Pecheles Automotive Compares 2018 Audi Q3 VS 2018 Mazda CX-3 Near New Bern, NC

Responsive image

2018 Audi Q3

Responsive image

2018 Audi Q3

Responsive image

2018 Mazda CX-3

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi Q3 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Mazda CX-3 doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Audi Q3 are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Mazda CX-3 has only front height-adjustable seat belts.

The Q3 has standard Parking System Plus to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

Compared to metal, the Q3’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Mazda CX-3 has a metal gas tank.

Both the Q3 and the CX-3 have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front-wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive and blind spot warning systems.

The Audi Q3 weighs 542 to 910 pounds more than the Mazda CX-3. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

Warranty Comparison

The Q3 comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The CX-3’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The Q3’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the CX-3’s (12 vs. 5 years).

Reliability Comparison

The Audi Q3’s engine uses a cast iron block for durability, while the CX-3’s engine uses an aluminum block. Aluminum engine blocks are much more prone to warp and crack at high temperatures than cast iron.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Q3’s reliability 33 points higher than the CX-3.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2017 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Audi vehicles are better in initial quality than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 26th in initial quality. With 10 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 27th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Audi 11th in reliability, above the industry average. With 29 more problems per 100 vehicles, Mazda is ranked 21st.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Audi vehicles are more reliable than Mazda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Audi fourth in reliability. Mazda is ranked 6th.

Engine Comparison

The Q3’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 54 more horsepower (200 vs. 146) and 61 lbs.-ft. more torque (207 vs. 146) than the CX-3’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the Audi Q3 is faster than the Mazda CX-3:




Zero to 60 MPH

7.8 sec

8.1 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

13.2 sec

13.8 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

21.8 sec

23.8 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

8.2 sec

8.3 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

5.5 sec

5.7 sec

Quarter Mile

16.1 sec

16.3 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89 MPH

86 MPH

Top Speed

127 MPH

120 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Q3 has 5 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-3 AWD’s standard fuel tank (16.9 vs. 11.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The Q3 has 4.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the CX-3 FWD’s standard fuel tank (16.9 vs. 12.7 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Q3’s brake rotors are larger than those on the CX-3:





Front Rotors

12.3 inches

11 inches

11.6 inches

The Q3 stops shorter than the CX-3:





70 to 0 MPH

174 feet

181 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Q3 has larger standard tires than the CX-3 (225/40R19 vs. 215/60R16). The Q3’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the CX-3 (255/40R19 vs. 215/60R16).

The Q3’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the CX-3 Sport’s standard 60 series tires. The Q3’s optional tires have a lower 40 series profile than the CX-3 Grand Touring/Touring’s 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Q3 has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 16-inch wheels are standard on the CX-3 Sport. The Q3’s optional 19-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the CX-3 Grand Touring/Touring.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For superior ride and handling, the Audi Q3 has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Mazda CX-3 has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Q3 has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Q3 flat and controlled during cornering. The CX-3’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Q3’s wheelbase is 1.3 inches longer than on the CX-3 (102.5 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Q3 is 1.1 inches wider in the front and 1.3 inches wider in the rear than on the CX-3.

The Q3’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (57.2% to 42.8%) than the CX-3’s (59% to 41%). This gives the Q3 more stable handling and braking.

The Q3 Prestige Quattro handles at .85 G’s, while the CX-3 Touring AWD pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the Q3 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the CX-3 (6.7 vs. 6.1 inches), allowing the Q3 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged. The Q3’s minimum ground clearance is .5 inch higher than on the CX-3 Touring/Grand Touring (6.7 vs. 6.2 inches).

Chassis Comparison

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Q3 Prestige Quattro is quieter than the CX-3 Touring AWD (74 vs. 78 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Q3 has 2.3 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom and 3.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the CX-3.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Q3 has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the CX-3 with its rear seat up (16.7 vs. 12.4 cubic feet). The Q3 has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the CX-3 with its rear seat folded (50.3 vs. 44.5 cubic feet).

The Q3’s cargo area is larger than the CX-3’s in almost every dimension:




Length to seat (2nd/1st)



Max Width



Min Width






A standard locking glovebox keeps your small valuables safer in the Q3. The CX-3 doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading and unloading groceries and cargo easier, especially for short adults, the Q3 offers an optional power cargo door, which opens and closes automatically by pressing a button. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a power cargo door.

Ergonomics Comparison

The power windows standard on both the Q3 and the CX-3 have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Q3 is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The CX-3 prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Q3’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The CX-3’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

If the windows are left down on the Q3 the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder; on a hot day the driver can lower the windows. The driver of the CX-3 can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The Q3’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The CX-3’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the Q3 to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The CX-3 doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Q3 offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The CX-3 doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The Q3 has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The CX-3 has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the Touring/Grand Touring.

The Q3’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Mazda only offers heated mirrors on the CX-3 Touring/Grand Touring.

The Q3 has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The CX-3 doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Q3’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The CX-3 doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Q3 and the CX-3 offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Q3 has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The CX-3 doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Economic Advantages Comparison

The Q3 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Q3 will retain 50.35% to 51.86% of its original price after five years, while the CX-3 only retains 43.08% to 43.95%.

Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends both the Audi Q3 and the Mazda CX-3, based on reliability, safety and performance.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Q3 third among small premium suvs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The CX-3 isn’t in the top three.

The Audi Q3 outsold the Mazda CX-3 by 23% during the 2017 model year.

© 1991-2016 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. Who We Are
Click here to view the disclaimers, limitations and notices about EPA fuel mileage, crash tests, coprights, trademarks, and other issues.