2020 Ford Escape FHEV 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 2020/03/31

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Ford Escape FHEV have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Mazda CX-3 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The Escape FHEV has standard Post Collision Braking, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Escape FHEV offers an optional backup collision prevention system that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The CX-3 doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The Escape FHEV Titanium has standard parking sensors to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The Escape FHEV’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Escape FHEV and the CX-3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, 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, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rearview cameras, rear cross-path warning and available all wheel drive.

The Ford Escape FHEV weighs 560 to 855 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.

Warranty

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There are over 5 times as many Ford dealers as there are Mazda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Escape FHEV’s warranty.

Reliability

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The Escape FHEV has a standard “limp home system” to keep drivers from being stranded if most or all of the engine’s coolant is lost. The engine will run on only half of its cylinders at a time, reduce its power and light a warning lamp on the dashboard so the driver can get to a service station for repairs. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a lost coolant limp home mode, so a coolant leak could strand you or seriously damage the truck’s engine.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford fourth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 12th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 16th in reliability. With 13 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 21st.

Engine

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The Escape FHEV’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder hybrid produces 52 more horsepower (200 vs. 148) than the CX-3’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Escape FHEV gets better mileage than the CX-3:

MPG

Escape FHEV

FWD

2.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

44 city/37 hwy

AWD

2.5 4-cyl. Hybrid

43 city/37 hwy

CX-3

FWD

2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

29 city/34 hwy

AWD

2.0 DOHC 4-cyl.

27 city/32 hwy

Regenerative brakes improve the Escape FHEV’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Escape FHEV’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The CX-3 doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Escape FHEV has 2.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-3 AWD’s standard fuel tank (14.2 vs. 11.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Escape FHEV has 1.5 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-3 FWD’s standard fuel tank (14.2 vs. 12.7 gallons).

The Escape FHEV has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

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The Escape FHEV has a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a CVT.

Tires and Wheels

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

The Escape FHEV’s optional 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 Escape FHEV has standard 17-inch wheels. Only 16-inch wheels are available on the CX-3. The Escape FHEV offers optional 19-inch wheels.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Ford Escape FHEV 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 Escape FHEV 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 Escape FHEV has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Escape FHEV 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 Escape FHEV’s wheelbase is 5.5 inches longer than on the CX-3 (106.7 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Escape FHEV is 2.4 inches wider in the front and 1.9 inches wider in the rear than on the CX-3.

Passenger Space

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The Escape FHEV has 16.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CX-3 (104 vs. 87.6).

The Escape FHEV has 1.6 inches more front headroom, .7 inches more front legroom, 2.9 inches more front hip room, 4.1 inches more front shoulder room, 2.1 inches more rear headroom, 3.9 inches more rear legroom, 4.3 inches more rear hip room and 5.6 inches more rear shoulder room than the CX-3.

Cargo Capacity

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The Escape FHEV has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the CX-3 with its rear seat up (34.4 vs. 17.8 cubic feet). The Escape FHEV has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the CX-3 with its rear seat folded (60.8 vs. 42.7 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the Escape FHEV easier. The Escape FHEV’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 27.9 inches, while the CX-3’s liftover is 30.6 inches.

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

Escape FHEV

CX-3

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

36.7”/68.3”

27.8”/58”

Max Width

57.3”

n/a

Min Width

41.4”

39.4”

Height

32.8”

26.6”

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Escape FHEV offers an optional power liftgate, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button, or on the Escape FHEV Titanium, by just kicking your foot under the back bumper, completely leaving your hands free. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a power liftgate.

Towing

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The Escape FHEV has a 1500 lbs. towing capacity. The CX-3 has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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The Escape FHEV has a standard 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.

When three different drivers share the Escape FHEV Titanium, the memory seats and mirrors make it convenient for all three. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position and outside mirror angle. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a memory system.

The power windows standard on both the Escape FHEV and the CX-3 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Escape FHEV 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.

The Escape FHEV Titanium’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The CX-3’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

Intelligent Access standard on the Escape FHEV 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 Escape FHEV’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 Escape FHEV has standard heated front seats, which keep the driver and front passenger extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated seats aren’t available in the CX-3.

The Escape FHEV Titanium’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 Escape FHEV and the CX-3 offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Escape FHEV has standard 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 Escape FHEV Titanium 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.

The Escape FHEV Titanium’s Active Park Assist 2.0 can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, starting, stopping and changing direction automatically. The CX-3 doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

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 2020/03/31

The Ford Escape outsold the Mazda CX-3 by almost 15 to one during 2019.

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