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Three unique models offer 21 trims and a slew of options

Quick notes

– Mazda added the CX-5 in 2013 after discontinuing the CX-7 in 2012.

– Mazda sold 28,257 CX-9 model crossovers in 2018.

– In 2018, the CX-5 was the highest-selling Mazda vehicle, with 150,622 units sold.

The Mazda CX-3

The CX-3 was the last model added to the Mazda lineup in 2014. It is the smallest of the Mazda USA family of crossover vehicles at 14 feet long and five feet nine inches wide. The engine, a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder is also the smallest in the lineup, and the CX-3 has the lowest starting MSRP at $20,390 for the base model  Mazda 2019 CX 3 Sport.

In terms of sales, the baby of the family is at the back of the pack, with just 16,899 units sold in 2018. However, for an entry-level crossover SUV, the CX-3 is a good option for young families with seating capacity for five and 44.5 cubic feet of cargo room, including the seating area.

The Mazda CX-5

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The CX-5 is one of the most popular crossovers in the country and the most popular vehicle in the Mazda USA lineup. The mid-line vehicle features a 2.5-liter gasoline-powered engine that produces 187 horsepower. Mazda also offers a turbocharged engine capable of producing 250 horsepower for customers who enjoy a sportier ride.

The Mazda CX-5 is 14.9 feet long and six feet wide. The interior is also more substantial than the smaller CX-3 with 59.6 cubic feet, including the seating area. In addition to an extra interior room, the CX-5 offers upgraded features not available on Mazda’s smaller SUV like a diesel engine. However, the larger CX-5 Sport also comes with a more significant price tag with a starting MSRP of $24,350.

The Mazda CX-9

The Mazda CX-9 was the first in the lineup and debuted in 2006. Being the first in the automaker’s lineup does not make it the favorite, though. The CX-9 was second in the lineup when it comes to sales compared to the CX-5. The major difference in units sold is likely due to higher pricing and lower fuel economy.

A CX-9 is 16.6 feet long and offers interior seating for seven people, but that comes with a hefty increase in price. The largest CX has a starting MSRP of $32,280. Despite the price increase, it features the same 2.5-liter engine as the smaller CX-5. However, when it comes to entertaining a large family, the CX-9 offers more entertainment options and enough room to keep kids from fighting.

Which Mazda CX is best

For larger families looking to purchase or lease a Mazda crossover, the CX-9 might be the only viable option in the lineup. However, when it comes to choosing between the CX-3 vs. CX-5, it depends on the buyer’s needs and budget.

The base model CX-5 has tons of safety feature to give the driver peace of mind that are not available on a Sport CX-3. The smaller crossover in the lineup also offers a lot less headroom. So, it is better for families with smaller children.

When it comes to interior features, both the CX-5 and CX-9 lead the pack with the CX-3 trailing behind. However, a well-equipped CX-3 and a base model CX-5 are similar in price. So, drivers who are not worried about the headroom and want leather seats might want to opt for the smaller SUV for around the same price.

Some desired features may not be available on the CX-3, though. For example, the smallest SUV in the lineup does not offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto as optional features. There are also engine options available on the larger models that the CX-3 lacks.

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