Its no secret that we at GDL favour the Mazda range as one of the better vehicles currently on the market. Our in-depth coverage of the CX5 the Mazda 2 and the Mazda 3 should give any reader a good indication as to our affection for these.
You can review all of these articles by clicking the links below.
Mazda 3 Vehicle Review
Mazda CX5 Vehicle Review
Mazda 2 Vehicle Review
The CX3 as the naming suggests is the little brother to the CX5. Unlike the Prado is to the LandCruiser this little brother is the golden child. In some cases a vehicle produced off the same platform as a previously successful build results in a vehicle that has had corners cut, budgets reduced, safety features removed and the younger brother ends up licking windows compared to its predecessor. This is not the case for the CX3. Effectively the same car, much smaller wheel base and far more fuel economic compared to the CX5.
If you are in the market for a SUV this possibly is not the vehicle for you, solely based off space inside the vehicle the CX3 is a little tight. This vehicle was designed for the uni student, single mum, personal assistant or real estate agent that needs a reliable car that does not fall into the “hairdresser car” category.
Things to be mindful of if considering purchasing one. We are seeing the same premature tyre wear on the CX3’s as we saw on the CX5’s. Keep your tyre pressures up and check them often, this will reduce this but you are still in for a lot of tyre replacements over the life of the vehicle.
Driver side engine mount design still matches that of the Mazda 3 and the CX5. This is considered a wearing part so its hardly a “common fault” but the Mazda range does go through engine mounts. More than other manufactures of vehicles. (except VW’s, they are the worst for engine mounts)
Also considered a wearing part but seen as a common fault in the Mazdas is the rear most bush on the front lower control arms. This is a rubber bush that can and will split over time. Once this bush is worn or torn it will cause wheel alignment issues and contribute to the afore mentioned tyre wear fault. To date this bush can not be purchased separately to the complete arm. Both genuine Mazda and aftermarket options require the purchase of a complete arm (this is the same design and parts as used in many Volvos too). When these get replaced the vehicle will require a wheel alignment afterwards.
Many mechanics miss this or avoid quoting it due to the expensive nature of the repair, avoiding this repair will cost you more in worn out tyres over a few short years, not to mention the safety of the vehicle is compromised due to the movement in the suspension under braking, turning and hard acceleration. Better the devil you know. It is advised to get these checked and replaced as needed to avoid spending thousands in tyre replacements every year.
Aside from those few things the CX3 is an exceptional vehicle. These things are all considered to be wearing parts and thus not deemed “common faults”. Overall we have seen very little in repair needs for these cars, our happy clients who are purchasing these are only spending money on tyres, brakes and service items. For this reason we strongly recommend them to our clients.
Side note. Mazda has graciously added the service reminder reset procedure into the dash. This means if you are a DIY kind of person and wish to service your Mazda yourself you do not need the dealership to reset you service light, nor do you need a scan tool to do this.
Overall the Mazda CX3 is fantastic and we strongly advise buying one.
Once you have purchased it, never get it serviced at the dealer. Why? Here is why.
Why you should not get your vehicle serviced at a dealership.