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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So far I'm really enjoying my CX-3, but it hasn't been all sunshine and rainbows.

First, some annoyances:

The heater is pretty weak and takes 15 minutes to defrost/defog the windows on a 25 degree morning. On top of that, the climate control is very inaccurate. On a sunny day you can set it to 68 and feel warm, but on a cloudy day you need it on 74 to maintain the same level of comfort. It seems pretty bad at reading the ambient temperature or the position of the sun to compensate. I am likely to believe it doesn't have a sun sensor, which would also explain the lack of auto-on headlights on my model. Our Kia Soul in comparison warms up within minutes and has a very accurate climate control system. Also, the light tan leather seats get stained from blue jeans unlike any other car I've seen. Literally one day of use will leave blue streaks, and none of my jeans are brand and washing them a few more times hasn't seemed to help. I've taken to covering the seat with a throw blanket just to avoid excess wear from constantly cleaning the leather every few days. Also, my passenger side rear backup light isn't sealed well and has condensation build-up every morning or after a car wash. The center armrest flat out sucks and gets in the way more than anything. I also don't like how it creaks. I'm thinking of ripping it out, but not sure if it's an easy process. I know the foreign market cars don't have the armrest.

Now onto the good:

The ride/handling balance is superb. I was fairly impressed with the Soul given its torsen beam rear suspension, but this is arguably the best torsen beam setup I've experienced. It's well behaved/controlled and smooths out the rough stuff nicely. I know this suspension design is hated by many enthusiasts, but Mazda got it right. The adaptive LED headlights are truly amazing and better than any car I've owned. Braking is also strong, and the engine feels peppy and fairly refined provided you never give it more than 70% throttle input. Floor it and the engine gets quite vocal/buzzy without generating much extra in the way of accelerative force. In normal driving it feels peppy - leagues better than say, the Subaru Crosstrek. The infotainment also continues to impress. Bluetooth works great. Bose audio quality is good. And the TomTom navigation has been dead accurate thus far. I especially enjoy the redundant turn by turn info on the pop up HUD screen which makes keeping your eyes on rhe road much easier.

 

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Id take it back and request that section of tail light be replaced.

Weird, my CX3 has auto on headlights. Ive not had to touch the ACC since owing it but I've only got a few hundred miles on it.
 

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The light sensor for automatic headlights is part of the optional i-ACTIVESENSE package. I haven't had any problems with the heater at all, but I have noticed that the automatic climate control is very hesitant to turn up the fan speeds when cooling is required.

I also haven't had any issues with the seats turning blue from jeans, but I've definitely been keeping an eye on it.

I'd get the taillight cluster replaced under warranty. You definitely don't want condensation lingering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just to clarify; I'm aware that the auto headlights only come on the i-activesense package, but most climate control systems have a light sensor to compensate for the heat generated by bright light shining through the windows. The way the CX-3's climate control functions makes me think Mazda cheapd out and didn't include such a sensor.
 

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The way the CX-3's climate control functions makes me think Mazda cheapd out and didn't include such a sensor.
Cheapened out is most likely. Mazda did squeeze in a lot of content for this segment and probably trimmed in some areas to keep MSRP in line.

A couple friends noted we don't have a digital interface for the climate control. I was like, what do you expect for this price?!?!
 

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When I test drove the GT I was confused by the lack of digital interface for the climate controls. I thought it was lacking auto climate at first, until I saw that it had numbers on the dial itself.
 

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I've got around 3000 miles on mine in just over 2 months. That's way above my usual driving habits. I've had issues with the center armrest too. And, more recently, I'm starting to get several rattles now. One or two from the dash, and possibly elsewhere, too. I have significant hearing loss in one ear which makes directional noise difficult for me to pinpoint sometimes. My fuel economy has actually dropped off since breaking it in, but most of that is because my city driving percentage has gone up. I also wonder if gas stations around here have started getting in winter blended fuel mixtures which causes economy to drop off.

