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2020 Mazda CX-3 Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.

2020 Mazda CX-3 Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: Sport vs Touring & Grand Touring

What 2020 Mazda CX-3 Trim Level Should you Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

If you are on the hunt for a small SUV, then you have probably given the
2020 Mazda CX-3 some consideration. You might have read some of its mixed reviews already. But you might not have yet formed an opinion about it. To be fair, there are a lot of pros and cons to owning the new CX-3. It does, however, depend on which trim level you decide to buy.

All of the 2020 Mazda CX-3's trim levels suffer from certain drawbacks. For starters, there is a serious lack of cargo space and room in the rear seat. Taller adults will find themselves crunched into the back seat, and it will be difficult to fit bulkier items (like a double stroller) in the cargo area. Also, the infotainment system is just downright frustrating to try to finagle. The controls do not work as you would expect them to at all. And the line-topping Grand Touring trim? It is way too pricey considering that you do not get a ton of extra features or the level of utility you should expect from a small SUV.

The CX-3 has some good things going for it though. The cabin definitely looks and feels upscale, and it is supremely cozy. You and your passengers will have no problem sitting in this vehicle for hours on an awesome road trip adventure. The driving performance is highly engaging, and the great fuel economy will have you wanting to take a road trip since you will not get gouged at the pump.

So, is the 2020 Mazda CX-3 the right vehicle for you? If so, which trim level should you get? There are three to choose from (the base Sport, the Touring, and the line-topping Grand Touring), and each one has its own set of unique features. We will go over which trim level has what features and, by the end of this trim level comparison review, announce which CX-3 trim level presents the best deal for the average driver.


Compare the 2020 Mazda CX-3 Sport vs Touring Trims. What is the difference?

Let's start things off with the 2020 Mazda CX-3's base trim, the Sport. The Sport is powered by a 2.0-L SKYACTIV-G engine. This engine gets matched up with a 6-speed automatic transmission. The CX-3's powertrain set-up has the SKYACTIV-VEHICLE dynamics with G Vectoring Control, which basically guarantees an outstanding driving performance. The powertrain cranks out 148 hp and 146 lb-ft of torque and gets 29 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. It is definitely hard to beat those numbers on a small SUV like this. You can choose between front- and all-wheel drive (the latter of which will knock the fuel economy down very slightly). Also, this is the only powertrain option available on the entire line-up, so you cannot opt to go with something higher-powered. But, given its strong performance, you won't feel like you need something better.

Now, let's take a look at what the CX-3 has to offer on the outside. It comes with standard clear-lens halogen headlights that have an auto-on/off function. Daytime running lights are also equipped. The vehicle rides atop 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels which come with all-season tires. There are body-colored power side mirrors that have turn signals integrated into them, and the dual exhaust tips are done in a shiny bright finish. There is a rear roofline spoiler,variable intermittent windshield wipers up front, and a shark-fin style antenna that is mounted onto the roof.

From your spot in the driver's seat, you can easily control the air conditioning, which comes with a pollen filter. The power windows up front have a one-touch up/down function, and there are power door locks with the remote keyless entry system. Between yourself and your front seat passenger, you will find a center arm rest with a sufficient amount of storage area inside of it. In all, the vehicle seats five people in its cloth sport seats. The driver's seat is 6-way manually ajustable, and the rear seat is 60/40-split folding for when you need more room for cargo. The rear seat does get a center arm rest for extra comfort.

As far as infotainment goes, the set-up is fairly standard, even though some of the features do not work as they are supposed to. You get the Mazda CONNECT infotainment system with built-in voice command. You also get standard SMS text message audio delivery and reply, E-911 automatic emergency notifications, a 7-inch touchscreen display, and a 6-speaker sound system with an AM/FM radio. Also included in this set-up are an auxiliary audio input jack, a USB audio port, a steering wheel with multiple controls mounted onto it (for audio, cruise control, phone, and MID), ambient temperature, a digital clock, Bluetooth connectivity, and push button start. The steering column is tilting and telescoping for easy adjustment, and there are covered dual sun visors with vanity mirrors up front. Additionally, you get one 12-volt power outlet.

