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Chapin, spot on all the way. I couldn't agree more. Just sit in a GT CX-3 then go to a GT Mazda3. The Mazda3 feels so much more luxurious and spacious.
I just love the footprint and more upright position of the CX-3.
 

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To me the 3 is an ugly looking car. The Kodo Design Language nonsense Mazda is harping on just falls flat where the 3 is concerned, both hatch and 4-door. The re-designed 3 won't be here until 2018.

I didn't find the rear passenger seats all that more spacious in the 3 vs the CX-3.

The 2.5 liter option is a clear advantage though both it and the 2 liter are no standouts in acceleration from stop.

2016 3 GT might have a better Bose sound system than the CX-3 top trims.

The CX-3 has a more fully featured I-ActivSense package than the 2016 3. At least according to both brochures.
 

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It's such a tough choice.

I like the look of the exterior of the CX-3 better, but still like the look of the 3 and prefer the 3's interior.

The back seats felt wider to me in the 3. I really like the arrest in the back seat of the 3. Would really like to see cup holders in the CX-3 rear seat.

The CX-3 has a more fully featured I-ActivSense package than the 2016 3. At least according to both brochures.
I didn't know this. How do they differ?

Attached is a spreadsheet I threw together to compare the Cx-3, 3, and CX-5, if anyone is interested.
 

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It's such a tough choice.

I like the look of the exterior of the CX-3 better, but still like the look of the 3 and prefer the 3's interior.

The back seats felt wider to me in the 3. I really like the arrest in the back seat of the 3. Would really like to see cup holders in the CX-3 rear seat.



I didn't know this. How do they differ?

Attached is a spreadsheet I threw together to compare the Cx-3, 3, and CX-5, if anyone is interested.
Cx-3 I-Activ has both Smart City Brake (2-18 mph) and Smart Brake (10 mph +) features. 2016 3 only has the Smart City Brake. It does have a ForwRd Obstruction Warning but that does not apply brakes.

CX-3 has Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring that constantly monitors unexpectedness blind spot activity. 2016 3 has basic Blind Spot Monitoring which activates with a lane change initiated by turn signal activation.

CX-3 has LED headlights. 2016 3 has bi-xenon headlights.

CX-3 has radar-based distance recognition support for speeds above 19 mph and recommends following distance for vehicle ahead. Warning goes off if that distance is lessened. 2016 3 has Radar Cruise Control. Not sure if these are interlinked.

2016 3 gas tank is 13.2 U.S. Gallons
CX-3 is 12.7 (FWD), 11.9 (AWD)

2016 3 has 9 speaker Bose surroundsound with CenterPoint 2 and AudioPilot 2
CX-3 has 7 speaker Bose surroundsound system


Uhhhhh I gotta go to sleep now, it's 1:35 AM here. >:)
 

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Discussion Starter #25 (Edited)
Chapin, spot on all the way. I couldn't agree more. Just sit in a GT CX-3 then go to a GT Mazda3. The Mazda3 feels so much more luxurious and spacious.
I just love the footprint and more upright position of the CX-3.
Ditto.
However, for me there is a certain playful charm to the multicolored interior in the CX-3 (parchment G.T. only) lacking in the slightly starker 3. Materials and accommodations are inarguably better in the 3. Maybe my tastes tend toward the flashy. The interiors of both are the best in their class.

It was 2 months between my short drives in these cars. Did anyone else notice a marked difference in the front seat feel? (never mind seat height).

Was one quieter at steady interstate speeds than the other?
I felt the CX-3 was noisier that the three under acceleration.

I did not drive the 2.5 liter 3.
I found the 2 liter in the 3 felt quicker and smoother than the 2.5 in my CX-5.

It seems to me the engine in my CX-5 is getting rougher and struggling more against a transmission that wants to keep it in too tall a gear all the time.
Its developed a buzz(sounds like a heat shield but isn't) 2000-2300 rpm where trans wants to keep it when moving about town.
Gotta get that checked out. But I digress.

Does the 2.5 in the 3 feel significantly quieter or more powerful the 2.0 in the 3?

There is not a lot of difference in published acceleration figures.
The 2.5 puts 100lb weight penalty over the front wheels. Any handling differences noted?
 

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Discussion Starter #26
I think its interesting to note that on the HRV forum, those disappointed with it gravitate to the CX-5 and the Crosstrek.
Those here not happy with CX-3 start looking a the 3, the CX-5 and even the Mazda 6. That should please Mazda.
 

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I think its interesting to note that on the HRV forum, those disappointed with it gravitate to the CX-5 and the Crosstrek.
Those here not happy with CX-3 start looking a the 3, the CX-5 and even the Mazda 6. That should please Mazda.

If the U.S. 2016 HR-V had an appropriately powered engine and some of the Activsense tech there's a good chance I'd have bought one before the CX-3 came out.
 

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Discussion Starter #28 (Edited)
If the U.S. 2016 HR-V had an appropriately powered engine and some of the Activsense tech there's a good chance I'd have bought one before the CX-3 came out.
Yeah, I test drove one. I like the packaging, handling not bad, interior trim not up to Mazda standards, and I disliked some of the touchscreen required controls.

Weak obsolete motor and CVT were deal killers. Given a better drivetrain, I would look again.
 

