Mazda CX-3 vs. CX-30: What’s the Difference?

If you’re interested in a small Mazda crossover and CX series, these two vehicles are a solid choice for buyers. However, you may be a bit confused about the similarities and differences between the Mazda CX-3, which debuted in the 2016 model year, and its newer counterpart, the CX-30, which debuted in the 2020 model year, as the company continues to expand its SUV lineup.

Both vehicles are subcompact crossovers, and they are similar in appearance. Are their specifications really that distinct from one another? Read on for our Mazda CX-3 vs. CX-30 comparison to explore the primary variations between the two models.

mazda cx-30


The two models are similarly sized, but the CX-30 is bigger than the CX-3. The CX-30 is smaller than the Mazda CX-5. Thus, the CX-30 fits in between the CX-3 and CX-5 in the Mazda SUV lineup.

So why is it not the CX-4? That’s because Mazda sells a separate China-only CX-4 model. You can learn more about this from our source for these model monikers –

While the CX-30 and the CX-3 are equal in terms of height, the CX-30 is wider and longer. The model is also sometimes classified as a compact, as it is built on the same platform as the Mazda3, the company’s compact hatchback and sedan. The CX-30 also has a higher ground clearance than the CX-3.

The CX-3 shared the same platform as the Mazda2, which is the company’s subcompact car. Its assembly is in Japan.

Interior Features & Space

The seating is similar in both cars. Both models have rear seating with a 60/40 split fold-down feature, and both cars have sports seats that are cloth-trimmed in base form. Both models have room for five passengers.

However, the CX-30 offers nearly 8 more cubic feet of cargo space behind the seating. That additional amount of room can be significant for people who want that extra room.

Another difference is the size of each touchscreen interface on the console. The CX-3 has a screen that is 7 inches, and the MAZDA CONNECT™ touchscreen in the CX-30 is 8.8 inches.

The CX-3 has 1 USB audio input, while the CX-30 has 2 of them. The CX-3 has an audio system with 6 speakers, and the CX-30 boasts 8 speakers.

mazda cx-3


Both the CX-3 and the CX-30 contain a SKYACTIV®-G engine type, which leverages spark-controlled compression ignition for better fuel economy and performance.

The CX-3 has a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, 148 horsepower engine with 146 lb-ft of torque. The CX-30 has a larger 2.5-liter, four-cylinder 186 horsepower engine with 186 lb-ft of torque. The CX-30 is the better choice if towing small items and for freeway acceleration.

Fuel Economy

The CX-3 has an EPA-estimated fuel economy of (city/highway/combined) 26/34/29 for its FWD version with an automatic transmission. Its AWD version with automatic transmission yielded an EPA-estimated fuel economy (city/highway) 26/32/27.

The CX-30, which has a six-speed electronically controlled sport automatic transmission has an EPA-estimated fuel economy of (city/highway/combined) 25/33/28 for its FWD version with an automatic transmission. Its AWD version with automatic transmission yielded an EPA-estimated fuel economy (city/highway) 24/31/26.

mazda steering wheel


The 2020 CX-3 was awarded an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick+ making it among the safest subcompact SUVs on the market. The 2020 CX-30 underwent crash tests and was evaluated. It received a Top Safety Pick Award, with specific headlights, which is a lesser designation, giving the CX-3 the edge over the CX-30 in its safety rating.


Both the CX-3 and the CX-30 provide an array of similar features, but they are each a bit different in terms of design and specs. As might be expected, the newer and larger model, the CX-30 is more expensive. The CX-3 has a starting MSRP of $20,640 while the CX-30 is at $21,900.

While these two subcompact Mazda crossover models may create some confusion in their differences, the CX-3 is not being discontinued and continues to be a steady seller. The models give buyers more choices in the popular small crossover class.

mazda cx-3

2021 Changes for the CX-30

The big news for the 2021 model year in the CX-30 is that Mazda is adding a new 2.5 Turbo trim. This version will be powered by a 2.5-liter 227 horsepower engine producing prodigious 310-pound feet of torque. This engine is also seen in the much larger CX-9, Mazda’s three-row crossover model.

With this amount of power and features, the CX-30 2.5 Turbo is pushing into the premium class. It has the most torque in the subcompact SUV class, even superior to luxury subcompact models. The 2.5-liter will also have all-wheel drive standard.

The pricing for the 2.5 Turbo trim line takes a big step up to about $33,000.


In concluding this CX-3 vs. CX-30 comparison, both models offer the practicality of a subcompact crossover, along with an assortment of amenities that Mazda fans can appreciate. However, for an additional 1,500 or so dollars, the CX-30 brings an additional 38 horsepower and more space. The CX-30 also has more to offer in interior features and comfort.

These factors will be appreciated in ownership of the vehicle, for a modest increase in price.

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3 Responses

  1. Lightest 2020 SUVs | Light SUVs 2020 | Says:

    […] For a slightly larger, more powerful and heavier Mazda, consider the CX-30. […]

  2. The Best and Worst SUVs | Says:

    […] The CX-30 made the Car and Driver 10 best cars list for 2020. It is larger than the CX-3 without being much more expensive. You can learn more about these two models in our comparison here. […]

  3. Most Reliable 2021 SUVs and Least Reliable | Says:

    […] small CX-3, still subcompact CX-30, and compact CX-5 also performed well in reliability ratings, all scoring 85 or […]

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