2019 Mazda CX-3 vs. 2019 Subaru Impreza

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

Both the CX-3 and the Impreza 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, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive and lane departure warning systems.

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.

Engine

As tested in Motor Trend the Mazda CX-3 is faster than the Subaru Impreza (automatics tested):

 

CX-3

Impreza

Zero to 60 MPH

8.4 sec

9.3 sec

Quarter Mile

16.4 sec

17.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

83.9 MPH

83 MPH

Transmission

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

Brakes and Stopping

The CX-3 stops much shorter than the Impreza:

 

CX-3

Impreza

 

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the CX-3 has larger tires than the Impreza (215/60R16 vs. 205/55R16).

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 Impreza doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The CX-3 Grand Touring AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the Impreza 2.0i Limited 5-door pulls only .80 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

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

For greater off-road capability the CX-3 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Impreza (6.1 vs. 5.1 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 1.1 inches higher than on the Impreza (6.2 vs. 5.1 inches).

Chassis

The CX-3 is 7.3 inches shorter than the Impreza 5-door, making the CX-3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Ergonomics

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

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 Impreza doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Model Availability

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

Economic Advantages

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the CX-3 is less expensive to operate than the Impreza because it costs $234 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the CX-3 than the Impreza, including $121 less for a water pump, $176 less for a starter, $109 less for a fuel pump, $156 less for front struts and $150 less for a timing belt/chain.

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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