2019 Kia Sportage

Starting Price: $24,745 | Price Yours

Above Average: Optional strong turbocharged engine; outstanding warranty; knobs and buttons for climate control and other things (not all touchscreen); some nice luxury even in the entry-level model

Below Average: Not great off road; a bit tight inside for passengers and cargo compared to others; fuel economy isn’t great

Consensus: The Kia Sportage is a solid little compact SUV that offers a lot in a small package. It comes with plenty of options right out the gate, included heated and ventilated front seats. a 320-watt Harman Kardon stereo, and an excellent warranty. It’s comfortable, fun, and looks sporty, and has an excellent and strong optional 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. There are better choices for off-road work.


2019 Mazda CX-3

Starting Price: $21,365 | Price Yours

Above Average: Stylish and sporty; great handling; excellent resale value

Below Average: There are better choices if you want to go off-road; not great interior space

Consensus: The 2019 Mazda CX-3 has a lot going for it, including a lot of style, great handling, and some nice luxury features. It’s a fun little subcompact crossover SUV, but there are better choices if you want to carry a lot of cargo or like to venture off the beaten path.

The 2019 Kia Sportage and Mazda CX-3 compete in slightly different segments. The Kia is a compact crossover, while the CX-3 is a subcompact. The Kia’s about eight inches longer and a few inches both wider and taller. That said, they both bring a lot to the table, with the CX-3 being fun to drive and good in the corners, but the Kia having a great little zippy engine and an optional turbo. While neither is the space-efficiency leader in its class, the Kia offers more than the Mazda. The Kia also has quite a bit more power, with the Mazda bests it for fuel economy. And while both are offered with all-wheel drive, neither is the best choice for those who regularly venture off-road.


Both are competitively priced; both have sporty, modern looks; neither makes the best use of its interior space

Kia Sportage Advantages

More powerful engine, bigger; better warranty, optional turbo engine

Mazda CX-3 Advantages

Much better fuel economy; better handling

Final Recommendation

This is a bit challenging, as on paper, the Kia more accurately competes against the CX-3’s big brother, the Mazda CX-5. That being said, however, these two are similar in a lot of ways since they are sporty, fun to drive, better on-road than off. Still, the Sportage beats the Mazda on nearly every front. From the legendary 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty to a base engine with nearly 40 more horsepower and an optional upgraded turbo, the Kia beats the CX-3 in nearly every category. The CX-3 is a perfectly good subcompact crossover, but in this competition, the only place where it truly stands tallest is in its fuel economy.

  2019 Kia Sportage 2019 Mazda CX-3
Popular Powertrains    
Engine 2.4-liter I4 2.0-liter I4
Horsepower 181 hp @ 6,000 rpm 148 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Torque 175 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm 146 lb-ft @ 2,800 rpm
Transmission Automatic, 6-Spd Automatic, 6-Spd, with Manual and Sport modes
Fuel Economy 25 mpg (22 city/29 hwy) 31 mpg (29 city/34 hwy)
Also Available 2.0-liter I4, turbocharged;   
Warranty 5 years/60,000 miles 3 years/36,000 miles
NHTSA Overall Safety Rating 5 Stars 5 Stars
Max Seating Capacity 5 5
Wheelbase 105.1 inches 101.2 inches
Overall Length 176.4 inches 168.3 inches
Width 73.0 inches 68.1 inches 
Height 64.4 inches 60.7 inches
Turning Diameter 34.8 feet 34.8 feet
Headroom, Front 39.3 inches 38.4 inches
Headroom, Rear 39.1 inches 37.2 inches
Legroom, Front 41.5 inches 41.7 inches
Legroom, Rear 38.2 inches 35.0 inches
Shoulder Room, Front 57.1 inches 53.5 inches
Shoulder Room, Rear 55.1 inches 50.4 inches
EPA Passenger Volume 129.3 cu. ft. 87.6 cu. ft.
EPA Cargo Volume 30.7 cu. ft. 44.5 cu. ft.
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