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Discussion Starter #1
I have an 18 year old Mazda Protege that needs replacement. I have been very satisfied with it, except for the shock absorbers, that needed frequent, expensive, replacement. The rest is still perfect, not even a squeak.

It is time to move to an AWD small SUV. I am considering the CX-3 as well as the Honda HR-V and the Subaru Crosstrek.

Having analyzed the pros and cons, the overwhelming advantage of the CX-3 is that it is manufactured in Japan. I also appreciate the Mazda handling, the more powerful engine and the quality of the electronics.

I am waiting to see how quiet the car is, how large is the interior and whether there will be a sunroof. My only concern is the cargo space that does not seem flat and not high enough to fit my bicycle upright.
 

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Keep your Protege and get the CX-3, just turn the Protege into your weekend fun car :D



But on a serious note, do you plan on trading it in at the dealer when you go to get your CX3 or getting the most out of it and selling it privately?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
But on a serious note, do you plan on trading it in at the dealer when you go to get your CX3 or getting the most out of it and selling it privately?
Yes, I am also part of the HR-V forum as well, however I am now inclined to go for the CX-3.

I will try to trade-in my old Mazda, but I doubt it has any value, even for parts. To have it certified for a private sale, would cost more than it is worth.
 

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Yes, I am also part of the HR-V forum as well, however I am now inclined to go for the CX-3.

I will try to trade-in my old Mazda, but I doubt it has any value, even for parts. To have it certified for a private sale, would cost more than it is worth.
Mazda to me is slowly becoming an almost Honda of the 90's. Fun zippy stuff, good economy, affordable. Of course Honda is still Honda which makes deciding more difficult...
 

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I noticed you mentioned quietness... you might be disappointed when you finally drive one of these.

By default, an entry-level 4 cylinder Japanese vehicle like this will be noisy to some degree
 

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I noticed you mentioned quietness... you might be disappointed when you finally drive one of these.

By default, an entry-level 4 cylinder Japanese vehicle like this will be noisy to some degree
of course, but i agree keeping out road noise is important...
 

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Discussion Starter #8
By default, an entry-level 4 cylinder Japanese vehicle like this will be noisy to some degree
I plan to add rustproofing which might help reduce the noise. If it still a problem, it could put soundproofing material on the cargo floor and over the rear wheels wells.

It would be nice to soundproof the doors and the hatch as well. I should look for a rustproofing outlet that would do sound insulation as well.
 

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it's going to be a lot of work to sound proof but from the sounds of it, it seems like you plan on keeping this vehicle for a while, which in that case doing these things will pay off in the long term.

Would sound proofing be something you do yourself or take to a shop?

I've seen some sound proofing DIY installs and they seem easy enough for even a newb to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
it's going to be a lot of work to sound proof but from the sounds of it, it seems like you plan on keeping this vehicle for a while, which in that case doing these things will pay off in the long term.

Would sound proofing be something you do yourself or take to a shop? I've seen some sound proofing DIY installs and they seem easy enough for even a newb to do.
I will first do the rust-proofing and I will add full tailored carpeting all around for ease of cleaning and replacement once they turn white with salt. I will then test the noise on a trip. My old clunker has increased my level of tolerance; I might find the CX-3 quiet enough.

Otherwise I will do simple things like putting insulation material on the trunk floor and on the rear wheel wells. I do not like the idea of dismantling the doors - if I am desperate I might do that too. I will definitely not remove all the carpeting as I have seen in some pictures.

If I find a good professional outlet that could do the sound insulation I would let them do it. I figure that adding $1000 or $2000 to the cost of the car is a good deal if I can get it as quiet as an Audi Q3.

The Q3 is an alternative I am considering. However, I am concerned about its oil consumption.
 

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Sound like a good plan.

If you can afford the ownership of an Audi like that, then by all means go for it.
You might want to look into what engine it uses and in what vehicles it was already in, just to see what sort of history you can judge it off of.
 

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You might want to look into what engine (the Audi Q3) uses and in what vehicles it was already in, just to see what sort of history you can judge it off of.
It uses the 2.0 TFSI engine - direct injection and turbocharging. Producing 200 hp and 207 lb/ft of torque. The same engine is used in several Audis and VWs. I have been tracking their forums and I see a lot of complaints about oil consumption and more initial repairs than I see on Mazda 3 forums.

I figure that the Audi Q3 would cost 30 to 50% more than the CX-3. Surprisingly its 0-60mph is 8 sec. I think the CX-3 will be much lighter and will have a good low speed torque to be just as fast. In fact the only thing that attracts me in the Q3 is the quiet luxury. I will wait until I get a chance to drive both.
 

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I've read that the options for the Audi Q3 are pretty pricey though. The MSRP is more, but with options its way more than the CX3.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The reviews suggest that the 2015 CX-5 is quieter - Mazda seems to add sound insulation. May be the CX-3 noise level will not be too objectionable.

Another noise factor is the tire selection. Where I live, winter tires are mandatory in the winter. Since my mileage is low, I use winter tires all year. I use 4 season Nokian WRG3 - Consumer reports (Nov 2013) rated it quite well for winter and summer. Their second choice is the Michelin Pilot Alpin3. I wonder which one is quieter.

My reference is the 18 year old Mazda and a 2008 Honda Fit. Both are too noisy for a long trip. If the CX-3 is quieter, I might not have to do anything more than rust-proofing.
 

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I guess we really won't know about how quiet the ride is until some reviewers get their hands on the CX3 though. Do Mazdas have a reputation one way or the other?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I guess we really won't know about how quiet the ride is until some reviewers get their hands on the CX3 though. Do Mazdas have a reputation one way or the other?
Yes, older reviews say that Mazda's are quite noisy. However, I have seen some reviews of the latest models that say that they are much improved in this area. The CX-5 is now said to be quiet.

2014 Mazda CX-5 Reviews - Autoblog and New Car Test Drive
"Good aero pays off in the fuel economy department, but also contributes to quiet operation. The CX-5 isn't entirely silent at freeway speeds; a little noise finds its way into the cabin via the suspension, but wind noise is essentially absent. "

Another:
"The ride was smooth and at freeway speeds almost luxury-quiet. The tire and road noise we were expecting were pleasantly absent."

I hope our CX-3 will be closer to the CX-5 than to the Mazda 2.
 

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I own a '14 CX 5, 28,000 miles. It is the 2.5 with 17" wheels (less noise than the 19s). It is a whole world quieter than my 06 Mazda 3 was. There was so much road noise in the 3 it sounded like the back doors were ajar.

I would Not call the 5 quiet or noisy. Just average with wind noise slightly worse than average. Road noise on coarse asphalt is still a bit more than I like. Mazda claims 15 model will be 10% improved.

For a benchmark, my '13 Ford Focus sedan (hatch is noisier) is comparable or slightly quieter, but the Focus is quieter than most cars in its class.

Rotate tires with every oil change, keeps them quieter and they last longer.
 

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Tire rotation is something I noticed a lot of people miss out on when doing an oil service.

Along with rotating your tires, lubing all the hinges and locks should be done as well to ensure they work at their peak.
 
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