CX-3:

 

X2

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 X2’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 X2 stops much shorter than the CX-3:

 

X2

CX-3

 

70 to 0 MPH

162 feet

181 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

111 feet

118 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

148 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the X2 has larger tires than the CX-3 (225/50R18 vs. 215/60R16).

The X2’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 X2’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 X2 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the CX-3 Sport. The X2 M35i’s optional 20-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 available on the X2 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 X2 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 X2 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 X2 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the X2 flat and controlled during cornering. The CX-3’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The X2 offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The CX-3’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X2’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 average track (width between the wheels) on the X2 is 1.8 inches wider in the front and 1.9 inches wider in the rear than the track on the CX-3.

The X2 xDrive28i handles at .91 G’s, while the CX-3 Touring AWD pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The X2 sDrive28i xDrive executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.7 seconds quicker than the CX-3 Grand Touring AWD (25.9 seconds @ .68 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .66 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the X2 has a 1.1 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the CX-3 (7.2 vs. 6.1 inches), allowing the X2 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The X2’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, the interior of the X2 xDrive28i is quieter than the CX-3 Touring AWD:

 

X2

CX-3

At idle

37 dB

39 dB

Full-Throttle

72 dB

78 dB

70 MPH Cruising

67 dB

71 dB

Passenger Space

The X2 has 6.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CX-3 (94.1 vs. 87.6).

The X2 has 1.4 inches more front headroom, 2.1 inches more front shoulder room, 1.7 inches more rear legroom and 3.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the CX-3.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the X2’s rear seats recline. The CX-3’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

The X2 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the CX-3 with its rear seat up (21.6 vs. 12.4 cubic feet). The X2 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the CX-3 with its rear seat folded (50.1 vs. 44.5 cubic feet).

The X2’s cargo area is larger than the CX-3’s in every dimension:

 

X2

CX-3

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

30.6”/63”

27.8”/58”

Max Width

48”

n/a

Min Width

39.6”

39.4”

Height

28”

26.6”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the X2’s rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The CX-3 doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the X2. 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 X2 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 X2 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 X2 and the CX-3 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the X2 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 X2’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 X2 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 X2’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 X2 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 X2’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 X2 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 X2 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 X2’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 X2 and the CX-3 offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the X2 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 X2’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.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW X2, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Mazda CX-3 isn't recommended.

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

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