2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer 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 2020/08/06

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 Trailblazer 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.

Compared to metal, the Trailblazer’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 Trailblazer 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, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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The Trailblazer’s corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the CX-3’s (6 vs. 5 years).

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

Reliability

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J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Chevrolet vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet 6th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 9 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 Chevrolet vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Chevrolet fourth in reliability, above the industry average. With 44 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 21st.

Engine

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The Trailblazer’s standard 1.2 turbo 3-cylinder produces 16 lbs.-ft. more torque (162 vs. 146) than the CX-3’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder. The Trailblazer’s optional 1.3 turbo 3-cylinder produces 7 more horsepower (155 vs. 148) and 28 lbs.-ft. more torque (174 vs. 146) than the CX-3’s 2.0 DOHC 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Trailblazer’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.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Chevrolet Trailblazer higher (7 out of 10) than the Mazda CX-3 (3 to 7). This means the Trailblazer produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the CX-3 every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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A nine-speed automatic is on the Chevrolet Trailblazer 1.3 turbo 3-cylinder, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the CX-3.

The Trailblazer 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 Trailblazer LS/LT/ACTIV’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the CX-3 (225/60R17 vs. 215/60R16).

The Trailblazer RS’ 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 Trailblazer RS has standard 18-inch wheels. The CX-3’s largest wheels are only 16-inches.

The Trailblazer 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.

Suspension and Handling

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For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Trailblazer’s wheelbase is 2.7 inches longer than on the CX-3 (103.9 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Trailblazer is 1 inch wider in the front and 1.4 inches wider in the rear than the track on the CX-3.

Chassis

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The front grille of the Trailblazer uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The CX-3 doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

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The Trailblazer has 1.6 inches more front headroom, 1.9 inches more front shoulder room, 1.2 inches more rear headroom, 4.4 inches more rear legroom and 3.4 inches more rear shoulder room than the CX-3.

Cargo Capacity

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The Trailblazer has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the CX-3 with its rear seat up (25.3 vs. 17.8 cubic feet). The Trailblazer has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the CX-3 with its rear seat folded (54.4 vs. 42.7 cubic feet).

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

Trailblazer

CX-3

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

32”/64.5”

27.8”/58”

Max Width

54”

n/a

Min Width

41”

39.4”

Height

28.2”

26.6”

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Trailblazer LT/ACTIV/RS’ power liftgate can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a power or hands-free opening liftgate.

Towing

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

Ergonomics

© 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 2020/08/06

The Trailblazer LT/ACTIV/RS 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, with the optional automatic climate control feature. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Trailblazer’s available exterior PIN entry system. The CX-3 doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

Keyless Access standard on the Trailblazer LT/ACTIV/RS 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 Trailblazer’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The CX-3’s passenger power window and power mirror switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The Trailblazer LT/ACTIV/RS’ standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The CX-3 doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.

The Trailblazer LT/ACTIV/RS 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.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the Chevrolet Trailblazer ACTIV/RS offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The CX-3 doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The Trailblazer LT/ACTIV/RS offers an optional 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.

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