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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 QX30 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
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 QX30 doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
Both the CX-3 and the QX30 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, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, blind spot warning systems, 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 QX30 has not been tested, yet.
There are almost 3 times as many Mazda dealers as there are Infiniti dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the CX-3’s warranty.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Infiniti vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda third in reliability. Infiniti is ranked 6th.
On the EPA test cycle the CX-3 gets better fuel mileage than the QX30:
29 city/34 hwy
24 city/33 hwy
27 city/32 hwy
21 city/30 hwy
To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Mazda CX-3 uses regular unleaded gasoline. The QX30 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.
The CX-3 has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the QX30; it requires you to depend on its run-flat tires, which limits mileage and speed before they are repaired. If a run-flat is damaged beyond repair by a road hazard your vehicle will have to be towed.
For better maneuverability, the CX-3’s turning circle is 1.8 feet tighter than the QX30 AWD’s (34.8 feet vs. 36.6 feet). The CX-3’s turning circle is 2.5 feet tighter than the QX30’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.3 feet).
The Mazda CX-3 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 pounds less than the Infiniti QX30.
The CX-3 is 5.9 inches shorter than the QX30, 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 QX30 Essential AWD (39 vs. 41 dB).
The CX-3 has .4 inches more front legroom, .2 inches more front hip room and 1.5 inches more rear legroom than the QX30.
The front step up height for the CX-3 is .4 inches lower than the QX30 (16” vs. 16.4”). The CX-3’s rear step up height is 1.2 inches lower than the QX30’s (16” vs. 17.2”).
The CX-3 has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the QX30 with its rear seat folded (44.5 vs. 34 cubic feet).
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 QX30 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
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 QX30 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.
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 QX30 only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.
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 QX30 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 QX30 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
Insurance will cost less for the CX-3 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the CX-3 will cost $1235 to $2940 less than the QX30 over a five-year period.
According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-3 is less expensive to operate than the QX30 because typical repairs cost much less on the CX-3 than the QX30, including $489 less for a water pump, $285 less for a muffler, $67 less for a starter, $14 less for fuel injection, $142 less for a fuel pump, $72 less for front struts, $382 less for a timing belt/chain and $872 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 $8346 to $9973 less than for the Infiniti QX30.
The Car Book by Jack Gillis recommends the Mazda CX-3, based on economy, maintenance, safety and complaint levels.
The Mazda CX-3 outsold the Infiniti QX30 by over two to one during 2018.
© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.
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