Used 2016 Mazda CX-3 Consumer Reviews

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$13,687 - $19,957

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The perfect car.

Giuliano, 12/28/2015
Grand Touring 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
7 of 8 people found this review helpful

I've had this car for three weeks and I love it, traded from a 2011 Mazda 3 Grand Touring Hatchback. The technology is amazing in this car. The power is great for a car in this class, it handles beautiful around the bends thanks with the help of the AWD system, paddle shifters and sport mode. The cargo space is a little small then expected, can't fit no more than three people, which doesn't bother me. They do need to make the gas tank bigger. 11.9 gallons is very small for a crossover with an AWD system. It should a 14 gallon tank. I get an average of 32 MPG. They also need to fix the heads up display. It will only display how fast you are going and the cruise control speed. In order for the navigation directions to show up, you need to add the i-active package which is another $2,500 bucks, and surpsingly enough, there's no power seats. Which is a bit of a downer. Other then that, its a great car.

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CX-3 -- what the reviews don't mention

redward, 08/10/2016
Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
53 of 77 people found this review helpful

The CX-3 Touring looks great in all the reviews -- the long snout , SUV styling, AWD, loud exhaust note, nice price, etc. But after driving one for 6 months, I find that it is loaded with badly executed features and controls that are a continuing source of irritation and discomfort. The long hoodline is eye-catching but it translates to a back seat that barely has room for a young teenager, much less for a tall adult, and the rear cargo area is minimal compared to my previous hatchback, a Hyundai Elantra GT hatchback. The GT was far superior to the CX-3 in roominess, interior styling, controls, handy features and lots of storage areas. The CX-3 has almost no functional front storage areas -- the cupholders are underneath a squeaky, creaky cheap plastic armrest, which is in the driver's way whether it's raised or lowered -- lots of fun to tackle when you're driving and you want a sip of your coffee. Nav system graphics features maps that are almost unusable -- road names, instead of being placed alongside or within each street they are featured in big white boxes with an arrow pointing to the street. In a crowded area, the screen is a mess of white boxes, obliterating any sense of where you are, floating aimlessly across the screen — totally amateur graphics unlike any I've ever seen. Mazda also gets demerits for being one of the few manufacturers that did NOT include Apple CarPlay software in the 2016 CX-3 which enables you to hook up an iPhone and use it through the audio system. Mazda software takes forever to boot up on starting, showing not even a simple clock until your journey is well underway. The accelerator is jumpy and gives jackrabbit starts, which hotshot reviewers seem to love, but in heavy bumper to bumper traffic, hair-trigger acceleration is an accident waiting to happen. The brakes are fine, but grab as you come to a stop -- making it seem like you've stopped too short. The interior is filled with cheap, low quality plastics that are noisy and flimsy -- sunglasses in the overhead holder rattle like crazy since there is no rubber cushioning to absorb the considerable road vibrations. Two deep cubbyholes in the front doors allow full access only if you get down on the floor and reach backwards to retrieve the objects that have rolled back there. The standard floor mats are made of thin, tacky spun material. Cabin noise levels on smooth surfaces and low speeds are acceptable, but increase rapidly on asphalt/gravel combination roads which are common in our area. Road noise combines with considerable wind noise at turnpike speeds to make music listening or conversation a chore. The controls for the audio system are located just UNDER the front of the armrest, requiring you twist your hand down and back in order to connect with them — a really stupid design. The cool sounding exhaust becomes a screeching bellow when you hit the gas for strong acceleration -- I suspect it may be artificially enhanced since the CX-3 is not a high performance vehicle. The automatic transmission is set up to downshift even on slow accelerations -- another attempt to add "zoom zoom" to your driving experience, like it or not. Stupid things like the windshield washers hitting low on the windshield, preventing the right 1/3 of the windshield from ever getting cleaned, leaving annoying streaks every time. Two dealers checked them and said there is no way to correct the aim, and checking other vehicles showed the same problem! The drivers’ side all weather rubber floor mat pops off the guide pins repeatedly, causing the mat to shift around and tangle with the pedals -- a potentially serious safety problem. Again, two dealers checked it and said "Yup, the mat doesn't fit the pins." A new set of mats showed the same problem since the pins, attached to the floor of my car, are off by almost ½ inch, causing the mat to spring loose. (Neither dealer offered any further action on these items.) The dashboard information is conveyed by intense white LEDs creating tiny lettering that is difficult to read while driving. The intensity control for lighting is a strange, raw metal post sticking straight out of the dash that offers only too high or too low light levels. Most important information is displayed by tiny, sometimes incoherent icons that are difficult to read -- dozens of them, and their minuscule size escapes notice if you are not constantly scanning the blacked out icon area. None of these problems are game changers, but they add up to a car that seems like it was rushed into production without much checking to see how the ergonomics of the design worked out. The Hyundai GT had many more convenience features that were all nicely designed and rendered -- for instance, a smooth power roof compared to Mazda's cheap plastic manual slider with a glass panel that rises just an inch and produces too much wind noise. The Elantra GT was a lot more car for the money. Sold it after 8 mos. at huge loss, bought a Honda HR-V. Nice.

