2019 Mazda CX-3 vs. 2019 BMW X1

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Mazda CX-3 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The BMW X1 doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The CX-3 has standard Whiplash-Reducing Headrests, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash-Reducing Headrests system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The X1 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests front crash prevention systems. With a score of 6 points, IIHS rates the Smart City Brake Support optional in the CX-3 as “Superior.” The X1 scores at most only 4 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

The CX-3’s blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The X1 doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the CX-3’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The X1 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

Both the CX-3 and the X1 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 and lane departure warning systems.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the CX-3 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 62 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The X1 was last qualified as a “Top Pick” in 2017.

Warranty

Mazda’s powertrain warranty covers the CX-3 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than BMW covers the X1. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the X1 ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 69 percent more Mazda dealers than there are BMW dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the CX-3’s warranty.

Reliability

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than BMW vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda third in reliability. BMW is ranked 8th.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the CX-3 gets better fuel mileage than the X1:

 

 

CX-3

X1

 

2WD

Auto

29 city/34 hwy

23 city/32 hwy

 

4WD

Auto

27 city/32 hwy

22 city/31 hwy

 

Brakes and Stopping

The CX-3 stops shorter than the X1:

 

CX-3

X1

 

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

122 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling

For better maneuverability, the CX-3’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the X1’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

Chassis

The Mazda CX-3 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 750 pounds less than the BMW X1.

The CX-3 is 7.1 inches shorter than the X1, making the CX-3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the CX-3 Touring AWD is quieter than the X1 xDrive28i (39 vs. 40 dB).

Passenger Space

The front step up height for the CX-3 is 1 inches lower than the X1 (16” vs. 17”). The CX-3’s rear step up height is 1.3 inches lower than the X1’s (16” vs. 17.3”).

Ergonomics

The CX-3 offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The X1 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the CX-3 has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the X1 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The CX-3’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the X1’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

The X1’s optional cornering lamps activate a lamp on the front corner when the turn signal is activated. The CX-3 Grand Touring’s standard adaptive cornering lights turn the actual headlight unit up to several degrees, depending on steering wheel angle and vehicle speed. This lights a significant distance into corners at any speed.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the CX-3 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the CX-3 will cost $320 to $975 less than the X1 over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-3 is less expensive to operate than the X1 because it costs $9 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the CX-3 than the X1, including $523 less for a water pump, $641 less for a muffler, $61 less for front brake pads, $334 less for a starter, $181 less for fuel injection, $298 less for a fuel pump, $199 less for front struts, $873 less for a timing belt/chain and $617 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Mazda CX-3 will be $7532 to $11206 less than for the BMW X1.

Recommendations

The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Mazda CX-3, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels.

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

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