No issues with the manual climate controls. Heater gets quite hot in mine. Mazda's auto climate controls work purely off interior temperatures if it's still the same as setup as they've used in the last 12-13 years or more. On cold days it doesn't ramp up fan speeds until the heater core warms up. It does this to avoid blasting you with cold air when it should be heating. Setting the temp at either extreme used to force the fans to come on full speed. That's how it always worked in my old Mazda 6's that both had auto controls, anyway.
 

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According to the instruction manual, the automatic climate control uses both an interior temp. sensor and a sunlight sensor located on the dash.
 

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Yes, correct. The sunlight sensor is that little round disc up by the demister vents.

My climate control is very good. It warms up fairly quickly given its a diesel but it's capable of putting out the hottest temperature I've ever had in any car - quite capable of burning my hand if I try and hold it in front of a vent. When set to auto, the floor and screen vents warm equally at first then start to prioritise warm feet and cooler (but not too chilled) to the face. It's a very well mapped out program in my opinion but it will be interesting to see how it adapts to the other seasons.

As a matter of interest, the diesels get a three stage electric heater to boost performance on cold days as they take much longer than petrols to heat up.

Regarding Kia Souls, they are cracking cars and very underrated. It's just a pity they don't do an AWD. The new version is every bit as good as a CX3.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I have to say, the CX-3 was a beast in the snow this morning. Very sure-footed with no hints of slipping or sliding. Granted, we only had about 5" of wet snow, but so far I'm very impressed.

 

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Are you running the stock tires?

They're forecasting some similar snow for us tonight, so I'm eager to try it myself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes, stock tires. This was a very wet/slushy snow and the CX-3 performed admirably. I had worries because the tires didn't look like they'd have much bite in the slick stuff, but so far, so good.
 

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Hate to say it, that looks great. Just for the record, I hate snow :-( If I didn't have to drive in this area with snow on the ground, I might feel differently about it. I am going to use Fluid Film on the under carriage this winter, hope to keep the salt damage down. Glad the CX-3 handled the snow well. Gives me hope.
 

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Oh my word, that's depressed me a bit. I hate the cold even though I've got the winter tyres ready!

We've got unseasonably warm weather on our island at the moment but it's set to get seasonally cold at the weekend.

Great picture though!
 

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You need to fix the condensation issue before winter hits. I can't imagine what damage it'll do when water freezes inside the headlight.
 

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I have to say, the CX-3 was a beast in the snow this morning. Very sure-footed with no hints of slipping or sliding. Granted, we only had about 5" of wet snow, but so far I'm very impressed.

Sh*t!
That kind of stuff is heading my way soon.
When I was a kid, I use to love snow!
Oh well, it'll give me a chance to try the CX-3 in the rough stuff.
Thanks for that photo (I think). :crying:

As for your taillight issue, I'd get them to replace that.
It's not a difficult fix, just have them order the part for you, which may take some time. I've been keeping an eye on all of my lenses, for this very thing, as I hate when they do this. I think the GT has different lights all-around, than the other models.

As for the auto-climate thing...
This was one of the main reasons I got rid of my last vehicle. In order to change the climate controls, I use to have to wallow around in menus to be able to perform exactly what I wanted to do quickly. I know those of you with the GT don't have to do this. It's a simpler system than what I had in my old car. At least you have the knobs and buttons.
This is one of the reasons why I went with the Touring model.
I wanted simple knobs and buttons, to instantly do what I need.

Your assessment of the performance, ride, and handling is spot on.
I'm nicely surprised (having owned my CX for a little while), how well this little unit takes on the lousy roads we have here. And I'm happy with the performance to gas-mileage ratio I'm experiencing.
If the fuel-economy computer in the vehicle can be believed, I'm getting 30mpg with the way I've been driving it. Very happy with that.

Best of luck with your new ride.
 

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Thanks for the report. I'm _almost_ looking forward to trying the predictive AWD out in the snow, but believe me I can wait another month plus.
 
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