Incredible! No Power Seat! - Mazda CX3 Forum
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post #1 of 58 Old 09-04-2015, 04:56 PM Thread Starter
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Incredible! No Power Seat!

I waited for months for the CX-3 to arrive. Finally, last week, found the exact car I wanted (AWD, Grand Touring, Red) and went to do a test drive. To my astonishment (shared by the saleswoman), it had no power seat for the driver. As a result, I sat way too low for a decent view of the road. SOoooo disappointing.

I'm a very short person, currently drive a VW Tiguan stick shift. That doesn't have a power seat either, but the manual adjusts to a great driving position, so who cares. Unfortunately, the CX-3 does NOT adjust enough, so I care a lot. I previously test drove the CX-5 and found the same problem with the Sport version, which had only a manual seat. The Touring and Grand Touring power seats were fine, however, so I assumed the same would be true for the CX-3 (and I really wanted something smaller than the CX-5).

As a result, I'm out of the market for this year. Hoping against hope that Mazda with fix this and add a power driver's seat to the CX-3. I'd prefer a more powerful engine as well, but would buy in as is if I could see the road well enough.

Anyone else see this as an absurd flaw?
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post #2 of 58 Old 09-04-2015, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Elizabeth Devlin View Post
I waited for months for the CX-3 to arrive. Finally, last week, found the exact car I wanted (AWD, Grand Touring, Red) and went to do a test drive. To my astonishment (shared by the saleswoman), it had no power seat for the driver. As a result, I sat way too low for a decent view of the road. SOoooo disappointing.

I'm a very short person, currently drive a VW Tiguan stick shift. That doesn't have a power seat either, but the manual adjusts to a great driving position, so who cares. Unfortunately, the CX-3 does NOT adjust enough, so I care a lot. I previously test drove the CX-5 and found the same problem with the Sport version, which had only a manual seat. The Touring and Grand Touring power seats were fine, however, so I assumed the same would be true for the CX-3 (and I really wanted something smaller than the CX-5).

As a result, I'm out of the market for this year. Hoping against hope that Mazda with fix this and add a power driver's seat to the CX-3. I'd prefer a more powerful engine as well, but would buy in as is if I could see the road well enough.

Anyone else see this as an absurd flaw?
It was a deal killer for my wife as well.



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post #3 of 58 Old 09-04-2015, 05:57 PM
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How tall are you ? Just wondering because we might be interested in the CX3 and my wife is only 5' tall.

Where you able to adjust to the max height by pumping the lever?
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post #4 of 58 Old 09-04-2015, 10:16 PM
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I'm ~5'3" and have an eight-vertebrae spinal fusion with acute spinal deformities. Most of the height I have is in my legs with a shortened torso, so almost EVERY car gives me visibility issues. Unfortunately Mazdas tend to have a low seating position (get a little closer/grip the road a bit more for the "Zoom-zoom"). Fortunately the CX-3 is a very easy car to work on if you want to raise the seat.

The front seats are held in place by four threaded bolts going through two rails into threaded holes. There are no nuts or fasteners on the other side and the studs are not chassis-welded as in some cars. The bolt heads are simple torx head. You can get a complete set of sockets at any hardware store.

The bolts are factory tight, so expect to have to use a good bit of force or use a cheater bar on a socket wrench (we didn't need the bar and a standard wrench was enough leverage, but ladies might need the extra "oomph" to get it loose). Then we stuck 1/4" thick, 1" internal diameter tube steel blocks under the rails. The material was what just happened to be handy on the scrap pile and easy to work with a bandsaw. We secured the seat back in place with longer bolts of some laughably high grade I can't even remember, but they're above aircraft grade. I happen to work near Boeing, so there are fastener suppliers with crazy materials everywhere. I wouldn't go to Home Depot and get the cheapest galvanized shed bolt you can find, but anything of good tensile strength should do fine. Someone here may know the exact characteristics. The important thing is to make sure you match the thread exactly, so if you take the bolt in to the fastener store and/or verify the thread with calipers you should be OK.

