2019 Mazda CX-3 vs. 2019 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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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 Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport 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, available all wheel drive and lane departure warning systems.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Mazda CX-3 is safer than the Outlander Sport:



Outlander Sport

Overall Evaluation






Head Neck Evaluation



Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

1 cm

Chest Evaluation



Max Chest Compression

22 cm

28 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation



Femur Force R/L

.5/.3 kN

3.43/.93 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L



Lower Leg Evaluation



Tibia index R/L



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 Outlander Sport was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2018.


The CX-3’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Outlander Sport’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

There are over 62 percent more Mazda dealers than there are Mitsubishi dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the CX-3’s warranty.


J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Mazda vehicles are better in initial quality than Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mazda 22nd in initial quality. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 26th.

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 Mitsubishi vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mazda 14th in reliability. With 29 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mitsubishi is ranked 26th.


As tested in Car and Driver the Mazda CX-3 is faster than the Outlander Sport 2.0 4 cyl. (automatics tested):



Outlander Sport

Zero to 60 MPH

8.1 sec

9.9 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

23.8 sec

32 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

8.3 sec

10.2 sec

Quarter Mile

16.3 sec

17.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

86 MPH

79 MPH

Top Speed

120 MPH

113 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the UX Series gets better fuel mileage than the Outlander Sport:







CX-3 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

29 city/34 hwy



CX-3 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

27 city/32 hwy



Outlander Sport 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

23 city/29 hwy



Outlander Sport 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

24 city/30 hwy



Outlander Sport 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

23 city/29 hwy



Outlander Sport 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

23 city/29 hwy



Outlander Sport 2.4 DOHC 4 cyl.

23 city/28 hwy


The Mazda CX-3 comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Outlander Sport.

Brakes and Stopping

The CX-3 stops shorter than the Outlander Sport:



Outlander Sport


70 to 0 MPH

181 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The CX-3 Grand Touring/Touring’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Outlander Sport’s 55 series tires.

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 Outlander Sport doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The CX-3 Touring AWD handles at .81 G’s, while the Outlander Sport SE 4WD pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The CX-3 Grand Touring AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.4 seconds quicker than the Outlander Sport SE 4WD (27.6 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 29 seconds @ .55 average G’s).


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

The CX-3 is 3.6 inches shorter than the Outlander Sport, making the CX-3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The CX-3 has .1 inches more front legroom and .2 inches more front hip room than the Outlander Sport.


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 Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Outlander Sport’s standard power locks don’t automatically lock the doors. The CX-3’s standard doors lock when a certain speed is reached. This is an important feature for occupant safety. Locked doors are proven to open less often in collisions, and they are also effective in preventing crime at traffic lights. (The power lock’s automatic feature may have to be activated by your dealer.)

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

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The CX-3’s available headlights were rated “Acceptable” by the IIHS, while the Outlander Sport’s headlights are rated “Poor.”

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 Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

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 Outlander Sport doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

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 $405 to $1900 less than the Outlander Sport 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 Outlander Sport only retains 42.4% to 43.19%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-3 is less expensive to operate than the Outlander Sport because it costs $18 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the CX-3 than the Outlander Sport, including $276 less for a water pump, $57 less for a muffler, $140 less for a starter, $362 less for a fuel pump, $48 less for front struts, $102 less for a timing belt/chain and $432 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 $2350 to $2628 less than for the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport.


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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