2019 Mazda CX-3 vs. 2019 Toyota Rav4

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 Rav4 doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the CX-3 and the Rav4 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 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 Rav4 has not been tested, yet.

Engine

As tested in Motor Trend the Mazda CX-3 is faster than the Toyota Rav4:

 

CX-3

Rav4

Zero to 60 MPH

8.4 sec

8.8 sec

Quarter Mile

16.4 sec

16.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

83.9 MPH

83.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the CX-3 FWD gets better fuel mileage than the Rav4 FWD (29 city/34 hwy vs. 26 city/35 hwy).

Brakes and Stopping

The CX-3 stops much shorter than the Rav4:

 

CX-3

Rav4

 

60 to 0 MPH

117 feet

134 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 Rav4 LE/XLE’s standard 65 series tires. The CX-3 Grand Touring/Touring’s tires have a lower 50 series profile than the Rav4 XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited’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 Rav4 doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

The CX-3 Grand Touring AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the Rav4 Limited pulls only .74 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The CX-3 Grand Touring AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.3 seconds quicker than the Rav4 Limited (27.6 seconds @ .66 average G’s vs. 28.9 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the CX-3’s turning circle is 1.3 feet tighter than the Rav4 LE/XLE’s (34.8 feet vs. 36.1 feet). The CX-3’s turning circle is 2.6 feet tighter than the Rav4 XLE Premium/Adventure/Limited’s (34.8 feet vs. 37.4 feet).

Chassis

The Mazda CX-3 may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 550 to 650 pounds less than the Toyota Rav4.

The CX-3 is 1 foot shorter than the Rav4, making the CX-3 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

The CX-3 has .7 inches more front legroom and 1.3 inches more rear hip room than the Rav4.

Cargo Capacity

The CX-3’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The Rav4’s swing out door blocks loading from the driver’s side.

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 Rav4 doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The CX-3’s standard variable intermittent wipers have an adjustable delay to allow the driver to choose a setting that best clears the windshield during light rain or mist. The Rav4 LE’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.

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 Rav4 doesn’t offer cornering lights.

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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