Mazda's Nicer 2019 CX-3 Will Cost You More

2019 Mazda CX-3

Mazda's 2019 CX-3 subcompact SUV, refreshed with a range of subtle upgrades, will start at $21,365 with a $975 destination fee for the entry Sport trim level with front-wheel drive. That's an increase of $280 over the 2018 CX-3 base model. All-wheel drive on any trim level also has gone up $150 to $1,400, so an entry-level CX-3 Sport with all-wheel drive starts at $22,765, an increase of $430.

Related: 6 Ways the Refreshed 2019 Mazda CX-3 Is Better

The 2019 model does not look much different except for a new grille insert and minor headlight and taillight changes. Not that the stylish small SUV was crying for design tinkering. The changes are aimed instead at giving the CX-3 a more premium feel in line with Mazda's effort to spruce up the brand image. They include an upgraded seat design, a new leather upholstery option, other interior design and material upgrades, and noise and ride improvements. A new electronic parking brake opens up center console space for a better armrest, cupholders and storage. Still AWOL, however, is support for Apple Carplay and Android Auto, which is being added for the first time for Mazda to the 2018 Mazda6 sedan.

The suspension has been tweaked for sportier driving, though the CX-3 already has been the fun-to-drive choice for me among subcompact SUVs (at least for buyers who don't really need maximum backseat or cargo space). The 2.0-liter engine also was retuned and now puts out 148 horsepower, an increase of 2 hp, and 146 pounds-feet of torque. It still is mated to a six-speed automatic. Along with prices, the EPA ratings are in and they match the 2018 at 29/34/31 mpg city/highway/combined with front-wheel drive and 27/32/29 mpg with all-wheel-drive. See the EPA ratings here.

The 2019 Mazda CX-3 continues to offer Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trim levels. For the base price the 2019 CX-3 Sport has standard blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, a low-speed front collision system with automatic braking, cloth seats, push-button start, two USB ports, 16-inch alloy wheels and a 7-inch touchscreen also with a console knob controller. For $1,100 you can add the Sport i-Activsense Package of safety and driver assistance tech that includes a more advanced front collision system with automatic braking and pedestrian detection, adaptive cruise control, high-beam assist, LED taillights and adaptive LED headlights. It also adds a head-up display and automatic climate control.

The Touring trim level starts at $23,450 (all prices include destination), also an increase of $280. It adds 18-inch alloy wheels and leatherette seats with heated front seats. The steering wheel and shifter are leather-trimmed, and the front passenger seat gets height adjustment. Keyless entry and automatic climate also are standard, and the price of the i-Activsense tech package drops to $1,000. Also available for the Touring trim level is a $1,410 package adding Bose premium audio, satellite radio capability and a moonroof.

The top-of-the-line Grand Touring  weighs in with a $580 increase for a starting price of $26,720. And it is here that the effort to move upscale really shows. Grand Touring standard features include a new-for-2019 color choice of Parchment or black leather seating surfaces with pleated piping. Also standard is in-car navigation, paddle shifters, a color head-up display and a moonroof.  Outside, the front bumper and side sills get chrome trim and the adaptive LED headlights and LED taillights are standard, along with LED foglights and daytime running lights. A $710 Premium Package adds a six-way power driver's seat, power lumbar support, a two-driver settings memory, a heated steering wheel, traffic sign recognition and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The 2019 Mazda CX-3 model goes on sale nationwide later this month. Check back for Cars.com's review of how successful the CX-3 upgrades have been. 

2019 Mazda CX-3; Manufacturer images

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