2019 Mazda CX-3 vs. 2019 Lexus NX Series

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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 NX Series scores only 4 points and is rated only “Advanced.”

Both the CX-3 and the NX Series have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, 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.

Warranty

There are over 2 times as many Mazda dealers as there are Lexus dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the CX-3’s warranty.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

 

MPG

CX-3

 

FWD

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

29 city/34 hwy

 

AWD

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

27 city/32 hwy

NX Series

 

FWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

 

AWD

2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

 

 

F Sport 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/27 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Mazda CX-3 uses regular unleaded gasoline. The NX 300 requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping

The CX-3 stops much shorter than the NX Series:

 

CX-3

NX Series

 

70 to 0 MPH

181 feet

183 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

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 NX Series’ standard 65 series tires. The CX-3 Grand Touring/Touring’s tires have a lower 50 series profile than the NX Series F Sport’s 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The CX-3 Touring AWD handles at .81 G’s, while the NX 300 F Sport AWD pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the CX-3’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the NX Series’ (34.8 feet vs. 37.4 feet). The CX-3’s turning circle is 5 feet tighter than the NX Series AWD’s (34.8 feet vs. 39.8 feet).

Chassis

The Mazda CX-3 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 1150 to 1250 pounds less than the Lexus NX Series.

The CX-3 is 1 foot, 2.4 inches shorter than the NX Series, making the CX-3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The CX-3 has 16 cubic feet more passenger volume than the NX Series (87.6 vs. 71.6).

The front step up height for the CX-3 is 2.1 inches lower than the NX Series (16” vs. 18.1”). The CX-3’s rear step up height is 2 inches lower than the NX Series’ (16” vs. 18”).

Ergonomics

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 NX Series doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 $735 to $1410 less than the NX Series over a five-year period.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-3 is less expensive to operate than the NX Series because it costs $657 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the CX-3 than the NX Series, including $277 less for a water pump, $424 less for a muffler, $201 less for a starter, $218 less for fuel injection, $173 less for a fuel pump, $15 less for front struts and $888 less for a timing belt/chain.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Mazda CX-3 will be $9170 to $12595 less than for the Lexus NX Series.

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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