2020 Dodge Journey vs. 2020 Mazda CX-3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/13

For enhanced safety, the front and middle seat shoulder belts of the Dodge Journey are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Mazda CX-3 has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

The Dodge Journey offers optional built in child booster seats. They’re more crash worthy than an added child seat because of their direct attachment to the seat. Mazda doesn’t offer the convenience and security of a built-in child booster seat in the CX-3. Their owners must carry a heavy booster seat in and out of the vehicle; Journey owners can just fold their built-in child seat up or down.

Compared to metal, the Journey’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mazda CX-3 has a metal gas tank.

Both the Journey and the CX-3 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, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

The Dodge Journey weighs 824 to 967 pounds more than the Mazda CX-3. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Dodge Journey is safer than the Mazda CX-3:

Journey

CX-3

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

97

183

Chest Movement

.8 inches

.8 inches

Abdominal Force

131 G’s

199 G’s

Hip Force

190 lbs.

334 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

156

241

Spine Acceleration

42 G’s

85 G’s

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

250

287

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/13

There are over 4 times as many Dodge dealers as there are Mazda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Journey’s warranty.

Reliability

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The battery on the Journey is in the front fender, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the Journey’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The CX-3’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Dodge vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Dodge 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 12th, below the industry average.

Engine

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The Journey’s 2.4 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 24 more horsepower (172 vs. 148) and 19 lbs.-ft. more torque (165 vs. 146) than the CX-3’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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The Journey has 8.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-3 AWD’s standard fuel tank (20.5 vs. 11.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Journey has 7.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-3 FWD’s standard fuel tank (20.5 vs. 12.7 gallons).

Environmental Friendliness

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the Dodge Journey as a “Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle” (PZEV). The Mazda CX-3 is only certified to “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV) standards.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Journey’s brake rotors are larger than those on the CX-3:

Journey

CX-3

CX-3 AWD

Front Rotors

13 inches

11 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

12.9 inches

11.1 inches

11.1 inches

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Journey has larger tires than the CX-3 (225/65R17 vs. 215/60R16).

The Journey Crossroad’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the CX-3’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Journey SE Value has standard 17-inch wheels. Only 16-inch wheels are available on the CX-3. The Journey Crossroad has standard 19-inch wheels.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Dodge Journey has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Mazda CX-3 has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Journey has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The CX-3’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

The Journey has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Journey flat and controlled during cornering. The CX-3’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Journey’s wheelbase is 12.6 inches longer than on the CX-3 (113.8 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Journey is 1.8 inches wider in the front and 2.4 inches wider in the rear than on the CX-3.

Passenger Space

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The Journey has standard seating for 7 passengers; the CX-3 can only carry 5.

The Journey has 34.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CX-3 (121.7 vs. 87.6).

The Journey has 2.4 inches more front headroom, 1.5 inches more front hip room, 4 inches more front shoulder room, 2.7 inches more rear headroom, 1.1 inches more rear legroom, 5.4 inches more rear hip room and 6.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the CX-3.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Journey’s middle and third row seats recline. The CX-3’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The Journey’s cargo area provides more volume than the CX-3.

Journey

CX-3

Third Seat Folded

37 cubic feet

n/a

Third Seat Removed

39.6 cubic feet

17.8 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

67.6 cubic feet

42.7 cubic feet

The Journey’s cargo area is larger than the CX-3’s in every dimension:

Journey

CX-3

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

16”/41.5”/75”

n.a./27.8”/58”

Max Width

55.5”

n/a

Min Width

41.4”

39.4”

Height

33.1”

26.6”

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the Journey. The CX-3 doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

Towing

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The Journey has a 1000 lbs. towing capacity. The CX-3 has no towing capacity.

Servicing Ease

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The Journey has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The CX-3 doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

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The Journey Crossroad offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The Journey’s instruments include an oil pressure gauge and a temperature gauge - which could save your engine! Often ‘idiot lights’ don’t warn you until damage has been done. The CX-3 has neither an oil pressure gauge nor a temperature gauge.

The power windows standard on both the Journey and the CX-3 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Journey is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The CX-3 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

On a hot day the Journey’s driver can lower the front windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the CX-3 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Keyless Enter-N-Go standard on the Journey allows you to unlock the driver’s door, cargo door and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Mazda CX-3’s Pushbutton Start doesn’t unlock the doors or the cargo door.

The Journey’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The CX-3 doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.

The Journey Crossroad offers optional heated front seats, which keep the driver and front passenger extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated seats aren’t available in the CX-3.

On extremely cold winter days, the Journey Crossroad’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the vehicle heater warms up. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Journey’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The CX-3 doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Journey and the CX-3 offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Journey offers optional rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The CX-3 doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

The Journey GT has a 115-volt a/c outlet on the center console, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Journey is less expensive to operate than the CX-3 because it costs $191 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost much less on the Journey than the CX-3, including $128 less for fuel injection and $410 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/07/13

The Dodge Journey outsold the Mazda CX-3 by almost five to one during 2019.

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