2019 Mazda CX-3 vs. 2019 Mercedes GLA

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 GLA 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 GLA doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

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

Warranty

Mazda’s powertrain warranty covers the CX-3 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Mercedes covers the GLA. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the GLA ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

There are over 52 percent more Mazda dealers than there are Mercedes dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the CX-3’s warranty.

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 Mercedes vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mazda 14th in reliability. With 3 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mercedes is ranked 15th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Mazda vehicles are more reliable than Mercedes vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Mazda third in reliability. Mercedes is ranked 17th.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

 

 

 

MPG

CX-3

 

FWD

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

29 city/34 hwy

 

AWD

2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

27 city/32 hwy

GLA

 

FWD

250 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

24 city/33 hwy

 

AWD

250 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

23 city/31 hwy

 

 

45 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

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

Tires and Wheels

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 GLA; it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling

The CX-3 Grand Touring AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the GLA 250 4MATIC pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the CX-3’s turning circle is 1.2 feet tighter than the GLA 250’s (34.8 feet vs. 36 feet). The CX-3’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the AMG GLA 45’s (34.8 feet vs. 36.1 feet).

For greater off-road capability the CX-3 has a 1.3 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the AMG GLA 45 (6.1 vs. 4.8 inches), allowing the CX-3 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The CX-3 Touring/Grand Touring’s minimum ground clearance is .9 inch higher than on the GLA 250 (6.2 vs. 5.3 inches).

Chassis

The Mazda CX-3 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 500 pounds less than the Mercedes GLA.

The CX-3 is 5.6 inches shorter than the GLA 250, 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 GLA 250 4MATIC (39 vs. 42 dB).

Passenger Space

The CX-3 has 1.5 inches more front legroom, 1.8 inches more rear headroom and 7.9 inches more rear legroom than the GLA.

The front step up height for the CX-3 is 2.4 inches lower than the GLA (16” vs. 18.4”). The CX-3’s rear step up height is 3.5 inches lower than the GLA’s (16” vs. 19.5”).

Cargo Capacity

The CX-3 has a larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the GLA with its rear seat folded (44.5 vs. 43.6 cubic feet).

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 GLA 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 GLA only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

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 GLA 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 GLA 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 GLA 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 GLA doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

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 GLA is rated higher at a number “10” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-3 is less expensive to operate than the GLA because typical repairs cost much less on the CX-3 than the GLA, including $635 less for a water pump, $428 less for a muffler, $140 less for front brake pads, $360 less for a starter, $193 less for fuel injection, $225 less for a fuel pump, $209 less for front struts and $639 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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