2020 Nissan Rogue vs. 2020 Mazda CX-3

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Rogue are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Rogue SV/SL has standard Rear Automatic Braking 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 Rogue (except S) offers an optional Around View® Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The CX-3 only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

Both the Rogue 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, 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 Nissan Rogue weighs 469 to 819 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, results indicate that the Nissan Rogue is safer than the Mazda CX-3:

Rogue

CX-3

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

69

183

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

142

241

Spine Acceleration

51 G’s

85 G’s

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

Warranty

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There are almost 2 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Mazda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Rogue’s warranty.

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates rated the Rogue third among compact suvs in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The CX-3 isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 8 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 Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 15th in reliability. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 21st.

Engine

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The Rogue’s 2.5 DOHC 4-cylinder produces 22 more horsepower (170 vs. 148) and 29 lbs.-ft. more torque (175 vs. 146) than the CX-3’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Nissan Rogue is faster than the Mazda CX-3:

Rogue

CX-3

Zero to 60 MPH

9.5 sec

9.6 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.8 sec

5.9 sec

Quarter Mile

17.3 sec

17.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

83.2 MPH

82.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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The Rogue has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-3 AWD’s standard fuel tank (14.5 vs. 11.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Rogue has 1.8 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-3 FWD’s standard fuel tank (14.5 vs. 12.7 gallons).

Environmental Friendliness

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the Nissan Rogue as a “Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (SULEV). The Mazda CX-3 is only certified to “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV) standards.

Transmission and Drivetrain

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The Rogue 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.

The Rogue has ABLS, a true all-wheel-drive system, which uses a four wheel traction control system to redirect engine power to the axle and wheel that still has traction to keep the Rogue moving if even only one wheel still has traction. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a true all-wheel drive system; it could get stuck while one or more wheels still have traction.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Rogue

CX-3

CX-3 AWD

Front Rotors

11.65 inches

11 inches

11.6 inches

Rear Rotors

11.5 inches

11.1 inches

11.1 inches

The Rogue’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the CX-3 are solid, not vented.

The Rogue stops shorter than the CX-3:

Rogue

CX-3

60 to 0 MPH

134 feet

135 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

142 feet

148 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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

The Rogue SL’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 Rogue S/SV has standard 17-inch wheels. Only 16-inch wheels are available on the CX-3. The Rogue SL has standard 19-inch wheels.

The Rogue has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The CX-3 doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the Rogue can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The CX-3 doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

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For superior ride and handling, the Nissan Rogue 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 Rogue has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Rogue 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 Rogue’s wheelbase is 5.3 inches longer than on the CX-3 (106.5 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Rogue is 2.8 inches wider in the front and 2.9 inches wider in the rear than on the CX-3.

For greater off-road capability the Rogue has a 2.3 inches greater minimum ground clearance than the CX-3 (8.4 vs. 6.1 inches), allowing the Rogue to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Rogue’s minimum ground clearance is 2.2 inches higher than on the CX-3 Touring/Grand Touring (8.4 vs. 6.2 inches).

Passenger Space

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The Rogue has 18.2 cubic feet more passenger volume than the CX-3 (105.8 vs. 87.6).

The Rogue has 3.2 inches more front headroom, 1.3 inches more front legroom, 1.7 inches more front hip room, 3.1 inches more front shoulder room, 1.3 inches more rear headroom, 2.9 inches more rear legroom, 3.1 inches more rear hip room and 5.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the CX-3.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Rogue’s rear seats recline. The CX-3’s rear seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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The Rogue has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the CX-3 with its rear seat up (39.3 vs. 17.8 cubic feet). The Rogue has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the CX-3 with its rear seat folded (70 vs. 42.7 cubic feet).

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

Rogue

CX-3

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

33.5”/68.5”

27.8”/58”

Min Width

44”

39.4”

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Rogue SV/SL’s power liftgate can be opened or closed just by waving your foot, leaving your hands completely free. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

Towing

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The Rogue has a 1102 lbs. towing capacity. The CX-3 has no towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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The Rogue SV/SL 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 different drivers share the Rogue (except S), the optional memory seats and mirrors make it convenient. 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 Intelligent Key standard on the Rogue SV/SL 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 Rogue’s optional outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The CX-3 doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.

The Rogue 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 Rogue’s optional (except S) 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 Rogue SV/SL’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 Rogue and the CX-3 offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Rogue 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.

Economic Advantages

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According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Rogue is less expensive to operate than the CX-3 because typical repairs cost less on the Rogue than the CX-3, including $10 less for front brake pads and $64 less for front struts.

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 2020/10/30

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Nissan Rogue and the Mazda CX-3, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Nissan Rogue outsold the Mazda CX-3 by almost 22 to one during 2019.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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