Undecided on 2017 CX3/CX5-need help! - Mazda CX3 Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 03-03-2017, 04:32 PM Thread Starter
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Question Undecided on 2017 CX3/CX5-need help!

Hello Everyone, I too am looking at the CX 3 and the Cx5. And just like another thread I just read, I tend to research and research, until my head hurts. My husband and I both test drove a 2017 CX3 and CX5. Loved both of them. Did notice a lot of wind noise (CX5) on the highway from passenger windows, windows were up. CX3 noticed a lot of thumps every time we went over a bump in the road. (nothing real bad) LOVED driving them both. Husband leaned towards the CX5----me towards the CX3. We are in our 50's and I'm looking for great gas milage, AWD(for snow) and very important ---reliability!!!! We are still in the process of looking at other cars for example---(2017's AWD) Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, Honda HRV, Subaru Forester. To be fair we are still in the process of test driving. I be real I know all have pro's and con's. But I keep coming back to the CX3. Here is the main problem I keep having.....How dependable are the CX3's and Mazda in general?? I now have a 2011 Honda CRV with about 41,000 on it. Its been a decent ride so far. We keep up on regular maintenance and no major complaints. Although I have several things that annoy me at this point. (rattles and lack of power when passing on highways) I really want to try something different to buy this time around. When I do research on Mazda their reliability always seems to be just slightly average or below. Not too encouraging!!! I want a car to last a good 5-6 yrs and not leave me and my dog (a lab) stranded. I have seen earlier posts on a lot of tranny issues. (also have to see if there is enough room for my dog yet in the CX3) I will have to go back and test drive the two Mazda's again before I reach my final purchase. We are just a few months in starting this quest. So, in this forum you guys are my last resort. I don't know any one who has ever own a Mazda BUT you guys here do!!! So please tell me if Mazda is very dependable or is the CX3 to new to say yet? Also I think if I go for the CX3 is would be the Touring AWD model. Please any info would be helpful at this stage in the game. Any problems? A lot of the threads are older so not sure on any updates on the 2017? I am in no hurry still looking at all options. Thanks for reading!!!
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post #2 of 28 Old 03-03-2017, 06:04 PM
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Welcome to the forum Robin.

As a brand, I think Mazda are one of the rising stars. Since they have detached themselves from Ford, they have produced some fine cars and epitomise Japanese engineering. Whether cameras, TVs or cars, the Japanese are the masters of mass production. Now this question you raise is an interesting one. When they launched the CX-3 they took a brave step in filling a niche requirement for an ultra compact SUV. The obvious way was to use an existing platform and the only available fit was that from the Mazda 2. That is a big departure from the CX-5 which is the equivalent to the CRV you are running so keep that in mind. The CX-3 is the most modern and the most beautiful of the two but it is also still having some of the bugs weeded out. A brand new one will have all the latest mods built in and that means they are getting to be very reliable. The CX-5 is coming to the end of its current encarnation and is as evolved as it is going to be. There are very few problems with them. Mine is just coming up 11000 miles and a year old and has had zero defects. There will be a new model in spring so keep that in mind too. If the drivetrain and electrics are shared and only the body is new, that might provide the best of both worlds.

I have had the CX-3 and have now got a CX-5. It's the best car I've ever had. I liked the CX-3 but there were three main reasons I changed. I underestimated the lack of space. I hasten to add, I wasn't conned, I knew exactly how big it was but I thought I could manage with it and the mistake was mine. I found the suspension too soft - a legacy of the Mazda 2 underpinnings, and no matter how I tried, I found the seats just that bit too much bolstered and after a while I got very uncomfortable with it. There were other irritations. There were rattles and the spec a little spartan in some cases. Swapping it at 6 months was a big step and an expensive exercise. I had to admit defeat and was very apprehensive. It was in hindsight the best move I could have made. The car is amazing. It has astonishing performance and refinement. It has every conceivable extra and is well made. It represents so much better value than the CX-3 in terms of spec and extras. There are no rattles - none. It's better for me than the CX-3 but there are plenty of examples of CX-3 owners that are delighted with their purchase and it fits the bill so to some extent it's personal taste.

If I can answer any questions, fire away and the others here can guide you on longer term ownership of the CX-3.
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Formerly CX3 SportNav 1.5 diesel automatic and AWD.

All advice is given in good spirit and taken entirely at the readers own risk. WORK SAFELY. 2016 anchorman

.........and another thing"

Last edited by anchorman; 03-04-2017 at 05:02 PM.
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post #3 of 28 Old 03-03-2017, 06:13 PM
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I too was looking at both the CX3 & CX5 and decided with the 3 based on mostly the styling. I think the CX5 had a better ride and a lot more space, so it really depends on your preference. I bought my cx3 about a month before they released the pictures of the new CX5. in hindsight I wish I would waited to see those. Like anchorman said it might be worth waiting till spring for the new gen CX5 to come out and you would pretty much get the best of both of these cars. Good Luck!

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post #4 of 28 Old 03-03-2017, 07:44 PM
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I think if you wait a couple months there will be even more headache since Mazda is redesigning the CX-5, making it look absolutely gorgeous!

For me purely based on looks, if the choice was between the 2017 CX-3 and 2016.5 (as Mazda calls it) CX-5 I would go with the CX-3. But from the pictures of the upcoming 2017 CX-5 I've seen, I would more than likely go with that as opposed to the CX-3.