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Mazda CX-3 - great subcompact crossover

Scott Zeigen, 12/26/2015
Grand Touring 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
7 of 9 people found this review helpful

If you want a small SUV that easily moves around other larger cars on the road that get in your way ... this is the one. I have had it for over 12,000 miles now, getting 24 MPG. The fold down seats do give you more cargo room. I really miss having a turbo engine. I was driving a manual transmission VW Beetle for 15 years, so I generally turn on the manual gear selection on this automatic. The paddle shifters work great except when you go around the corner when you must use the console shifter instead However, if you need more rear cargo get the CX-5 or larger CX-7. Issues: The lane change warning indicator goes off for no reason quite often and is annoying; there is no way to turn it off! The touch screen cannot be used if the car of going over 5 miles per hour and you have to look down to see the knob and buttons (this to me is more dangerous than touching the screen).

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Little Dynamo

Magdalo, 01/12/2017
Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

This CUV is not for everybody. It is a driver's car for someone who appreaciates being behind the wheel. It is for the driver who likes aggressive styling and enjoys the twist and turns of daily travels. After 24 months and 12500 miles, there's so much to love about the CX3. The exterior / interior is always pleasant to look at and build quality is still very satisfying. All-whell drive system is very capable during snowy months. I-Activsense driving aids are helpful if not overly sensitive, especially the blind-spot monitor. Fuel economy is an average of 24.1 combined. Bose sound system could be better and navigation was updated once by the dealer for minor issue. Overall, the CX3 is still a very stylish, engaging, and capable CUV.

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Mazda CX-3 Easily the Best Subcompact SUV

Chuck C, 03/30/2018
Sport 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

My factory warranty is about to expire, and I've had just a single problem. Early on, the blower developed a bothersome whine - not loud - on just one of the speed settings. My dealer replaced the blower and it never happened again. The CX-3 is a lot of fun to drive, but if cargo space is a priority, this vehicle may not be for you. Take the time to learn about the Mazda suite of Skyactiv technologies (there are animated videos on the Internet), before you take all your test drives. That information should help to convince you. Mazda's engineers are the best in the business.

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Fun to Drive, Not to Own

Amanda, 12/20/2018
Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
6 of 8 people found this review helpful

I have owned my Mazda CX-3 for a little over three years and have driven approximately 57,000 miles. When I first purchased the car I was driving approximately 40 miles a day, all highway. With that being said, I haven't needed to replace any tires yet and only had to replace my break pads (which weren't even ready for replacement) at around 54,000 miles. That is some solid value right there. Word to the wise - do not buy the navigation system from the dealership, you can easily get an SD card off Amazon (for $99) and have a fully equipped navigation system for a fraction of the price. All of Mazda's cars have the built in programming / setup for the navigation system. The car is small. Fuel tank is 10 gallons or so but there is a reserve gallon so I am constantly filling up, averaging 30 mpg (highway and city driving) but only having 9 gallons in the car is pretty tight. Plus side is that every time I fill my tank it only costs around $25. Further in regards to the car being so small, the only comfortable seats are the driver and passenger. The back seat feels like the 3rd row of a much larger vehicle and is fit for a small child. Going on a shopping spree? Trunk barely fits a carry-on suitcase. However, if you lay down the back seats, there's a little bit more room. My Hyundai Elantra or Civic had more trunk / passenger space than this "Crossover SUV". There isn't even a center console, just an arm rest that sits above the cupholders so if you have a beverage, you cannot rest your arm. As far as reliability, I do not commend Mazda on this. The A/C on my car went at around 25,000 miles (thankfully it was still covered under its warranty) and took at least 2 weeks to fix because the parts were not in. Around 14 months after, the A/C went again, this time not covered under warranty and was an almost $800 fix during the middle of a heatwave in August. There was a "Lift-Gate" recall on this car which Mazda fixed, free of charge, of course. However, after they fixed this there have been issues of water sitting in the door of the trunk which flooded the license plate lamp and blew it out. The lamp seems to be glued shut and neither myself or my body-shop/mechanic was able to replace, when mentioned to my local dealer, they just shrugged it off. There was issues with the condensation in the headlamps and most recently, engine issues, which is covered under PowerTrain Warranty, however, Mazda does not have the time or availability of rental cars to fix the engine in a timely manner. Driving this car is fun, but in terms of "big fixes," and cost of ownership, it's just not worth it. Maybe I got a lemon but it seems that for a new car there's been quite a few big problems and I could only imagine what would be coming down the pipeline the older the car gets. I am going to be trading it in for something more reliable and I'd recommend only getting this car if you are leasing it.

