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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
THE DEAL

After the usual debate between 5 and 3, my daughter zero'd in on a 2017 CX-3 to take advantage of the $1500 rebate currently on offer. I tagged along to help with the negotiation. Bottom line: bought a beautiful AWD MGM Touring with sunroof/sound system package. I had the Homelink mirror added bringing the sticker to $25,871. Paid $22,000+tax+$30 title+$1.25 tire fee and negotiated their $199 doc fee to $0. I co-signed the loan to get a better rate and ended up with 2.34% for 72 months equaling a monthly payment of $311 (We put $3K down).

THE EXPERIENCE

First thing, if you want to buy a '17 CX-3 better get on with it. In my area, apparently they aren't very popular because there were very few (typically 1-3) left on dealer lots. The '18s are coming in so there won't be any more 17s.

In my town of near a million people, there are four Mazda dealers (two under one owner). I had purchased a new Mazdaspeed3 from the west side guys in 2008 and had a great experience (loved that car BTW). Because they had the color we originally wanted, Dynamic Blue Mica, we started out at their east side dealership. And we started off with a sour taste in our mouths. The internet recruiter knew we were interested in this particular DBM car but sold it out from under us without telling us so that we'd still show up in-person at the dealership. Yup, the old bait and switch is still alive and well. We briefly looked at an '18 but not in our price wheelhouse without the rebate. We test drove a '15 with 30,000 miles and an asking price of ($19,900) then decided it was time to get out of there.

After a long errand to decompress from that experience, we regrouped and went to the west side guys where I had purchased my Speed3. They had two Deep Crystal Blue and one Meteor Gray Mica Tourings and a very nice '16 white Touring with 20,000 miles at $19,000. LOL, the MGM was on a lift in the ceiling of the showroom and was quite a production to get it outside in the sunlight. We immediately fell in love with this classy color. For one major thing, it matches the color of the rather unsightly plastic wheel surrounds thereby making them nearly invisible. This was the one styling aspect of the car I didn't like. The Gray paint does a good job of making them disappear visually. We test drove the car. It had 200 miles on it but drove just fine. First impression is that it has a rather stiff suspension not unsimliar from my old MS3. Fortunately, my daughter likes a firm car. With the realization that we had found the right car for her and the fact that these 17s are disappearing, we set about buying the car. We had a great young salesman who made the process enjoyable. Night and Day from dealer #1 .

The only unfortunate part is that we didn't take our new prize home. We decided to leave it until the mirror was installed and a couple of very minor detailing issues were taken care of. We will pick up next Tuesday. We are confident that we found the right car for my daughter and that we got the right deal at the right time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Follow-up post-delivery:

We are generally very pleased with our purchase. Love the way it looks (Makes Honda CRV really show its ugliness) and drives.

I like to do my own maintenance, so I go through a new car thoroughly to make sure everything is as it should be. I also like to check up on the dealer's delivery process to see if I can find any holes in it.

Under hood fluids were correctly filled with one exception-the battery. This is not a maintenance-free battery. It has the traditional six cells each with its own fill hole. Upon inspection, the acid level was just above the cell plates and took as much water as I've ever put in a battery. Use distilled water only for this. Thinking about how long it's been since this battery was installed at the factory in Japan, I checked the manufacture date: June 2016. So, it's been 16 months. Which makes me think about motor oil since every manufacturer specs no longer than a year in the crankcase....more on my oil strategy in a minute.

Tires (18"): the plate on the driver's side door jam says 36 front/33 rear. The manual says for US cars, all circumstances = 36/33. But, Mexico cars are allowed 33/30 FWD and 33/33 AWD for "up to 3 persons", and for max loads, 38/48 FWD and 38/51 AWD. So, Mazda EXPECTS YOU to adjust tire pressures according to the load you put in the car. The car was delivered with 32 on the right side, 31 front/left and 33 rear/left. I'm thinking through whether or not I want a staggered setup. Suppose I'll try it and see how it drives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Regarding oil changes...

The manual calls for 0W-20 Mazda or Castrol brand for US, Canada and PR cars. Interestingly, Mexico cars call for 5W-30 with no brand specified. So, Mazda is telling us that the engine can tolerate various weights of oil. For whatever reason (conditions? EPA?) Mazda wants lighter oil in US cars but is careful as to which oils are allowed. I am a BITOG member and a certified oil nerd. I know from testing done there that the Mazda oil is somewhat unique in that it has a very high loading of molybdenum (one of the best anti-wear, anti-friction additives) and perhaps the highest VI (viscosity index) of any oil made. Mazda High Moly Oil is made by Idemitsu, a major Japanese supplier with facilities here in the US. This oil is not distributed beyond Mazda's dealership network and is rather expensive at $8.60 list. [Interesting side note: I attempted to buy some through my dealer and was informed that they don't carry it. They use only Valvoline because they sponsor the owner's NHRA drag car]. A BITOG member turned me onto MED CENTER MAZDA in Alabama that sells OE Parts at discount with free shipping on orders of $100+. They have some nice prepackaged kits including 5 oil filters with washers and a cap wrench. I ordered this plus 10 qts of oil at $7.31 ea. I usually buy Mobil1 at $4.50/qt but I'll spend a bit more get this new car off on the right foot. After two oil changes (which will take the car through most of its warranty) I will re-evaluate and probably switch to M1.
 
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