If reliability, ride comfort, space, noise is more of a concern, then the CX-5 is the choice, no matter which model year we're talking about.
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post #5 of 28 Old 03-03-2017, 08:23 PM
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Is budget a factor? There is a 4k USD spread between current comparable CX3 and CX5 GT models.
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post #6 of 28 Old 03-04-2017, 02:37 AM
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My 2.

The CX-3 is a fun little sporty car, with emphasis on little.

The CX-5 is a family SUV, with emphasis on family.

Her HR-V serves as our CX-5.

Finally, I feel the quality of materials, level of workmanship, etc. are significantly better in the Mazda than in the Hondas. Personally, if one car is to be shared by two, I'd probably wait for the 2017 CX-3. But the CX-3 would still be my first choice for fun.
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post #7 of 28 Old 03-04-2017, 09:32 AM
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I have both CX-3 (mine) and CX-5 (wife), both 2016 models. I second Anchorman's assessment, though I'm able to live with the cramped space. Having two vehicles in the family gives me the best of both worlds. We have the bigger car available when needed. 9/10 times it's just me in the CX-3 commuting to work.

My wife average around the same, sometimes better, fuel econ in the CX-5 (bigger 2.5L w/ same 6-speed automatic transmission as CX-3). The CX-5 is obviously bigger, heavier, yet still feels like the quicker car when you get on the gas hard. The extra 40-ish horsepower and whatever the difference in torque really is apparent. Part of that difference is the fact that our CX-5 is front-wheel drive and my CX-3 is all-wheel drive, so my car has more drive-train loss, too. It seems like a small thing, but the arm rest situation in the CX-5 is really far better sorted out than the flimsy thing in US spec CX-3's. And our CX-5, like Anchorman's, has none of the rattles from the dash/console/door areas like my CX-3 has. It's been in production much longer and has had enough design iterations and refinements to really sort out all these things to a high level of polish.

I have a few complaints with the CX-5, but all are minor nit-picks and none of these things are what I considered deal-breakers:
1. US spec models don't have XM radio capability (at least on the 2016 models, not sure about 2017's) on Sport or Touring trim unless you buy the optional Tech package. Standard only on the GT trim. This is weird, because I think XM radio function is standard on all of Mazda's other models. CX-5 seems to be the red-headed step child on this feature for whatever strange reasons.
2. No power seats (not sure about Touring and GT trims, but Sport model doesn't have it). Our old 2010 Subaru Forester had power driver's seat at least. CX-3 doesn't have power seats either on any trim level.
3. USB ports don't put out enough current to adequately charge most modern smart phones unless they're powered off. CX-3 has the same problem.
4. Electronic parking brake. Some people prefer this, and I admit it does save some room on the center console, but I prefer a manual/mechanical brake lever.
5. Tonneau cover for cargo area not included. Sold separately. Our old Forester was the same. Came included on my CX-3.
6. Base stereo in the Sport trim is really weaksauce. Bose system, while not something I'd consider "amazing" by any means, is a vast improvement over the base system.
7. I wish there was a power port in the cargo area and/or somewhere accessible in the back seat area. Same with CX-3. This can be added aftermarket if needed badly enough.
8. The rear seats don't fold down completely flat. Same with CX-3. Our old Forester and my old Mazda 6 hatch had same thing, too. It seems to be a rare feature to have seats that actually fold flat.
9. Sport model didn't come with heated seats. Not sure about Touring trim, but pretty sure GT trim has it. CX-3 Sport doesn't have heated seats either, but Touring and GT trims do. We had our dealer get an aftermarket seat heater installed in ours by one of their preferred installers on the driver seat only for around $200, I think, and it works well.
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His: 2016 CX-3 Touring, AWD, Ceramic Silver
Hers: 2016 CX-5 Sport, FWD, Reflex Blue
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post #8 of 28 Old 03-04-2017, 12:04 PM Thread Starter
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First of all I wish to thank each of you for your comments! All of you have gone far and beyond my expectations of this forum. WOW!!!! Right now we have our Cleveland Auto Show going on this weekend, so we are headed off later to see all. Maybe they will have a new 2017 CX5 there??? I'm diffidently waiting till much later to make my decision......perhaps this Fall even? I'm going to have to reread all of these posts and digest them slowly. It really is a very hard choice!!!! All of you ROCK!!!! I will keep you all posted! AGAIN THANKS FOR YOUR WONDERFUL ADVICE! I'm sure I will be having more questions coming! ( Correction on my first post.....we test drove a 2016 or 2016.5 CX5....sorry about that I said 2017.)
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post #9 of 28 Old 03-04-2017, 03:05 PM
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I'm in the same boat Robin. I was all set on the CX-3 GT and am planning on test driving one today, but then I saw photos of the upcoming 2017 CX-5 and that changed everything. I prefer the styling of the CX-3 over the current iteration of the CX-5, but if the 2017 looks anything like the photos I'm going to have a tough time going with the CX-3.
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post #10 of 28 Old 03-04-2017, 11:09 PM Thread Starter
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Went to the car show today.......no 2017 CX5. (sigh) I was hoping. Mazda reps didn't tell me anything new that everyone here already did! So now I wait for the new CX5 to appear in the next few months. How was the test drive Mr_Snrub?
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