2019 Lexus UX Series 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 Lexus UX Series 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 UX Series has standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The UX Series offers optional Parking Support Brake that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The CX-3 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The UX Series offers optional Parking Support Alert 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 UX Series’ 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 UX Series’ 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 UX Series 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, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

The UX Series 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.

Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the UX Series 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 UX Series’ corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the CX-3’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 16 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 Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 45 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 14th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Mazda is ranked third.

Engine

The UX 200’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 21 more horsepower (169 vs. 148) and 5 lbs.-ft. more torque (151 vs. 146) than the CX-3’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. The UX 250h’s standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid produces 33 more horsepower (181 vs. 148) than the CX-3’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the UX Series gets better fuel mileage than the CX-3:

 

 

 

MPG

UX Series

 

FWD

200 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

29 city/37 hwy

 

AWD

200h 2.0 4 cyl. Hybrid

41 city/38 hwy

CX-3

 

FWD

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

29 city/34 hwy

 

AWD

2.0 DOCH 4 cyl.

27 city/32 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the UX 250h’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 UX Series Hybrid’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.

Transmission

The UX Series has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

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

 

UX Series

CX-3

CX-3 AWD

Front Rotors

12 inches

11 inches

11.6 inches

Tires and Wheels

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

The UX Series’ 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.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the UX Series has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the CX-3 Sport.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires standard on the UX Series 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 Lexus UX Series 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 UX Series has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the UX Series 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 UX Series’ wheelbase is 2.7 inches longer than on the CX-3 (103.9 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the UX Series is 1 inch wider in the front and 1.1 inches wider in the rear than on the CX-3.

For better maneuverability, the UX Series’ turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the CX-3’s (34.2 feet vs. 34.8 feet).

Passenger Space

The UX Series has 2.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CX-3 (90.4 vs. 87.6).

The UX Series has .4 inches more front legroom, 1.5 inches more front hip room, 1.6 inches more front shoulder room, 3.3 inches more rear hip room and 2.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the CX-3.

Cargo Capacity

The UX Series has a much larger cargo volume than the CX-3 with its rear seat up (21.7 vs. 12.4 cubic feet).

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

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the UX Series’ power liftgate can be opened or closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Mazda. J.D. Power ranks Lexus third in service department satisfaction. With a 85% lower rating, Mazda is ranked 27th.

Ergonomics

The UX Series’ optional easy entry system raises the steering wheel and 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 UX Series’ 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 UX Series the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (Your Lexus service department must activate this window function.) The driver of the CX-3 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The UX Series offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The CX-3 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The UX Series 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 UX Series’ 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 UX Series with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The CX-3’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The UX Series 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.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the UX Series keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The CX-3 doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

The UX Series’ 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 UX Series and the CX-3 offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the UX Series 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.

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

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