2016 Mazda CX-3 Reliability - Consumer Reports
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.

Reliability

We expect the 2021 CX-3 to be more reliable than other new cars. This prediction is based on data from the 2019 models of the CX-3.

Overall Reliability
Most Common Trouble Spots
Common Trouble Spot
Common Trouble Spot
The 2016 Mazda CX-3 has been recalled 2 times by NHTSA. View Recalls
Research Years * Redesign year
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Overall Reliability Verdict
NA
NA
NA
NA
POTENTIAL TROUBLE SPOTS
Engine Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
Engine Cooling
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Major
NA
NA
NA
NA
Transmission Minor
NA
NA
NA
NA
Drive System
NA
NA
NA
NA
Fuel System
NA
NA
NA
NA
Electric System
NA
NA
NA
NA
Climate System
NA
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Suspension
NA
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Brakes
NA
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NA
Exhaust
NA
NA
NA
NA
Paint/Trim
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Integrity
NA
NA
NA
NA
Body Hardware
NA
NA
NA
NA
Power Equipment
NA
NA
NA
NA
In-car Electronics
NA
NA
NA
NA
Reliability indicates how models have performed in the past, providing the basis for predicting how the vehicles will hold up in the year ahead. These charts provide the most comprehensive reliability information available to consumers. Based on information received from our latest subscriber survey for over 300,000 vehicles, our reliability history charts give you a rundown on how 2000 through 2021 vehicles are holding up in 17 potential trouble spots, ranging from the engine, transmission, and brakes to power equipment and the electrical system. NA 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.

Learn more about car Reliability.

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)

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)

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)

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)

Exhaust

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

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.

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

Engine Minor

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

Drive System

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

Engine Cooling

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

Compare 2016 Models

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This score shows whether the model had more or fewer problems overall than the average model of that year, calculated from the total number of problems reported by subscribers in all 17 trouble spots.
Recalls
PROVIDED BY
STRUCTURE
Sep 06, 2016
If the lift gate falls unexpectedly, it may hit the user, increasing their risk of injury.
Summary:
Mazda North American Operations (Mazda) is recalling certain model year 2010-2013 Mazda3 and Mazdaspeed3 vehicles manufactured November 18, 2008, to June 8, 2013, 2012-2015 Mazda5 vehicles manufactured October 26, 2010, to June 22, 2015, 2016 CX-3 vehicles manufactured June 1, 2015, to December 26, 2015, and 2013-2016 CX-5 vehicles manufactured December 15, 2011, to December 26, 2015. On the affected vehicles, the lift gate support struts may corrode, possibly causing the struts to break and/or the lift gate to drop unexpectedly.
What should you do:
Mazda dealers will replace the both lift gate supports, free of charge, however parts are not currently available. The recall began April 2017. Owners may contact Mazda customer service at 1-800-222-5500. Mazda's number for this recall is 9916H.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 16V644000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 580455
STEERING
Apr 11, 2016
If the steering knuckle separates from the strut assembly, it can cause a loss of steering control, increasing the risk of a crash.
Summary:
Mazda North American Operations (Mazda) is recalling certain model year 2016 CX-3 vehicles manufactured June 1, 2015, to December 2, 2015, 2013-2014 Mazda2 vehicles manufactured July 3, 2013, to August 8, 2014, 2014-2016 CX-5 vehicles manufactured January 19, 2013, to December 2, 2015, and 2013-2015 CX-9 vehicles manufactured December 6, 2012, to July 31, 2015. The lower mounting nuts and bolts that attach the front strut assembly to the steering knuckle may loosen, allowing the steering knuckle to separate.
What should you do:
Mazda will notify owners, and dealers will inspect the lower mounting nuts and bolts that secure the front strut assembly to the steering knuckle. If the bolts are loose, they will be replaced and then correctly tightened, free of charge. The recall is expected to begin May 20, 2016. Owners may contact Mazda customer service at 1-800-222-5500. Mazda's number for this recall is 9316D.
For more information:
Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 16V203000
Potential Number of Units Affected: 578
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