CX-3 vs. CX-5 - Mazda CX3 Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 12-25-2018, 07:40 AM Thread Starter
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CX-3 vs. CX-5

I'm in the market for my first ever new car and am completely stumped between the two. I need the AWD so other models are out of the question and I love the KODO design and interior of both.

MSRP had about a 2K difference between GT trims of both (for CX-3 I'm including activesense too since that is standard on the 5 GT). At a 2K difference I'd just as soon get the bigger, more comfortable 5. However, I'm getting quotes on the 3 for thousands off, compared to 300-400 off for the 5. Thus making the new difference about 4.5-5K.

I plan on having the car for about 10 years andinro.in/watch-movies-online/ inro.in/cyberghost/ inro.in/expressvpn/ I don't anticipate needing the extra space (i.e. Start a family) during that time. It's making it really hard to justify that much extra cash for space I don't need even if it would be a better long term "future proof" choice.

I've test driven both and thought the cx-3 was nice but obviously the 5 was more comfortable. Would love to hear from any cx-3 or 5 owners on their thoughts.

Edit: primary use is daily driver around Denver, weekend trips to mountains (avid hiker), several long trips each year to see family in Kansas City and Austin

Last edited by PetterJhon; 12-25-2018 at 04:37 PM.
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post #2 of 6 Old 12-25-2018, 07:38 PM
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I’ve had both after coming from a succession of RAV4s.

When I bought the CX3 I loved it but it soon became apparent that I’d made a mistake on a couple of counts. It sits on a Mazda 2 chassis and wasn’t quite beefy enough to handle thedrive to work where I regularly bottomed it out on speed bumps. My next problem came about with a change of circumstances where I found I was putting adults in the rear of the car which was restrictive for me as I sit right back and needed to squeeze up under the wheel. There were some iffy build quality issues with rattles which could irritate at times.

I need to point out that I wasn’t tricked or fooled into buying that car and especially now they’ve revisited it with amendments like the EPB and less bolstered seats, I’d love one as a second car if it wasn’t too much of an extravagance.

You get a lot more car for your money with a CX5 and it addresses just about all of my gripes that led to me coming away from the CX3.

What I would say is drive them both and see what you think.

Currently CX5 SportNav 2.2 diesel automatic and AWD.
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. ©2018 anchorman

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post #3 of 6 Old 12-26-2018, 02:47 PM
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2k isn't a big difference. But I have great interest in CX5. Because of the latest model. If I buy this one for me then obviously it would be CX5.
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post #4 of 6 Old 12-26-2018, 04:42 PM
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We had both CX-3 and CX-5 in my garage at the same time. CX-3 was mine, CX-5 is my wife's. Both 2016 models. For my needs (family of 4, two kids). CX-3 was okay most of the time. 90% of the time it was just me in the car commuting to/from work. I didn't require the extra space most times. I could still get all four of us in the car without too much trouble because my kids are still small enough, they can get by with less leg room. We had the CX-5 for times were we needed more cargo room.

Here's some cases where I would NOT get the CX-3.

1. If there's any chance you might have a baby in the time you'll own the car. Getting a rear-facing baby seat in the back will not be easy without putting at least one of the front seats quite far forward.

2. I used to take guitar lessons and my Les Paul guitar would not fit in the cargo area without folding at least one of the back seats down. I instead usually just set it in the front seat foot area with the neck resting against the seat base (I have it in a hard case). I got by this way most of the time, but it was a bit annoying. This was just a one-day per week situation. Not something I wanted to get rid of the car over, but some people may find this a bigger problem than I did. If you anticipate a same or similar situation, go for the CX-5.

3. I'll second Anchorman's comments on build quality and cabin noise. The CX-3 developed a bunch of minor, but annoying, rattles that I never took the time to sort out. It didn't give some of my co-workers a great impression when a new car was making so many noises when we'd go to lunch. Our CX-5 has developed a few minor noises as well, but it took more miles for it to happen, and I think at least some of that is from all the assorted random junk my wife and kids keep in her car at all times.

