If you want a fun a sporty small crossover that leans more towards driving fun rather than interior room and practicality, there are options out there but not many. The small sporty crossover is a bit of a contraction because crossovers tend to have higher ride heights and lesser amounts of driving fun as a result. But there are exceptions like the excellent new BMW X2 and the Mazda CX-3, both at vastly different price points. If you can't afford the rather pricey BMW, you can find similar driving fun and interior style and quality in the Mazda CX-3. Let's take a closer look at both of them to see how they stack up. 


bmw x2

The BMW X2 is new to the German brand's lineup, and it fills a niche that's rather unique. The X4 and X6 occupy a larger footprint and bear that similar chopped off roofline look. The X2 comes across as less of a crossover and more of a tall hatchback. The focus with the X2 is on driving dynamics, and it's definitely fun to helm. The turbocharged four makes it sports car fast, and the chassis and suspension keep it flat and planted in the turns. The interior is more luxury-sport, and everything looks clean and artful. The back window is pretty small, as is the back seat, but that's not why you buy the X2. It communicates a playful attitude with premium touches. Just don't look to move any furniture with it.

  • Price: $38,400 base MSRP
  • Engine: Turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 228 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: All-wheel drive
  • Performance: 0-60 mph in 6.4 seconds
  • EPA Mileage Rating: 21 mpg city / 31 mpg highway / 25 combined
  • Cargo Space: 21.6 cubic feet / 50.1 cubic feet (seats folded)

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Mazda CX-3


The CX-3 actually qualifies as a subcompact crossover based on its dimensions, and large inside it is not. The front seats are excellent for the first-row occupants, but the second row is very tight. The interior, however, is supremely well-done, as all current Mazdas are. The seating position is just right for the driver, and steering, handling, and braking are all top-notch. It's no land rocket because there's no turbocharging, but the CX-3's light weight and driving dynamics make it feel faster than it is. Top things off with an easy-to-use infotainment system and one of the best interiors for its price, and the CX-3 is an excellent affordable choice for small crossover fun. 

  • Price: $23,210 base MSRP
  • Engine: Turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder
  • Transmission: 6-speed automatic
  • Drivetrain: Front or all-wheel drive
  • Performance: 0-60 mph in 8.1 seconds
  • EPA Mileage Rating: 29 city / 34 highway / 31 combined (FWD)
  • Cargo Space: 12 cubic feet / 45 cubic feet (seats folded)

Find Local Discounts on the Mazda CX-3