In a market growing with several tiny SUV options, the Mazda CX-3 is a dapper, well-designed choice. Unlike competitors that appear tall, narrow, and not quite grown-up (Chevrolet Trax, we're looking at you), the CX-3 is a fully formed vehicle. Driving it puts a smile on your face. It's one of the more appealing entries in a new class of wee SUVs, with agile handling and good fuel economy. But it's snug inside.
Alerts
There are 2 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.
Fuel Economy & Emissions
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Greenhouse Gas Greenhouse Gas The Greenhouse Gas Rating represents the amount of carbon dioxide the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).
Smog Rating Smog Rating The Smog Rating represents the amount of health-damaging and smog-forming airborne pollutants the vehicle emits compared to other vehicles of the same model year. This score from the EPA ranges from 1 (worst) to 10 (best).

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
NA
2019
2020
NA
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Transmission Minor Transmission Minor Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.
NA
Drive System Drive System Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
2020
NA
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and ESC standard. Side and head protection air bags standard. Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking optional.
Road Test

In a market growing with several tiny SUV options, the Mazda CX-3 is a dapper, well-designed choice. Unlike competitors that appear tall, narrow, and not quite grown-up (Chevrolet Trax, we're looking at you), the CX-3 is a fully formed vehicle. Driving it puts a smile on your face. It's one of the more appealing entries in a new class of wee SUVs, with agile handling and good fuel economy. But it's snug inside. So snug, in fact, that you might physically outgrow the CX-3 before you're ready for your next car.

In our tests of this new field of subcompact SUVs, we haven't seen much that impresses us. Most entries are either half-baked, or they subject drivers to a harsh ride, loud cabin, and crude interior.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD , Front
Warranty
Coverage varies among versions of this vehicle

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door SUV
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 2-liter 4 (146 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2016 Mazda CX-3 owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"I discovered in the early spring last year that the air conditioner wasn't working. I was able to have it fixed at the dealer at no cost to me, and they provided a loaner vehicle. I had the car back in 2 days."

Anonymous, MA (2016 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"MANUFACTURER RECALL SYSTEM WAS RECHARGED TWICE BEFORE RECALL, COMPRESSOR WAS REPLACED NO CHARGE"

Anonymous, IN (2016 Mazda CX-3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"A/C compressor was replaced by Mazda, as it has known defects and was issued special extended warranty"

Anonymous, (2016 Mazda CX-3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"I bought the car in November, so was unable to test the AC on the test drive; in May, when we first tried using the AC, it didn't cool. Since we purchased an extended warranty, we contacted the dealer and had it repaired there at no cost to us. Total time of driving the vehicle without AC was maybe two weeks, mostly due to work schedules."

Anonymous, (2016 Mazda CX-3 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"The A/C did not work at all. I had to take the car in 3 times to get it fixed (first time I got the car back the A/C simply didn't work at all; second time, it worked for one day then not at all. On my third visit, I told the dealer what I'd learned from online forums about the nature of the problem. It shouldn't have been this way). I also learned from online forums that Mazda knew about this problem, and while my dealer finally fixed it at no cost to me, there was still the cost of my time & f"

Anonymous, WA (2016 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"no aC"

Anonymous, MA (2016 Mazda CX-3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Automatic climate control

"After a very cool spring and early summer, I discovered the AC did not work. Dealer was going to charge $900, then decided it was =covered by warranty."

Anonymous, IL (2016 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"For some reason, when the car is in stop and go traffic mostly, or has been operating a while (road trip for example) and the outside temperature is really hot, the AC will just shut off. If we leave it off for 10-15 minutes or so, it will come back on for a while, and then repeats. Clearly it is not a refrigerant problem since the AC will come back on cold. It's as if it overheats or something, shuts off to protect itself, then kicks back on when it has the chance to cool down. Annoying since it is a commuter car and so we often get to our destination good and sweaty in summer!"

Anonymous, OH (2016 Mazda CX-3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Condenser

"Air conditioning stopped working."

Kevin P., WA (2016 Mazda CX-3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Leaking. Replaced at no cost under factory warranty."

Anonymous, WI (2016 Mazda CX-3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Blowing hot air was replaced under warranty"

Anonymous, NY (2016 Mazda CX-3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Starting about June 2019, my air conditioner wasn't cooling the car. It just blew lukewarm air. I took it to a Mazda dealer who replaced the defective condenser, under warranty. In November 2019 I received a letter from Mazda alerting me to this problem and authorizing a repair under warranty if not already done."

Anonymous, NJ (2016 Mazda CX-3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"The A/C stopped working and even though there was a recall on corroded condensers, the dealership said the condenser was damaged by unusual wear and tear and wouldn't fix it under the recall."

Anonymous, (2016 Mazda CX-3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Air conditioning wasn't working, it was the condenser I replaced. One year later Mazda recalled it and sent me a check"

Anonymous, NY (2016 Mazda CX-3 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"No A/C"

Anonymous, NS (2016 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Parts were not available and we were without the car for weeks. Now after 2 1/2 years of ownership the condenser is leaking again. Mazda says it is because of stone chips so they don't want to cover it under warranty. Isn't this a design issue? Where can I find a road that doesn't have stones on it?"

A B., NY (2016 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Failure of the condenser caused the A/C unit to only blow warm air. It was replaced under warranty."