4. I was surprised to find that my wife gets nearly the same fuel economy in her CX-5 (FWD) as I got in my CX-3 (AWD). I was only getting maybe 1-2 MPG better fuel econ, though I was also doing so with AWD vs. her FWD. I was anticipating a little better fuel econ than I got. If I'd known when I bought it that the fuel econ was going to be basically the same, this might have weighed on my purchasing decision a little heavier. I found that I was often pushing the gas pedal harder on the CX-3 to get it to move. Our CX-5 requires less of the right foot to get it moving.

5. Consider the 2019 Mazda 3. Will be out early next year if you can wait a few months. They're allegedly offering an AWD version, not sure if it will be available at launch or if they will delay it to coincide with the release of the SkyActive-X engine which might not be out until a mid-year update. Having AWD was, to me, the only advantage the CX-3 had over the Mazda 3. The 3 is otherwise better in almost every way, at least on paper. About same price. 3 is a bit bigger inside and out. Almost the same ground clearance. More HP and somewhat better real world fuel econ despite the bigger engine. If an AWD 3 was available in 2016, it would have been a no-brainer for me to buy the 3 instead of the CX-3.

6. BOTH our CX-3 and CX-5 had failures of the entertainment system computers. Same failure mode where the system gets stuck in a boot loop and eventually fails completely. Mazda replaced the CMU's on both cars under warranty. We got lucky with the CX-5 because it failed just a month before extended warranty we bought expired due to mileage. That would have been over a $1000 repair, so the warranty was worth the cost in our case. This was enough to have me second-guessing about buying Mazda again when I had to get another car earlier this year after my CX-3 got totaled. Do I want to take another chance on the Mazda infotainment system? We're 2-for-2 now on this MazdaConnect system in having total failures. It should be noted that the CX-3 and CX-5 we had were built within about a month of each other, so it's possible they both had CMU's from the same batch of bad parts from the manufacturer. Ultimately, I ended up picking up a 2018 Mazda 6 GT on a lease.


Overall, we've been happy with both the CX-3 and CX-5. I wasn't happy enough with the CX-3 to get another one when it came time to replace mine. I went with the 6 instead. In retrospect, it probably would have been better to get the 6 back in 2015. With all the aggressive incentives they were offering at the time, the 6 would have been a couple thousand dollars cheaper than the shiny new CX-3 at the time and I would have saved some money on gas along the way too. AWD was only ever a significant benefit on a handful of days during my ownership. If I'm still enjoying my 6 at the end of my lease, I'll probably buy it out. I leased it in April and so far, I'm very happy with it. The only thing I don't like is the mileage restrictions of my lease, or I'd be out enjoying it even more! I should have negotiated more miles/year on the lease terms. I was planning to use my wife's CX-5 on more of our driving than I have been. At the rate I'm going, I'll be over my limit by around 1-2K miles per year.

His: 2018 Mazda6 Grand Touring, Machine Grey Metallic
Hers: 2016 CX-5 Sport, FWD, Reflex Blue
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-21-2019, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Vipre77 View Post
We had both CX-3 and CX-5 in my garage at the same time. CX-3 was mine, CX-5 is my wife's. Both 2016 models. For my needs (family of 4, two kids). CX-3 was okay most of the time. 90% of the time it was just me in the car commuting to/from work. I didn't require the extra space most times. I could still get all four of us in the car without too much trouble because my kids are still small enough, they can get by with less leg room. We had the CX-5 for times were we needed more cargo room.

Here's some cases where I would NOT get the CX-3.

1. If there's any chance you might have a baby in the time you'll own the car. Getting a rear-facing baby seat in the back will not be easy without putting at least one of the front seats quite far forward.

