Mazda CX-3: Which Should You Buy, 2020 or 2021?

Red 2021 Mazda CX-3 driving around a curved road 2021 Mazda CX-3 | Manufacturer image

Most significant changes: Night pedestrian detection now included as part of the low-speed forward collision detection and avoidance system; enhanced auto on/off feature for LED headlights

Price changes: None

On sale: September

Which should you buy, 2020 or 2021? With upgraded safety technology not costing any extra, the 2021 is the choice.

Mazda’s smallest SUV, the subcompact CX-3, soldiers on into the 2021 model year despite the presence of the slightly larger CX-30 subcompact SUV (and the Mazda3 hatchback). For 2020, Mazda consolidated the CX-3’s trim levels down to one, the Sport, which is still the only trim available for 2021.

Related: Mazda3: Which Should You Buy, 2020 or 2021?

Shop the 2020 Mazda CX-3 near you

2020 Mazda CX-3 Sport
45,228 mi.
Good Deal | $233 under


The good news is that the CX-3’s price hasn’t changed for 2021. This comes despite enhanced safety technology including a low-speed forward collision detection and avoidance system that’s capable of detecting pedestrians at night, as well as an improved auto on/off system for its standard LED headlights. A front-wheel-drive 2021 CX-3 will cost $21,740, and adding all-wheel drive costs another $1,400, bringing the price up to $23,140 (all prices include a $1,100 destination).

Engine, Transmission and Features

Power for either FWD or AWD versions of the CX-3 is still provided by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 148 horsepower and 146 pounds-feet of torque, paired to a six-speed automatic transmission.

Additional standard features on the CX-3 include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus a full suite of advanced safety technologies, including forward collision detection and avoidance, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and blind spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert.

Release Date

The 2021 CX-3 goes on sale in September, according to Mazda, and with upgraded safety tech at no additional cost, it’s a more attractive option than an identically priced 2020.’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

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Road Test Editor Brian Normile joined the automotive industry and in 2013 and became part of the Editorial staff in 2014. Brian spent his childhood devouring every car magazine he got his hands on — not literally, eventually — and now reviews and tests vehicles to help consumers make informed choices. Someday, Brian hopes to learn what to do with his hands when he’s reviewing a car on camera, and to turn his 2021 Hyundai Veloster N into a tribute to the great Renault mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive hatchbacks. He would daily-drive an Alfa Romeo 4C if he could. Email Brian Normile

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