Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Milwaukee, WI, USA
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
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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.
His: 2018 Mazda6 Grand Touring, Machine Grey Metallic
Hers: 2016 CX-5 Sport, FWD, Reflex Blue