2. I used to take guitar lessons and my Les Paul guitar would not fit in the cargo area without folding at least one of the back seats down. I instead usually just set it in the front seat foot area with the neck resting against the seat base (I have it in a hard case). I got by this way most of the time, but it was a bit annoying. This was just a one-day per week situation. Not something I wanted to get rid of the car over, but some people may find this a bigger problem than I did. If you anticipate a same or similar situation, go for the CX-5.

3. I'll second Anchorman's comments on build quality and cabin noise. The CX-3 developed a bunch of minor, but annoying, rattles that I never took the time to sort out. It didn't give some of my co-workers a great impression when a new car was making so many noises when we'd go to lunch. Our CX-5 has developed a few minor noises as well, but it took more miles for it to happen, and I think at least some of that is from all the assorted random junk my wife and kids keep in her car at all times.

4. I was surprised to find that my wife gets nearly the same fuel economy in her CX-5 (FWD) as I got in my CX-3 (AWD). I was only getting maybe 1-2 MPG better fuel econ, though I was also doing so with AWD vs. her FWD. I was anticipating a little better fuel econ than I got. If I'd known when I bought it that the fuel econ was going to be basically the same, this might have weighed on my purchasing decision a little heavier. I found that I was often pushing the gas pedal harder on the CX-3 to get it to move. Our CX-5 requires less of the right foot to get it moving.

5. Consider the 2019 Mazda 3. Will be out early next year if you can wait a few months. They're allegedly offering an AWD version, not sure if it will be available at launch or if they will delay it to coincide with the release of the SkyActive-X engine which might not be out until a mid-year update. Having AWD was, to me, the only advantage the CX-3 had over the Mazda 3. The 3 is otherwise better in almost every way, at least on paper. About same price. 3 is a bit bigger inside and out. Almost the same ground clearance. More HP and somewhat better real world fuel econ despite the bigger engine. If an AWD 3 was available in 2016, it would have been a no-brainer for me to buy the 3 instead of the CX-3.

6. BOTH our CX-3 and CX-5 had failures of the entertainment system computers. Same failure mode where the system gets stuck in a boot loop and eventually fails completely. Mazda replaced the CMU's on both cars under warranty. We got lucky with the CX-5 because it failed just a month before extended warranty we bought expired due to mileage. That would have been over a $1000 repair, so the warranty was worth the cost in our case. This was enough to have me second-guessing about buying Mazda again when I had to get another car earlier this year after my CX-3 got totaled. Do I want to take another chance on the Mazda infotainment system? We're 2-for-2 now on this MazdaConnect system in having total failures. It should be noted that the CX-3 and CX-5 we had were built within about a month of each other, so it's possible they both had CMU's from the same batch of bad parts from the manufacturer. Ultimately, I ended up picking up a 2018 Mazda 6 GT on a lease.


Overall, we've been happy with both the CX-3 and CX-5. I wasn't happy enough with the CX-3 to get another one when it came time to replace mine. I went with the 6 instead. In retrospect, it probably would have been better to get the 6 back in 2015. With all the aggressive incentives they were offering at the time, the 6 would have been a couple thousand dollars cheaper than the shiny new CX-3 at the time and I would have saved some money on gas along the way too. AWD was only ever a significant benefit on a handful of days during my ownership. If I'm still enjoying my 6 at the end of my lease, I'll probably buy it out. I leased it in April and so far, I'm very happy with it. The only thing I don't like is the mileage restrictions of my lease, or I'd be out enjoying it even more! I should have negotiated more miles/year on the lease terms. I was planning to use my wife's CX-5 on more of our driving than I have been. At the rate I'm going, I'll be over my limit by around 1-2K miles per year.
I am finding the same for room on my 2016 CX-3 but it is just me and my wife so we have the room for the two of us.
Question though is what happened that your CX-3 was totaled? Any pictures? How was it safety wise?

Thanks, Dave
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-24-2019, 03:35 PM
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I have the CX-3. I wanted a smaller car coming from an 05 Acura TL. I certainly got that. It's great to zip around the city. I do wish I had gone to the CX-5 just for more space.
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