The Mazda CX-3 vs The Mazda CX-5. Which SUV Suits You?
We compare the compact Mazda to their mid-size model in the blossoming SUV market.
The Mazda CX-3 and CX-5 have both been on sale for a good while now, with the former released in 2016 and the latter in 2013. From the front, they both look extremely similar, with the wide pentagonal grilles flanked by lashings of chrome and a pair of aggressive headlights. Clear distinctions can be made on the side profile though, as the CX-5 has a noticeably more lofty roofline compared the CX-3s sleek curves. While they may look slightly similar, they both serve different purposes within the Mazda lineup.
Which is for you?
This will come down to the type of driving you do, first and foremost. You’ll be happy to know that both are pretty economical. Both are powered by the impressive SkyActiv petrol units which have won countless awards and are proving to be exceptionally reliable too. Their diesels are the most frugal, though, and you can expect up to 70.6mpg from the CX-3 and 56.5mpg from the heavier CX-5.
If you spend your time darting around town, running errands or on short commutes then the CX-3 will tick every single box here. You can jump in and go, park it pretty easily and it won’t feel cumbersome in gridlocked traffic.
If you spend a lot of time on the motorways, however, you’ll likely find the CX-5 to be more suited to what you’re after. At the expense of fuel consumption, the higher seating position is imperious and the ride is particularly comfortable in the CX-5. It is certainly better equipped for getting the miles done.
Both the CX-3 and CX-5 are incredibly impressive to drive. The CX-3 is widely considered to be the best handling car in its segment and the most fun to drive. The CX-5 arguably rules the roost in the midsize segment too, however, the competition is perhaps a bit more fierce.
What are they like inside?
Unlike the cut-and-paste jobs that most manufacturers implement on their scaled-up models of the same car, Mazda has used a completely different interior for each model. The CX-3 is more simplified, with leather padding here and there to spruce things up. The heating controls are easy to use dials, the air vents have red accents and there is lots of contrast stitching. Also, the centrally mounted AUX and USB inputs are exposed and easier to locate.
The CX-5, on the other hand, is quite a bit more professional. The central screen is sunken into the dashboard, the AUX and USB ports are deep into the central cubby and out of site, and the heating controls are button controlled with screens announcing the precise temperature.
Which is the best for your precious cargo?
There’s plenty of room in both cars for 2 adults in the front and up to 3 children in the back. The smaller rear windows of the CX-3 make it seem a little more claustrophobic in the back seats but this would only become an issue on longer journeys.
In the boot, the CX-3 has 350 litres of space which trumps the likes of the Nissan Juke and Ford Ecosport, and the CX-5 has 506 litres which dwarves the boot space of the Qashqai, Kuga and Yeti. Realistically they’re both pretty handy for carrying your gear around in, but if you were to take the kids on a family holiday then you’d be better off with the CX-5.
The Mazda CX-5 is on sale right now with prices starting from £24,095 and the CX-3 is £5,400 cheaper, with prices from £18,695.