2019 Mazda CX-3 vs. 2019 Chevrolet Trax

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 Trax doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The CX-3 has standard Smart City Brake Support, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Trax has a collision warning system without the crash-mitigating brake feature that could reduce stopping distances.

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

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, with its optional front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the CX-3 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 85 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Trax was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2018.

Warranty

The CX-3’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Trax’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Reliability

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Chevrolet vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda third in reliability. Chevrolet is ranked 23rd.

Engine

The CX-3’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 10 more horsepower (148 vs. 138) than the Trax’s 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Mazda CX-3 is faster than the Chevrolet Trax:

 

CX-3

Trax

Zero to 30 MPH

2.8 sec

3.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.1 sec

9.8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

23.8 sec

36.6 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

8.3 sec

10.3 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

3.9 sec

5.1 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

5.7 sec

7 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

17.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86 MPH

79 MPH

Top Speed

120 MPH

115 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

 

MPG

CX-3

 

 

 

 

FWD

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

29 city/34 hwy

 

AWD

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

27 city/32 hwy

Trax

 

 

 

 

FWD

1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

26 city/31 hwy

 

AWD

1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

24 city/29 hwy

Brakes and Stopping

The Mazda CX-3 has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Rear drums are standard on the Trax. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.

The CX-3 stops shorter than the Trax:

 

CX-3

Trax

 

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

119 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the CX-3 has larger tires than the Trax (215/60R16 vs. 205/70R16).

The CX-3 Sport’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Trax’s standard 70 series tires. The CX-3 Grand Touring/Touring’s tires have a lower 50 series profile than the Trax’s optional 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The CX-3 Touring AWD handles at .81 G’s, while the Trax LT AWD pulls only .72 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The CX-3 Grand Touring AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.6 seconds quicker than the Trax LT AWD (27.6 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 29.2 seconds @ .56 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the CX-3’s turning circle is 1.9 feet tighter than the Trax’s (34.8 feet vs. 36.7 feet).

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the CX-3 Touring AWD is quieter than the Trax LT AWD (39 vs. 42 dB).

Passenger Space

The CX-3 has .9 inches more front legroom and .6 inches more front hip room than the Trax.

Ergonomics

When two different drivers share the CX-3 Grand Touring, the optional memory seats make it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position. The Trax doesn’t offer memory seats.

The CX-3 Grand Touring has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Trax doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The CX-3 has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Trax doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The CX-3’s optional wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically according to the amount of rainfall on the windshield. The Trax’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 Trax’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the CX-3 detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Trax doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the CX-3 Grand Touring has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Trax doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the CX-3 has standard extendable sun visors. The Trax doesn’t offer extendable visors.

On extremely cold winter days, the CX-3 Grand Touring’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The Trax doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The CX-3’s optional automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Trax doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the CX-3 offers an optional Radar Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Trax doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The CX-3 Grand Touring’s standard GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Trax’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

With standard voice command, the CX-3 offers the driver hands free control of the radio and the navigation computer by simply speaking. The Trax doesn’t offer a voice control system.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the CX-3 owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the CX-3 with a number “8” insurance rate while the Trax is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

The CX-3 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the CX-3 will retain 45.65% to 46.16% of its original price after five years, while the Trax only retains 41.97% to 42.46%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-3 is less expensive to operate than the Trax because typical repairs cost much less on the CX-3 than the Trax, including $249 less for a water pump, $395 less for a muffler, $231 less for a fuel pump, $613 less for a timing belt/chain and $272 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 $2347 to $3621 less than for the Chevrolet Trax.

Recommendations

Car and Driver performed a comparison test in its September 2015 issue and they ranked the Mazda CX-3 Touring AWD first. They ranked the Chevrolet Trax LT AWD sixth.

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

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