2019 Mazda CX-3 vs. 2019 Ford EcoSport

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 EcoSport 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 EcoSport doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The CX-3’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The EcoSport doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

Both the CX-3 and the EcoSport 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, rearview cameras and available all wheel drive.

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 EcoSport has not been tested, yet.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mazda 14th in reliability. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda third in reliability. Ford is ranked 18th.

Engine

The CX-3’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 25 more horsepower (148 vs. 123) and 21 lbs.-ft. more torque (146 vs. 125) than the EcoSport’s standard 1.0 turbo 3 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Mazda CX-3 is faster than the Ford EcoSport turbo 3 cyl.:

 

CX-3

EcoSport

Zero to 60 MPH

8.1 sec

10.4 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

23.8 sec

39.1 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

8.3 sec

10.9 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

17.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86 MPH

78 MPH

Top Speed

120 MPH

111 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

 

MPG

CX-3

 

FWD

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

29 city/34 hwy

 

AWD

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

27 city/32 hwy

EcoSport

 

FWD

1.0 turbo 3 cyl.

27 city/29 hwy

 

AWD

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

23 city/29 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Mazda CX-3 uses regular unleaded gasoline. The EcoSport with the 1.0 turbo 3 cyl. engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping

The CX-3 stops shorter than the EcoSport:

 

CX-3

EcoSport

 

70 to 0 MPH

181 feet

186 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels

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

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the CX-3 Grand Touring/Touring has standard 18-inch wheels. The EcoSport’s largest wheels are only 17-inches.

The Mazda CX-3’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Ford EcoSport only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

The CX-3 has engine speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The EcoSport doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the CX-3’s wheelbase is 2 inches longer than on the EcoSport (101.2 inches vs. 99.2 inches).

The CX-3 Touring AWD handles at .81 G’s, while the EcoSport Titanium pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis

The Mazda CX-3 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 250 to 400 pounds less than the Ford EcoSport.

Passenger Space

The CX-3 has .7 inches more front hip room and .2 inches more front shoulder room than the EcoSport.

Cargo Capacity

The CX-3’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The EcoSport’s swing out door blocks loading from the driver’s side.

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 EcoSport 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 EcoSport doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The CX-3’s driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the window control, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths. The EcoSport’s power windows’ switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully.

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 EcoSport doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

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 EcoSport 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 EcoSport doesn’t offer cornering lights.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the CX-3 has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The EcoSport doesn’t offer rear vents.

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 EcoSport doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-3 is less expensive to operate than the EcoSport because typical repairs cost much less on the CX-3 than the EcoSport, including $86 less for a muffler, $122 less for a fuel pump, $52 less for front struts, $558 less for a timing belt/chain and $317 less for a power steering pump.

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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