Mark V., CA (2016 Mazda CX-3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"leaking"

Anonymous, WI (2016 Mazda CX-3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Evaporator

"Evaporator developed leaks, we lost all coolant, and the A/C stopped working of course. The car was under warranty and the repair was fully covered. I believe there was a recall for this as well."

Anonymous, NY (2016 Mazda CX-3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"A/C stopped working. Compressor was replaced as part of service bulletin. Dealer discovered evaporator had pin hole leaks where refrigerant had leaked. This was second evaporator to be replaced. Original replaced in 2016. Mazda covered all but $150 under a good will warranty. Obviously the replacement was defective like the original. Hoping the 2nd evaporator does not have the same defect. I was originally considering getting the CX30 but am going to wait a couple of years for Mazda to get the bugs ironed out. Lesson learned is not to buy 1st model year even if the manufacturer has a high reliability rating."

Anonymous, OR (2016 Mazda CX-3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Refrigerant leaks

"When I took in the car for servicing I mentioned that the A/C was not getting cold. They inspected it and told me that some part was defective and they would replace it for free, which they did."

Anonymous, AZ (2016 Mazda CX-3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Air conditioner stopped working due to leak in condenser"

Anonymous, VT (2016 Mazda CX-3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"No cooling. Dealer recharged. Put in dye"

Bill M., NS (2016 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Display screen goes blank

"Infotainment system will not boot up when temperature is below about -15C,, which occurs several times a year where we live."

Gordon G., AB (2016 Mazda CX-3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"When using headlights, interior Display lights grey out as to be unreadable. This affects clock, speedomoeter all dashboard lights. The digital display showing current mpg usage never works right.. i’ve reportedit to the dealer twice and they said “that’s the way it is”"

Ann F., CT (2016 Mazda CX-3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
In-dash navigation system (GPS)

"Navigation system became erratic and finally stopped working. Dealer replaced the on-board memory chip with an updated program."

Anonymous, IL (2016 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"In using navigation, it took me in the wrong direction i.e west instead of east even though I knew it was wrong. I changed course until it went in the right direction. Doesn't take me the fastest most direct route."

Anonymous, OH (2016 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"GPS map froze up solid. Less then a year old"

Anonymous, OH (2016 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"It is a horrible system. It froze up several times and sends you way off course often. The dealer has replaced it once already"

Ron S., CA (2016 Mazda CX-3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Button on console stuck in the pushed down position interfering with the ability to switch between navigation and radio or to put in navigation info."

Julie O., CO (2016 Mazda CX-3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Phone pairing (e.g., Bluetooth)

"Won't connect with phone until I turn it off & try to reestablish a connection by searching for it."

Anonymous, OH (2016 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Radio

"The radio cycles on and off when it’s cold outside very irritating"

Dan R., IN (2016 Mazda CX-3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Air or water leaks

"Replaced one leaking headlight in the past 12 months. Both headlights have been replaced now because of leaking water into the headlight housing. Taillight and a seal on rear were also replaced."

Eric S., OR (2016 Mazda CX-3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Water leak in rear hatch due to a tail light seal going bad. I believe the headlight was also replaced in the last 12 months due to condensation in headlight."

Anonymous, OR (2016 Mazda CX-3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Moisture in headlight so headlight replaced under warranty. Taillight seal defective so water in interior hatch. Seal replaced under warranty."

Eric S., OR (2016 Mazda CX-3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Squeaks or rattles

"In general, the car is not a quiet car to drive, but is loud on the interior with lots of vibration."

Kevin P., WA (2016 Mazda CX-3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Wind noise

"Road noise, Hard Ride Steering loose, does not keep straight on flat surface"

Anonymous, FL (2016 Mazda CX-3 Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Exterior lights (other than headlights)

"Tail light on hatch burned out"

Anonymous, FL (2016 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Interior lights

"Keeps running the battery down have put 2 batteries in since we bought it. they do not want to say what caused it but said we left interior light on . they shut off auto. so how can that be. I had to pay for the batteries."

Anonymous, MA (2016 Mazda CX-3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Warning lights

"unable to define source of error"

Anonymous, TN (2016 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"catalytic converter failed and was replaced under warranty in January 2016"

Anonymous, TX (2016 Mazda CX-3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Fuel gauge/sender

"Fuel gauge reading is way off from actual. When it reads empty I have 2-3 gallons left in tank"

Bruce E., OR (2016 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"Seals around taillights leaked allowing water to get into the body of the hatch cover."

Anonymous, VT (2016 Mazda CX-3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"Exterior paint peels off in small pieces on main body and rust appears on gas door."

Ann F., CT (2016 Mazda CX-3 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Normal routine brake wear

"normal brake job"

Anonymous, TX (2016 Mazda CX-3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Transmission rebuild or replacement

"In less than 5000 the transmission went out on the Mazda. It started with the gears slipping and jerking into place and then in less than ~1 hr the car was unable to be driven and had to be towed to the Mazda dealership for repair for a defective transmission. It was fixed under warranty but took 2 weeks."

Anonymous, OH (2016 Mazda CX-3 Grand Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Tailgate, hatch or trunk

"There was a leak in the seals that allowed water to actually get inside the trunk assembly itself - when I would open the hatch, water would leak out the handle. The culprit appeared to be where the taillights meet the metal. Likewise my headlamps leak and are completely full of condensation."

Anonymous, OH (2016 Mazda CX-3 Sport 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Tie rods

"After approximately 5,000 km the tie rod came undone"

Anonymous, ON (2016 Mazda CX-3 Touring 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

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