2019 Infiniti QX30 vs. 2019 Mazda CX-3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Infiniti QX30 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Mazda CX-3 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The QX30 (except Pure) offers an optional Around View® Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The CX-3 only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

Both the QX30 and the CX-3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and lane departure warning systems.

Warranty

The QX30 comes with a full 4-year/60,000-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 24,000 miles sooner.

Infiniti’s powertrain warranty covers the QX30 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Mazda covers the CX-3. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the CX-3 ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The QX30’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the CX-3’s (7 vs. 5 years).

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 QX30’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 Infiniti vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Infiniti 14th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 8 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 Infiniti vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Infiniti fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 24 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 14th.

Engine

The QX30’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 60 more horsepower (208 vs. 148) and 112 lbs.-ft. more torque (258 vs. 146) than the CX-3’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Infiniti QX30 is faster than the Mazda CX-3:

 

QX30

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

93.7 MPH

83 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the QX30’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 QX30 FWD’s standard fuel tank has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-3 AWD’s standard fuel tank (13.2 vs. 11.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The QX30 AWD’s standard fuel tank has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-3 FWD’s standard fuel tank (14.8 vs. 12.7 gallons).

Transmission

A seven-speed automatic (SMG) is standard on the Infiniti QX30, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the CX-3.

The QX30 offers a standard sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The CX-3 doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the QX30’s brake rotors are larger than those on the CX-3:

 

QX30

CX-3

CX-3 AWD

Front Rotors

12.6 inches

11 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.6 inches

11.1 inches

11.1 inches

The QX30 stops much shorter than the CX-3:

 

QX30

CX-3

 

70 to 0 MPH

163 feet

181 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

106 feet

118 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the QX30 has larger tires than the CX-3 (235/50R18 vs. 215/60R16).

The QX30’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 QX30’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 QX30 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the CX-3 Sport. The QX30’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 QX30 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 Infiniti QX30 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 QX30 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the QX30 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 QX30’s wheelbase is 5.1 inches longer than on the CX-3 (106.3 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the QX30 is 1.8 inches wider in the front and 2 inches wider in the rear than the track on the CX-3.

The QX30 Essential AWD handles at .83 G’s, while the CX-3 Touring AWD pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The QX30 Sport executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.5 seconds quicker than the CX-3 Grand Touring AWD (26.1 seconds @ .71 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .66 average G’s).

For greater off-road capability the QX30 has a 1.9 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the CX-3 (8 vs. 6.1 inches), allowing the QX30 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The QX30’s minimum ground clearance is 1.8 inches higher than on the CX-3 Touring/Grand Touring (8 vs. 6.2 inches).

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the QX30 Essential AWD is quieter than the CX-3 Touring AWD (76 vs. 78 dB).

Passenger Space

The QX30 has 1.3 inches more front shoulder room, .3 inches more rear headroom and 2.7 inches more rear shoulder room than the CX-3.

Cargo Capacity

The QX30 has a much larger cargo volume than the CX-3 with its rear seat up (19.2 vs. 12.4 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the QX30 easier. The QX30’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 28.1 inches, while the CX-3’s liftover is 30.6 inches.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the QX30. The CX-3 doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Servicing Ease

The QX30 has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The CX-3 doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Infiniti service is better than Mazda. J.D. Power ranks Infiniti first in service department satisfaction. With a 90% lower rating, Mazda is ranked 27th.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory seat optional at extra cost in the CX-3 Grand Touring, the QX30 Luxe/Sport/Essential has standard driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The QX30 Luxe/Sport/Essential’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back when the door is unlocked or the ignition is switched off, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The CX-3 doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The QX30’s front power windows 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 QX30 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.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the QX30 Sport/Essential to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The CX-3 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

The QX30 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 QX30’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 QX30 Luxe/Sport/Essential 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 QX30 has standard 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 QX30’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 QX30 and the CX-3 offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the QX30 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 QX30 (except Pure/Luxe)’s optional Intelligent Park Assist 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 QX30 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the QX30 with a number “5” insurance rate while the CX-3 is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

The QX30 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the QX30 will retain 53.6% to 54.72% of its original price after five years, while the CX-3 only retains 45.65% to 46.16%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the QX30 is less expensive to operate than the CX-3 because it costs $54 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the QX30 than the CX-3, including $11 less for front brake pads.

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

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