2020 Kia Seltos vs 2020 Mazda CX-3: Which One to Buy?

2020 Kia Seltos vs 2020 Mazda CX-3: Which One to Buy?

The 2020 Kia Seltos has now arrived in the Philippines, generating plenty of buzz as a solid contender in the heavily saturated crossover SUV category. The 2020 Mazda CX-3 is expected to follow suit next year. Between the two, the CX-3 has the upper hand as the more established model. So does the upstart Seltos have what it takes to mix it up with the very fine CX-3? We take a closer look in this car comparison.

Power and dimensions

The upcoming 2020 Mazda CX-3—which is actually a 2019 model in global markets—is powered by a 2.0-liter SkyActiv-G gas engine that mills 150 hp and 195 Nm of torque. This engine is mated to a SkyActiv-Drive 6-speed automatic gearbox with Sport Mode that sends power to the front wheels. Running on 16-inch rubbers, the car is supported by a MacPherson Strut at the front and torsion beam axle at the rear. As for overall dimensions, the CX-3 measures 4,275mm long, 1,765mm wide, and 1,535mm tall, with an unladen minimum ground clearance of 155mm.

The 2020 Kia Seltos is propelled by a 2.0-liter Atkinson gasoline engine that delivers 147 hp and 179 Nm. This engine is mated to an infinitely variable transmission (IVT), along with an onboard Drive Mode Select feature that includes five different driving modes (Smart, Eco, Comfort, Sport, and Custom). The Seltos employs an independent suspension that relies on a MacPherson setup and rides on 17-inch alloy wheels. The new Seltos measures 4,370mm long, 1,800mm wide, and 1,615mm tall (with roof rail), and has a minimum ground clearance of 170mm.

Winner: Kia Seltos

Trims, options and pricing

For the 2020 model year, Bermaz Auto Philippines, the exclusive distributor of Mazda in the country, reduce the number of CX-3 variants to just one trim: the Pro FWD. Previously, the CX-3 was offered in three different trims: the base Pro FWD, Sport FWD, and range-topping Activ AWD. The car comes in four color options: Ceramic, Eternal Blue, Machine Grey, and Mazda’s signature Soul Red.

2.0L SKYACTIV-G PRO PHP 1,300,000

The entire Seltos lineup is made up of three trims, which includes the low-rung LX, the mid-level EX, and the top trim SX. Color options include two-tone choices Starbright Yellow/Cherry Black and Clear White/Cherry Black and monotone finishes Starbright Yellow, Mars Orange, Dark Ocean Blue, Gravity Gray, and Iron Gray.

Kia Seltos 2.0 LX PHP 1,098,000
Kia Seltos 2.0 EX PHP 1,198,000
Kia Seltos 2.0 SX PHP 1,498,000

Winner: Kia Seltos

Comfort and safety


The layout of the Mazda CX-3 makes every effort to ensure everything is within the driver’s easy reach. The addition of a new armrest further provides enhanced driving comfort. Meanwhile, the standard SkyActiv-Vehicle Dynamics with G-Vectoring Control delivers a more relaxed and balanced driving feel by adjusting power delivery and shifting vehicle weight on initial turn-in and throughout the corner. Convenience at the rear cabin is enhanced by a rear center armrest with cupholders.

The 2020 CX-3 also now comes with an electric parking brake instead of a mechanical one, which drastically change the rear console’s layout. Other standard interior features include fabric-covered seats, leather steering wheel, push start/stop engine, and a 7-inch infotainment screen that runs on MZD Connect. Sadly, it isn’t compatible with either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto apps.

As for safety features, Mazda CX-3 is equipped with powe

rful ABS brakes, SRS airbags, Dynamic Stability Control, and a SkyActiv body that uses ultra-high tensile-strength steel to make the structure lighter, yet stiffer and stronger so that occupants are better protected in the event of a crash.

As you may have gleaned from the dimensions listed above, the Seltos interior is a spacious cabin that can fit five adults comfortably. Driver controls take on an intuitive and ergonomic design, with a head-up display providing the driver with vital trip information while ensuring eyes are on the road at all times. The roomy interior is boasts fabric-trimmed leather seats and tasteful appointments such as a 6-speaker, 8-inch infotainment system with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, automatic climate control (SX only), and smart entry and push start/stop (SX only).

Likewise, the 2020 Seltos comes equipped with a suite of standard safety features that you would expect to find exclusively in premium luxury vehicles, such as an advanced high strength steel (AHSS) body, front side and curtain airbags (SX only), electronic stability control (SX only) rear parking distance warning (SX only), rear camera display with rearview driving function, downhill brake control (SX only), hill-start assist control (SX only), and cruise control (SX, EX).

Winner: Kia Seltos


The CX-3 enjoys a 350-liter boot capacity when the rear seats are up. That number increases to 1,260 liters when the 60:40 folding seats are folded flat.

The Seltos’ second row is made up of 60:40-split folding seats, with a reclining seatback to provide rear passengers with more comfort. The seats can fold flat to the floor, allowing form more storage volume. The boot space of the Kia Seltos is 433 liters, which also comes with a two-step floor that can be used to increase storage space even further.

Winner: Kia Seltos

Final word

Judging from the four categories listed here, it looks like the 2020 Kia Seltos has the 2019 Mazda CX-3 beat in every aspect. And the downsizing of trims doesn’t help the CX-3 much in terms of options, either. Still, it would be a mistake to dismiss the CX-3, as it remains one of the best crossovers around in terms of style, tech, and reliability.

Also read: First Batch of Kia Seltos Units Now in PH
Kia PH Reveals Upcoming Kia Seltos' Prices Prior to November 6 Launch

KIA Seltos vs Mazda CX-3 Comparison

KIA Seltos
  • ₱1.153 - ₱1.505 Million
Mazda CX-3
  • ₱1.32 Million
KIA Seltos vs Mazda CX-3

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