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Yeah, I test drove one. I like the packaging, handling not bad, interior trim not up to Mazda standards, and I disliked some of the touchscreen required controls.

Weak obsolete motor and CVT were deal killers. Given a better drivetrain, I would look again.
Agreed on all points. A little fine tuning and Honda would have a killer machine for its size and price. They'll make a fortune on it regardless.
 

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CX-3 has Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring that constantly monitors unexpectedness blind spot activity. 2016 3 has basic Blind Spot Monitoring which activates with a lane change initiated by turn signal activation.

CX-3 has LED headlights. 2016 3 has bi-xenon headlights.
Any idea if ALL 2016 Mazda3's come with updated headlights? I'm interested in the entry level isport; some internet sources say it will have HID's, but you can't believe everything you read on the internet...
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Any idea if ALL 2016 Mazda3's come with updated headlights? I'm interested in the entry level isport; some internet sources say it will have HID's, but you can't believe everything you read on the internet...
I think not. If you look at Edmunds (a don't know why they stay of ahead of the factory on this) they list them as standard on the S GT. Don't appear to even be an option on the others.

It would seem to be an interim step to me. All will be LEDs soon at no extra cost.
 

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CX-3 has radar-based distance recognition support for speeds above 19 mph and recommends following distance for vehicle ahead. Warning goes off if that distance is lessened. 2016 3 has Radar Cruise Control. Not sure if these are interlinked.

I dove into this more. I'm surprised that there is such a difference between available i-Activsense systems. I'd have thought they were the same across the board for any given year, but apparently not. they are similar and each ahs a feature or two that is more desirable than the others. For me, none of them are deal breakers. Any of the Mazdas are more advanced than my current vehicles.

I've updated my comparison to include a few more items of interest for me and also tech/i-Activsense. It is attached.

I'm surprised the 3 doesn't have the LED headlights or the same I-activsense features.

What is the practical difference between Xenon and LED headlights?

I found this in the CX5 brochure regarding Radar Cruise control (which the CX-3 also has) and Distance Recognition.

/ MAZDA RADAR CRUISE CONTROL5/
This system judges the relative speed and distance
to the car ahead, working within a set speed
range to maintain a safe following distance, making
highway drives less strenuous. The system’s
Close Proximity Warning provides audible and
visual warnings when it senses your vehicle fast
approaching the one ahead.
/ DISTANCE RECOGNITION SUPPORT SYSTEM/
Monitoring the distance between you and traffic
ahead just got easier. At speeds above 19 mph,
our available Distance Recognition Support
System uses radar technology to measure the
distance between your CX-5 and the vehicle
ahead and recommends a comfortable following
distance. If your vehicle encroaches on this
recommended distance, a visual warning shows
in the CX-5’s information display.
 

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They should probably have called it the CX2 for the sake of comparison as it is based on the Mazda 2 floorpan and interior. Calling it a CX3 makes it a bit more palatable to charge and to be charged 3 money for it but comparing it to that model is not really comparing apples with apples.
 

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Chapin,

Thanks for there excel sheet.

Not sure if you're using 2015 or 2016 Mazda 3 stats. There aren't a great many differences, but it might be best if you head to the nearest Mazda dealer and get a hold of the 2016 Mazda brochure. They have the even though the car hasn't arrived at most dealerships yet. That way you can make the best comparisons.

It is a bit of a price gouge by Mazda for the CX-3 to cost more than the 3.

MK
 

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Any idea if ALL 2016 Mazda3's come with updated headlights? I'm interested in the entry level isport; some internet sources say it will have HID's, but you can't believe everything you read on the internet...
I have the U.S. 2016 Mazda3 Mazda brochure. That's what I'm quoting from. This is not internet hearsay. I posted some scans a few weeks ago.
The Bi-Xenon headlights, LED tail lights, and LED daytime running lights are only available on the sport Grand Touring trim for the 2016 U.S. Mazda3.
 

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I have the U.S. 2016 Mazda3 Mazda brochure. That's what I'm quoting from. This is not internet hearsay. I posted some scans a few weeks ago.
The Bi-Xenon headlights, LED tail lights, and LED daytime running lights are only available on the sport Grand Touring trim for the 2016 U.S. Mazda3.
Thanks for the info!
 

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Chapin,

Thanks for there excel sheet.

Not sure if you're using 2015 or 2016 Mazda 3 stats. There aren't a great many differences, but it might be best if you head to the nearest Mazda dealer and get a hold of the 2016 Mazda brochure. They have the even though the car hasn't arrived at most dealerships yet. That way you can make the best comparisons.

It is a bit of a price gouge by Mazda for the CX-3 to cost more than the 3.

MK
I'm using the brochure for the 2016 3. I have both the 2015 and the 2016 3 brochure.
 

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They should probably have called it the CX2 for the sake of comparison as it is based on the Mazda 2 floorpan and interior. Calling it a CX3 makes it a bit more palatable to charge and to be charged 3 money for it but comparing it to that model is not really comparing apples with apples.
Or rename the 3 to the 4.

Let the hatch/sedans be the even number and the *uv be the next higher odd number.

The CX-5, of course, is the SUV based on the 3.
 
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