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Cute car but not for us

Alan Onibus, 03/02/2019
Sport 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
4 of 5 people found this review helpful

If this car would have been less noisy inside and without blind spots I would have bought it. It’s a such a good looking little car with great features. It was fun to drive and it gets good gas mileage too. It is probably a great car for a single person but considering the kids in back seat plus blind spots, it seemed like a poor choice. I also wished Mazda made the next trim level up that has blind spot monitoring with fabric seats. We ended up getting next the size up cx-5 and are loving it so far.

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Love driving the Mazda CX3

DeYoung, 09/16/2015
Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
43 of 73 people found this review helpful

PROs: Fun, fun, fun to drive. It seems that you can almost think your way around corners. The car feels great on the road and is very responsive. The interior is very, very nice. The cabin is quiet (compared to the HRV and other similar cars I test drove) and has a very high quality feel. CONs: Cargo space is limited with the back seats up. (decent with the back seats down) I have only had the car a couple weeks but so far, I absolutely love it. I will update the review after driving it longer.

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49k miles driven

Jim C., 12/24/2015
Grand Touring 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
5 of 7 people found this review helpful

Great car, loaded with goodies The back seat room is tight as expected, If you don't like little footprints on the back of the front seats, then this car is not for you! Paint is too soft, chips easily. The only issue I have had is the radio/ Navigation. The system tends to reboot on its own from time to time when the USB ports are being used. Dealer could not reproduce the problem! (Repaired with firmware update.) Update: a/c condenser failed at 42k Mazda assisted in repair paying 1k for. $ 1400.00 job Rear bearing seal replaced under powertrain warranty.

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Perfect as a city car

Analogthought, 01/16/2020
Sport 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

After initially purchasing a Honda CR-V while living in Brooklyn New York and driving it around for a week, it quickly became apparent that finding parking for a vehicle that size coupled with the lower end MPG for city driving, that a different vehicle might be a better choice. I initially considered the Scion IA due to being drawn to the interior, but wanted something with more cargo room. This was how I stumbled onto the CX-3. After eight months of driving it and several long distance trips later, I can safely say that overall I really enjoy this car on many levels but definitely have had enough time to find the faults. As mentioned, the interior is something I really appreciate about this car. The seats offer decent comfort but lack lumbar support for long drives. The ability to adjust the height of the drivers seat helps to find the best position but at six feet tall, I still sometimes find myself feeling a little cramped with everything adjusted as far back as it will go. I own the sport model, so no arm rest is included. After some quick research I have found one can purchased online for around $125 and fairly easily self-installed, however after reading various reviews the cost doesn't seem worth it. I was initially concerned about blindspots through the small rear window as some have commented on, but I have yet to find any issues with that short of what's more expected with the blindspots being relegated to the sides of the vehicle. The standard back up camera included certainly helps with parallel parking and backing up in tight spaces while driving in the city. From the start I wasn't much of a fan of the Mazda Connect infotainment system. It works but felt dated and a little laggy in responsiveness. This was easily corrected by purchasing and installing the Apple CarPlay kit, something that some quick YouTube searching made much easier to do thanks to step by step instructions. The navigation that came with the vehicle works off of an SD card which seems to get updated annually via Mazda, so having the addition of Waze/Google Maps has been invaluable as I found there were several times that the built in Nav was behind in terms of street closures and route changes. In the hottest weather the AC takes approximately as long as in cold weather for the heat to get hot as it does to cool off. In both cases, expect to wait between 15 to 20 minutes. Nothing unbearable, but in extreme temps of either direction, I've found other vehicle to perform better. Exterior styling seems current enough to stay fresh for years to come, definitely impressed on that front. I will also add my opinion to the list of others that find the paint job on the exterior prone to scratching pretty easily. The only actual issues I have with this vehicle is leaking in the hatch with water collecting in the reverse light built into the hatch lid, something others have experienced as well it seems. Something to check out when considering buying one of these. My other issue is the lack of rear cargo space. First impressions was that it would be doable and fine, but while in use over the past 8 months, there have been several times it was just a bit smaller than I would have liked. Just purchasing groceries (for one) can fill up the rear space pretty quickly. Gas mileage has exceed expectations with it taking just over two full tanks of gas to drive from NYC to Atlanta. Each fill up currently costing around $28. The suspension could be a little softer and sometimes feels very rigid when going over potholes or bumps in the road. Acceleration when merging onto highways is fine, but be prepared to utilize the sport mode option. In the cooler weather, the windows tend to fog up pretty badly but nothing that the climate control system can't pretty quickly fix. Backseat space is tight but feedback from adult passengers on a longer drive was that it wasn't as bad as many others have mentioned. In looking for any other faults with this vehicle, the only other thing I can think of is the severe lack of storage in the front seating area. There are large door storage areas, two cup holders in the center and very small area under the built in CD player (too small to fit anything larger than the smallest iPhone). Do I love my car and am I happy with my purchase 8 months later, yes, absolutely. Does it have it's faults, yes, absolutely. Would I buy another one? Yes, but I think my next Mazda would be the CX-30 in looking for that extra bit of space on the interior.

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