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Hi, I've been doing a lot of car research as of late and I think I've decided on getting a CX-3. The other ones in contention are the Honda HR-V, Hyundai Kona, Mazda3, and Subaru Impreza. I deliver in western NY, so I'm looking for something AWD, good mpg, compact, reliable, low maintenance, and a good value. I feel like the CX-3 checks those boxes. I have a friend that is a mechanic and goes to a nearby auction, so probably going to go that route. He charges $400 and goes over the car thoroughly. Haven't seen the prices they are going for, but I'm sure it's a decent savings compared to a dealership. Any advice on what to check specifically for the CX-3? Also, my mechanic is very opinionated on the reliability of car makes. Pushes Toyota, Honda, and thinks just about anything else is junk. Is there anything I can say to him so he doesn't give me ****? Yaris connection?

Anyways, I'm leaning towards a 2017 touring or grand touring with around 30k miles on it. Should be a lot available in that range due to expired leases. And the price should be decent, around 13k i'm guessing. Are all of the years and editions pretty equal? I'm trying not to get something too new.

Any advice on my ramblings would be greatly appreciated. Hope to be officially in the club soon! Thanks.
 

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Just a couple things I can think off of the top of my head for 16-17 era.

-new tires will almost always be needed if still on oem. (oem tires really prone to cracking and being junk on the 18" wheels)

-the good ol ac issue (search for forum for this, theres tsb's and extended warranty on it, mainly for 16-early 17 model years) if possible see if theres repair history on this. Id imagine you might be able to even contact mazda for a vin check since they would have manufacturer warranty repair records of this but then again their checking systems could be trash. One of the ac components was defective from factory and randomly within 2-3 yrs people would just all of a sudden lose all ac cooling capabilities. THIS IS PROBABLY THE MAIN ISSUE TO BE AWARE OF. its not ground breaking but annoying. It can easily be fixed however.

-the sd card reader for the maps/nav was a peculiar issue for some early year models (if you dont use the nav youll almost never encounter it) but long story short a faulty part number which was corrected. System would reboot on cold temp start until interior warmed up if nav sd card was installed. Weird but yea that happened. Could also install android auto kit which comes with its own sd card reader and adds aa/cp capability.

-if you want to avoid unnecessary maintenance and cost down the line get one without the 'technology package'. You can see how to identify it here in this thread below. Basically if theres a box of tech stuff behind the rear view mirror I would suggest avoiding it unless you are a diehard fan of the extra sensors/cruise control tech etc.


-the last feature to be mindful of is the i-stop (probably what its called?). The thing that turns the car off and on at red lights to 'save fuel'. People have already felt the stung of replacing a proprietary expensive starter battery that comes along with this 'feature'.


Other quirks to look out for:
-check front bumper lines. If anything is off then there might have been damage at one point. Any front end collision even light, will break off alignment slots on the headlights bottom portion which the bumper slides into. If you look at any used cx-3 headlights on ebay almost all of them have the broken clip slots for the bumper and are not advisable to use.

-fuel tank is small like 10ish gallons measured. It goes a long way and doesnt cost as much to fill but some may find it weird because theyre used to fueling 17+ gallons a time.

-suspension is a bit rough and bumpy

-cold starts are louder than average car, this is surprisingly a good thing because the car keeps rpms abit higher to warm up quicker and then quiets down

-consider doing a transmission/differential/transfercase fluid flush. I have a 2016 with 18k miles (yea lol) and the fluids had seen better days. Definitly helps longevity to change especially around 30k for 2017 if its anything like how mine was.

-tell your mechanic if he thinks cvts are better/more reliable than regular transmissions which can be serviced at least in event of failure lol then nissan motor corp would like to know his location.


Thats all i can think of rambling off the top of my head but yea its been a really reliable car as long as your expectations are in line with what the car provides. Cheap efficient awd with 6speed transmission (no cvt).
 

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Personally if I had to choose I would probably get a 2017 solely for the reason that 2018+ switched from e-brake lever to a button switch to apply parking brake. It was kind of hilarious when my girlfriend at the time wanted to get a 2019 cx-3 at the dealer and set the parking brake button and 4 sales people couldnt figure out how to undo it.
 

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Just a couple things I can think off of the top of my head for 16-17 era.

-new tires will almost always be needed if still on oem. (oem tires really prone to cracking and being junk on the 18" wheels)

-the good ol ac issue (search for forum for this, theres tsb's and extended warranty on it, mainly for 16-early 17 model years) if possible see if theres repair history on this. Id imagine you might be able to even contact mazda for a vin check since they would have manufacturer warranty repair records of this but then again their checking systems could be trash. One of the ac components was defective from factory and randomly within 2-3 yrs people would just all of a sudden lose all ac cooling capabilities. THIS IS PROBABLY THE MAIN ISSUE TO BE AWARE OF. its not ground breaking but annoying. It can easily be fixed however.

-the sd card reader for the maps/nav was a peculiar issue for some early year models (if you dont use the nav youll almost never encounter it) but long story short a faulty part number which was corrected. System would reboot on cold temp start until interior warmed up if nav sd card was installed. Weird but yea that happened. Could also install android auto kit which comes with its own sd card reader and adds aa/cp capability.

-if you want to avoid unnecessary maintenance and cost down the line get one without the 'technology package'. You can see how to identify it here in this thread below. Basically if theres a box of tech stuff behind the rear view mirror I would suggest avoiding it unless you are a diehard fan of the extra sensors/cruise control tech etc.


