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Discussion Starter #1
To all mazda CX owners,
Just bought a CX3 and was wonder if I could fire off some questions to veteran CX3 owners and gain some insight as I am confused on some design features of this base model (sport) vehicle.

-It seems to me that the radio has a scan feature but the only seek function is regarding the preset radio stations only. How do I seek radio stations in between the pre-sets.

-Is there a Mazda or an aftermarket product available that could install Android Auto/Apple car play?

-I just had roof rails installed on car and realized there are no holes in the rails to tie rope or rachet straps to, also, it looks like the crossbars (which I have not purchased yet) are fixed in place with no possible adjustments when installed, is this correct?

-Does the base model come with the cargo cover that hides the contents or is that an option? (I did not get one)

-My vehicle did not come with a center arm rest and the whole configuration with the cup holders is extremely poor design. One of the issues that had me hesitating when buying. The salesman says past years models had squeaking issues with armrest so Mazda took them out, not a very good solution. Are the aftermarket armrests/compartments any good? Can someone suggest one that would work well?

-Looking to get aftermarket car starter installed, checked with dealer and there is no problem with warranty issues from their side. Can someone suggest a good car starter/installer? Got a price from Best Buy for basic system at $300 installed. Seemed fair.

-Some observations about the car, please feel free to comment: The cargo light is mounted to the side panel, cargo blocks the light, wouldn't the light have been better mounted to door pillar or ceiling?

When the rear seat headrests are deployed it blocks most of the rear view in the mirror

When the car is cold started it almost sounds like it has an exhaust leak, after 15-20 seconds the sound changes to a more normal exhaust sound

There are almost no storage compartments

These are my thoughts and concerns with the car after 1 month of ownership. So far the ride, handling and overall performance of the car are the best part, the car is very enjoyable to drive.
The little stuff is annoying and I question what the designers were thinking.

Please let me know your thoughts and experiences. I would be very interested in anything you have to say.

Thanks to all and Happy Holidays!


485 Posts
Greetings from your neighbor in CT,
I figured I'd try to help answer some of your questions since I had much of the same at first although I wont go into specifics since I probably wont remember how to do it precisely like your first question,

-I believe the radio does have a setting where you can scan with the knob because I faintly remember using it once upon a time to set favorites.

-Mazda-wise android auto/carplay is "coming soon" lol which it has been for years so I wouldnt hold my breathe to be honest :( On the other hand if you dont mind potentially voiding warrenty, there are cmu hacks to install it but they require certain firmware versions, may have some bugs still, and most definitly will cause you warrenty issues because dealers love blaming things on other things that have been modded around here.

-Cannot vouch for roof rails/crossbars since I installed the rhino rack aero bar system on my cx3. (oem roof rails didnt exist for me back when I first got the car :\ )

-Base model rear cover I cannot vouch for since I have the GT and it did come with in my case.

-Pure speculation here = I am almost certain that cx3s around here DO come with arm rests especially in newer years. That seems like a very awkward statement from your dealer that it was taken out because of squeaking considering mazda will charge a pretty penny to have it installed. Seems like one of those things where you get pushed to have installed aftersale and they rip you off much like a $1143 remote start system I was quoted earlier this month.

-If you have to get a aftermarket starter installed make sure its from a reputable shop. Again anything aftermarket not directly from the dealership is at risk for them saying "oh the installation damaged something etc" when you have an issue and are trying to get warrenty work done. Case and point: I have a dash cam with usb power and theres a thread I made on here about my infotainment system rebooting on cold starts over and over until the car warms up. It was a lovely process to convince them that my usb powered dash cam was not the cause. Even though the cause was the sd navigation card reader, it was a long frustrating process of trial and error to get that identified and fixed while my dealer was trying to point blame to my devices. On the bright side aftermarket options will almost always be cheaper especially since the dealer here literally takes the car to an aftermarket installer and charges you a premium for something you couldve gotten done elsewhere at a fraction of the price. I would be wary of best buy and this may not apply to you but the guy who does best buy remote starters around here is kind of a sketchy dude who does poor work so I had to find other options.

-Trunk/cargo light is utterly useless in my opinion so I agree with your points there.
-Cold start loud sound is natural as there have been quite a few threads about it since release year and iirc it was something about heating up faster was better for the car and longevity at the cost of loud noises on start.

Final thoughts: Car is great in traction in snow even with oem tires, I have never spun/had traction control kick on even when I was trying to force it in the snow. The awd systems reaction is by far the best I have experienced. You will experience interior squeaks/rattle from the passenger side vent and corner where the passenger A-pillar meets the windshield/dash. You can get creative with things on it like mudflaps (I rigged rokblokz mounting hardware to rallyarmor UR universal flaps and it came out very well and prevents slush buildup like oem). I plan to get all terrain tires on 16s soon as a spare set for fun outings and it just adds to the appeal of the car imo.

Best of luck and hope you enjoy the car!

2 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Well I sure do appreciate all of your comments. Very helpful, thank you.
I did double check with dealer that aftermarket car starter install is fine, but like
you said, get a reputable installer.
Looking forward to Android auto but have since downloaded Aha and Pandora to my phone which has
made turning on bluetooth radio fun.
I have only been on snow twice with the car so far and it feels very stable. I also drive slow in spite of the AWD, a leftover habit from my corolla fwd. It is good to hear of your experiences with the awd system, that is one of the main reasons I bought this car.
Thanks Neighbor.
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