Safety features are fairly expansive for this base trim. Included among standard features are advanced front air bags, front side impact air bags, and side-impact air curtains. In addition to that, you get a standard rear-view camera, Hill Launch Assist, Smart City Brake Support, a blind spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert, the LATCH system for hooking up child safety seats, and an engine immobilized with the anti-theft system. You will be hard pressed to find features like blind spot monitoring on other base trims, and this gives the 2020 Mazda CX-3 an edge over its competition.

So, what does the Touring offer in addition to everything that comes on the Sport? Well, for starters, the body gets a few important upgrades. Heating gets added to the power-folding side mirrors. The wheels get bumped up to 18-inch aluminum alloys with all-season tires equipped. The windshield gets rain-sensing variable intermittent windshield wipers, and there is sleek Piano Black trim on the pillars.

There are some upgrades inside of the cabin as well, and they are certainly worth mentioning. The Sport's air conditioning gets swapped out in favor of an automatic climate control system, which does keep the pollen filter. There is also the Mazda advanced keyless entry system, which makes getting into the vehicle a whole lot easier. You can also store your sunglasses in an overhead console with a holder area. The front seats gain standard heating, and they get upgraded to leatherette-trimmed sport seats. There is a manual front passenger seat with height adjustment, and the steering wheel and gear selector both become wrapped in chic leather.

Other than that, expect to find everything else to be the same on these two trims. There are no real differences between them when it comes to the infotainment system and the list of safety features.

Compare the 2020 Mazda CX-3 Touring vs Grand Touring Trims. What is the difference?

The 2020 Mazda CX-3's line is topped by the Grand Touring trim. It is a bit more expensive than the other two trims, so you would naturally expect that it has a lot more features. However, you might find the Grand Touring to be somewhat disappointing. It has the same powertrain as the other two trim levels but would do well to have an option to upgrade to. Even if it means a small loss in fuel economy, some buyers will be more than happy to trade that in for more power from the engine, especially on the line-topping trim.

What does the Grand Touring have to offer then? On the outside, there are a few changes. There is a power sliding glass moonroof with a one-touch opening function and an interior sunshade. You also get bright finished trim on the front bumper and side body. The headlights get upgraded to LEDs with an auto-leveling feature, and there is an adaptive front lighting system and high beam control. The taillights, daytime running lights, and fog lights are also LED.

The cabin gets a few small upgrades worth mentioning here. There is a leather-wrapped steering wheel with paddle shifters and leather-trimmed sport seats. The infotainment system gains an active driving display, the Mazda navigation system, a 7-speaker Bose sound system, HD Radio, and a 4-month all-access trial to SiriusXM Satellite Radio.

The Grand Touring does see a few additions to its list of standard safety features. It gets Smart Brake Support with a collision warning as well as Advanced Smart City Brake Support with a pedestrian detection feature. There is also Mazda radar cruise control with a stop and go function, a lane departure warning, and a cover for the cargo area. However, that is the extent of what the CX-3 offers in terms of safety features and driver aids.


Which Trim to Choose?

Choosing a trim level on the 2020 Mazda CX-3 should be clear cut, but the choice is actually quite difficult. Sure, you can only get one powertrain on all three of the CX-3's trim, but it is not a bad powertrain by any stretch of the imagination. While another higher powered option on the Grand Touring trim might attract more buyers and make the vehicle worthier of its high price tag, you still get a good driving performance from the 2.0-L engine and 6-speed automatic transmission.

That being said, though, we would not pick the Grand Touring as being the best deal for buyers. That honor goes to the mid-level Touring. It gives you everything that the Sport has and adds a few upgraded specs and features. If you are someone who lives in a place where inclement weather often causes road hazards (or if you plan on doing a fair amount of off-roading in this vehicle), get all-wheel drive added instead of sticking with front-wheel drive.

The Touring is a nice balance of power and creature comforts. The leatherette trim on the seats feels cozy and looks upscale, so much so that you will not even think about it being leatherette versus actual leather. The leather that adorns the steering wheel and gear selector adds a touch of class too, and having an automatic climate control system means that you do not have to take your mind and eyes off the road and hands off the wheel to adjust the temperature controls.

The base Sport trim is decent, but it does lack those touches of luxury. The price difference between these two trim levels is not too exacerbated, so many people will find they are willing to spend a little more to get the extras that the Touring has to offer. Overall, though, the 2020 Mazda CX-3 proves that you do not have to spend $50,000 or more to get a classy vehicle that drives well. You can get the CX-3 and save yourself some money in the process.

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