-the last feature to be mindful of is the i-stop (probably what its called?). The thing that turns the car off and on at red lights to 'save fuel'. People have already felt the stung of replacing a proprietary expensive starter battery that comes along with this 'feature'.


Other quirks to look out for:
-check front bumper lines. If anything is off then there might have been damage at one point. Any front end collision even light, will break off alignment slots on the headlights bottom portion which the bumper slides into. If you look at any used cx-3 headlights on ebay almost all of them have the broken clip slots for the bumper and are not advisable to use.

-fuel tank is small like 10ish gallons measured. It goes a long way and doesnt cost as much to fill but some may find it weird because theyre used to fueling 17+ gallons a time.

-suspension is a bit rough and bumpy

-cold starts are louder than average car, this is surprisingly a good thing because the car keeps rpms abit higher to warm up quicker and then quiets down

-consider doing a transmission/differential/transfercase fluid flush. I have a 2016 with 18k miles (yea lol) and the fluids had seen better days. Definitly helps longevity to change especially around 30k for 2017 if its anything like how mine was.

-tell your mechanic if he thinks cvts are better/more reliable than regular transmissions which can be serviced at least in event of failure lol then nissan motor corp would like to know his location.


Thats all i can think of rambling off the top of my head but yea its been a really reliable car as long as your expectations are in line with what the car provides. Cheap efficient awd with 6speed transmission (no cvt).
 

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Hey SlyCoopers, I have a question regarding part of your post, because I do not know. You said:
if you want to avoid unnecessary maintenance and cost down the line get one without the 'technology package'. You can see how to identify it here in this thread below. Basically if theres a box of tech stuff behind the rear view mirror I would suggest avoiding it unless you are a diehard fan of the extra sensors/cruise control tech etc.

I inadvertently ended up getting a 2019 CX-3 with the technology package behind the rearview mirror. (Didn't have a lot of choice at the time--had an accident and it was the end of the 2019s, plus I forgot to ck even though someone on here warned me about that.)

I don't use cruise control much if at all. So, if I'm not using the cruise control does it matter that the technology pkg is there? Would it affect the vehicle in that instance? Just looking ahead to try to ascertain any potential issues to watch out for.

I do appreciate the input!!
Have a nice evening:)
 

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It depends on the what they've done through out the newer years. Before it used to be that was the "tech package" with the start stop (car turns off at red light when youre waiting and then turns back on again every time), the cruise control stuff also got shifted into the stuff every manufacturer has now for energency braking etc. Youd have to see what was included in yours to know the difference but it was never just the cruise control stuff but that was the easiest way to identify it. Its not the end of the world by any means but like any car, more features = more things to go wrong. Theres no life for expectancy on these additional sensors so while it may seem nice now, years later its going to be am expensive dealer repair. Technology and extreme temperature changes don't go well with one another unfortunately.

Personality i want to avoid the start-stop feature the most since it requires a 2nd proprietary battery to crank it, is much more expensive to replace and will die in 4ish(some brands die within 2) years depending on usage, and doesnt feel safe if you need emergency acceleration to avoid something in a moment. But who knows im sure by now they have more options for packages since before it was all or nothing
 

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Safety features can break and it costs money to fix.
But more importantly, safety features can save your life!

It is your choice...
 

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It depends on the what they've done through out the newer years. Before it used to be that was the "tech package" with the start stop (car turns off at red light when youre waiting and then turns back on again every time), the cruise control stuff also got shifted into the stuff every manufacturer has now for energency braking etc. Youd have to see what was included in yours to know the difference but it was never just the cruise control stuff but that was the easiest way to identify it. Its not the end of the world by any means but like any car, more features = more things to go wrong. Theres no life for expectancy on these additional sensors so while it may seem nice now, years later its going to be am expensive dealer repair. Technology and extreme temperature changes don't go well with one another unfortunately.

Personality i want to avoid the start-stop feature the most since it requires a 2nd proprietary battery to crank it, is much more expensive to replace and will die in 4ish(some brands die within 2) years depending on usage, and doesnt feel safe if you need emergency acceleration to avoid something in a moment. But who knows im sure by now they have more options for packages since before it was all or nothing
Thank you for your opinion and information. I'm glad I didn't get the start stop feature! Myself, I would rather have a simpler car...for various reasons...less cost, less to go wrong, more durable, easier to use, etc. but guess that's not the way things are going. I've been saying it would be nice if they made a Baby Boomer version--with only basic safety/tech stuff. I want reliability, longevity and durability but the more techie these vehicles are the less we get of any of those traits.
 

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Safety features can break and it costs money to fix.
But more importantly, safety features can save your life!

It is your choice...

Its all fun and games until sensors fail for no reason and things like this happen. My friend had a 17 rouge under lease from the dealer and was told the sensors are 'wear and tear items' which was just an excuse to get them to pay out of pocket for repairs. His was one of the vehicles which would hard brake randomly out of nowhere with nothing in front and almost caused multiple accidents since dealer refused to fix. I have no doubt that under ideal conditions the system works but with temperature changes abusing the electronics, vibrations/bumps, and it also still being first gen technology, there is bound to be issues which can be worse than just having to pay out of pocket. "Safety features" are not a replacement for safe driving.








Note: The nissan issue is for the full time/always active automatic braking not the cruise control version which is only during cruise control like some mazdas have. Also while we are on the topic of mazdas heres some more fun bits

 
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