I asked my dealer about this when purchasing the car, and they said it was not an issue. Another important thing to bear in mind is not changing the throw/range of the seat rails. Mazdas have a sensor that measures the seat's distance from the steering wheel for things like deploying the airbags. So if you need to sit higher, this should be OK. If you need to sit closer, there might be other issues. I honestly think this is safer, as my head and torso are now in a much more normal position for things like side/head airbag deployment. And the materials we used are so strong I know they won't prove the weak point in any crash I'm likely to survive.

And that's the final thing to bear in mind. With my massive extant problems and bone density, any kind of crash that deploys all the airbags or threatens to rip the seat loose is likely to kill or cripple me *anyway*, and I wanna drive this car comfortably- so I YOLO'ed it up. I am not a lawyer or expert on car safety regulations in your area- just some short guy on the Internet (I mean, uhhh... billionaire Marine astronaut cowboy Sasquatch wrestler, PhD). You may have different concerns and should talk to your dealer or a professional shop in your area, but this was quick, cheap, and easy.

Here's a picture. I know this is raw steel and we're going to take it back out to treat the blocks so I don't get rust stains inside, but we were just aiming for a proof of concept and to see how it worked. Works great. If you *really* can't see out I wouldn't buy based on what you "might" be able to do, but I just wanted to show how it can be overcome and say it's a lot easier than it is in other vehicle brands/models.

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post #5 of 58 Old 09-05-2015, 03:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Elizabeth Devlin View Post
I waited for months for the CX-3 to arrive. Finally, last week, found the exact car I wanted (AWD, Grand Touring, Red) and went to do a test drive. To my astonishment (shared by the saleswoman), it had no power seat for the driver.
Anyone else see this as an absurd flaw?
No 'power seat'...but you can adjust it 'up'. I could. There are two levers...the one at the back as I recall let me adjust the height up.
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post #6 of 58 Old 09-05-2015, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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Just under 5'; Seat Adjusted to Max, Still not enough

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Originally Posted by xwedge View Post
How tall are you ? Just wondering because we might be interested in the CX3 and my wife is only 5' tall.

Where you able to adjust to the max height by pumping the lever?
Sorry to say it is unlikely the CX3 will work for your 5' tall wife. I'm an inch under 5', but my legs are short and my torso more like someone 5'3". I ratched-up the seat as far as possible, but still not high enough for my taste.

I'm very familiar with this style of seat, since it is what I have in my current vehicle, a VW Tiguan. Unfortunately, the Mazdas do not come up as high as the Tiguan at max height, hence the problem.

I can't fathom why Mazda designed a small car that a small person can't drive comfortably.

Re the suggestion (given by another poster) to adjust the seat bolts, I'm unwilling to buy a car that has to be retrofitted to allow me to drive it. I'm hoping that Mazda will hear enough complaints on this issue to fix it soon, or at the very least by the next model year.

Last edited by Elizabeth Devlin; 09-05-2015 at 01:25 PM. Reason: typos
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post #7 of 58 Old 09-05-2015, 02:09 PM
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I'm 5'2 and have no issues with the height level, granted I have it pumped up all the way. Though I did enjoy testing out the powers seats when I sat in the 2016 GT CX-5 at the auto show.


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post #8 of 58 Old 09-06-2015, 02:07 AM
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That spacer was a smart move and something that should only cost a few bucks!

I've had vehicles with and without power seats so for me this is something I can put up with.
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post #9 of 58 Old 01-27-2016, 01:57 AM
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Same problem! I'm a 5'5" woman.
I have a brand new 2015 CX3.
It was surprising the seats are manual instead of power; especially in view of all the other cool stuff.
I didn't care until the highest level was not high enough!
Right now I'm sitting on a cushion until I take it to the dealer's to have it checked out.
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post #10 of 58 Old 01-27-2016, 02:23 PM
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I miss a lumbar. For the most part my wife doesn't have as much of a problem getting comfy, but she does lift the seat as high as it will go. If she was the full time driver, I would have to look at spacers as well.
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