New Mazda CX-3 & Renault Captur vs Seat Arona

Having been trounced by the Seat Arona, Mazda and Renault have revised their CX-3 and Captur small SUV offerings...

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What Car? team
04 December 2018

Mazda CX-3 rear driving
Mazda CX-3 rear driving

Buying and owning 

Costs, equipment, reliability, safety and security

As we’ve already pointed out, the Arona will cost you the least in monthly repayments if you sign up to a PCP finance agreement. Put down a £2000 deposit and, assuming you do around 10,000  miles a year, you’ll pay 36 monthly instalments of £220. The Captur will set you back £232 per month on the same terms, whereas the CX-3 will cost you £240.

If you’re a company car driver (and in the 40% tax bracket), the Arona and Captur will cost you almost exactly the same in monthly benefit-in-kind (BIK) salary sacrifices, whereas the CX-3 will cost around £45 per month more, largely due to its higher CO2 emissions.

If you’re in the fortunate position of being able to buy outright with cash, the Arona will cost you the least over three years of ownership. Surprisingly, the Captur and CX-3 will cost you about the same (around £1000 more than the Arona), because while the former is much cheaper to buy, the latter is predicted to hold on to its value far better.

Renault Captur rear driving

Despite being the cheapest, the Captur actually gives you the most standard luxuries. It’s the only one with climate control (rather than manual air conditioning), keyless entry and rain-sensing wipers as standard, although the Arona hits back with standard metallic paint. The CX-3 is the most stingily equipped and the only one without dusk-reactive lights.

When it comes to safety, the Arona scores highly for having automatic emergency braking as standard; this important feature isn’t even an option on the others. All three cars have been crash tested by Euro NCAP, but the results can’t be directly compared, because the Captur was tested way back in 2013, the CX-3 in 2015 and the Arona in 2017, and the marking criteria has changed significantly over the past five years.

What we can tell you, however, is that the CX-3 is poor at protecting adults sitting in the back from whiplash, while the Captur scored the lowest marks for pedestrian protection (the CX-3 was best).

Seat Arona rear driving

All three cars have Isofix mounts on their outer rear seats, while the Captur also has one on its front passenger seat (although young children are safer in the back). 

The CX-3 is alone in having an alarm to ward off thieves, although you can add one to the Arona for £165 and as a dealer-fit accessory to the Captur for £245.

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