2019 Mazda CX-3 vs. 2019 Kia Niro

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

Safety

The CX-3 offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Niro doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

The CX-3 has standard E911 Automatic Emergency Notification, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Niro doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the CX-3 and the Niro 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 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 Niro has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The CX-3’s 5-year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Niro runs out after 100,000 miles.

Reliability

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

Engine

The CX-3’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 9 more horsepower (148 vs. 139) than the Niro’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

As tested in Motor Trend the Mazda CX-3 is faster than the Kia Niro:

 

CX-3

Niro

Zero to 60 MPH

8.4 sec

9.9 sec

Quarter Mile

16.4 sec

17.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

83.9 MPH

80.3 MPH

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the CX-3 AWD’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Niro:

 

CX-3 AWD

Niro

Front Rotors

11.6 inches

11 inches

Rear Rotors

11.1 inches

10.3 inches

The CX-3 stops much shorter than the Niro:

 

CX-3

Niro

 

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

138 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

148 feet

152 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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

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 Niro doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The CX-3 Grand Touring AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the Niro EX pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The CX-3 Grand Touring AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1 seconds quicker than the Niro EX (27.6 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 28.6 seconds @ .58 average G’s).

Chassis

The Mazda CX-3 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 350 pounds less than the Kia Niro.

The CX-3 is 3.2 inches shorter than the Niro, making the CX-3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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

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 Niro’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

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 Niro 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 Niro doesn’t offer cornering lights.

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 $160 less than the Niro over a five-year period.

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 Niro only retains 38.62% to 39.64%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Mazda CX-3 will be $1303 to $3540 less than for the Kia Niro.

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.

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos