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2016 Mazda CX-3 GT AWD Update 7: The Aging Effect

I am doing the housekeeping of the Mazda CX-3 maintenance records; the small cross is almost exhausted with limited quality assurance. It is always an important moment, sometimes follow the panic as you realize sinking, the owner, will own (most). Mazda’s new car limited quality assurance covers the first three years or 36,000 kilometers, whichever comes first The CX-3’s odometer reads 35,600 miles.

We received a 425-mile CX-3 clock, giving it a motor Trend-certified 35175 miles of service life. Limited quality assurance did not get a lot of workout, it might be good news for future CX-3 buyers waiting for Intel’s vehicles. After 15 months, the CX-3 traveled about 2.6 times the annual average mile of US drivers (13476 miles per year under the Ministry of Communications Federal Highway Administration). Or on a year-on-year basis, the CX-3 2.1 times the 12-year average mile. The warranty was called once, trying to get the glove box to sit when the flush was closed rather than slightly highlighted. It still highlights a little bit.


The CX-3 is the fifth long-term vehicle I’ve chaperoned at Motor Trend, and all five easily crested 30,000 miles of service. After 30,000 miles, our long-term rides are ultra-familiar, the novelty of newness has largely drifted off, and you notice how a vehicle can age gracefully (or not). Of the quintet I’ve minded, the 43,071-mile Honda Accord Hybrid aged most gracefully, thanks to a cabin that wore well and a powertrain that was predictably enjoyable in performance and fuel economy even as it accumulated miles. On the other end of the seesaw, the 39,212-mile Kia Rio had an interior that felt exhausted after wearing in (a peeling steering wheel didn’t help) and a choppy rear suspension that you coped with day in and day out.

It’s not the most comfortable and relaxing small crossover to daily drive, but I’d rate the CX-3 about average and on par with the 36,643-mile Volkswagen Jetta TDI and 36,685-mile Chevrolet Tahoe of my past. The CX-3 interior continues to look great in photos, but once the sheen wears off, the wow factor that’s there in person with a dealer-fresh vehicle subsides. Contrast that against the emissions-gaming Jetta TDI and its low-rent interior. The cabin expectations were low from the get-go, and that held steady all the way to 36,000 miles and beyond.

The CX-3’s 12-volt power port seems a bit feeble. I’ve had to replace the fuse twice so far. The port is not used often, and the accessories that I’ve plugged in don’t trigger a wave of blown fuses in other test vehicles. It’ll cost $1.91 for a single 15-amp blade fuse from a dealer. Or you can pay $3.23 for a pack of five from an auto parts store and install one in seconds, like I did.

The record shows I’ve dropped $534.45 on four dealer maintenance visits for four oil changes, inspections, and tire rotations, plus a new cabin air filter and rear differential fluid. The CX-3 hasn’t left me stranded on the side of the road, which is promising. And there’s 24,000-plus miles left in the factory roadside assistance yet.

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