2019 Mazda CX-3 vs. 2019 Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the CX-3 and the Crosstrek Hybrid 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, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning, 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 Crosstrek Hybrid has not been tested, yet.

Reliability

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 Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mazda 22nd in initial quality. With 15 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 28th.

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 Subaru vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Mazda 14th in reliability. With 23 more problems per 100 vehicles, Subaru is ranked 24th.

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

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 Crosstrek Hybrid’s 55 series tires.

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

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 Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For better maneuverability, the CX-3’s turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Crosstrek Hybrid’s (34.8 feet vs. 35.4 feet).

Chassis

The Mazda CX-3 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 750 to 900 pounds less than the Subaru Crosstrek Hybrid.

The CX-3 is 7.5 inches shorter than the Crosstrek Hybrid, making the CX-3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The front step up height for the CX-3 is 1.5 inches lower than the Crosstrek Hybrid (16” vs. 17.5”). The CX-3’s rear step up height is 2 inches lower than the Crosstrek Hybrid’s (16” vs. 18”).

Cargo Capacity

The CX-3 has a larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Crosstrek Hybrid with its rear seat folded (44.5 vs. 43.1 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

The engine computer on the CX-3 disables the starter while the engine is running. The Crosstrek Hybrid’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.

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

Model Availability

The CX-3 is available in both front-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Crosstrek Hybrid doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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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