6 Best & Worst Mazda CX-3 Years (Stats & Examples)

Since its introduction in 2016, the Mazda CX-3 has garnered significant attention as a compact crossover that combines style, performance, and versatility. 

As with any vehicle model, the CX-3 has evolved over the years, with each iteration bringing forth new features, enhancements, and occasional setbacks. 

In this article, we delve into the world of the Mazda CX-3 and explore the best and worst years in terms of reliability, performance, and overall ownership experience. 

The Best and Worst Years for Mazda CX-3 Are:

The best and most reliable Mazda CX-3 years are generally considered to be the 2016, 2017, and 2019 model years. On the other hand, prospective buyers should purchase with caution when considering the 2018, 2020, and 2021 model years due to reliability concerns. 

What Mazda CX-3 Years Are the Most Reliable?

Reliability is a crucial factor in owning a vehicle, and Mazda has a reputation for producing reliable cars. 

The Mazda CX-3 is no exception, with several years standing out as particularly reliable in performance and durability. 

In this section, we will explore the Mazda CX-3 years that have earned a reputation for being the most reliable among owners and experts alike.

2016 Mazda CX-3

The 2016 Mazda CX-3 has gained a reputation for its reliability, as echoed by both consumer opinions and expert reviews. 

Consumer opinions of the 2016 CX-3 highlight its reliability as a standout feature. 

Many owners have reported minimal issues and breakdowns, emphasizing the vehicle’s ability to deliver a worry-free ownership experience. 

The durable construction and sturdy build of the CX-3 have left a positive impression on drivers, providing confidence in its long-term reliability.

Experts in the automotive industry have also agreed with these sentiments, acknowledging the 2016 CX-3 as a reliable choice. 

Professional reviews consistently highlight its dependability, noting its low maintenance costs and overall robustness. The vehicle’s mechanical components have proven to be resilient, further solidifying its reputation for reliability.

In terms of reliability ratings, the 2016 CX-3 has fared well in assessments by trusted sources such as Consumer Reports. Based on owner surveys, the model has received above-average reliability scores, further affirming its reputation as a dependable option.

Overall, the 2016 Mazda CX-3 stands as a reliable choice in the compact crossover segment. With its solid build quality, responsive handling, and positive reliability ratings, the 2016 CX-3 offers owners a reliable and enjoyable driving experience. 

2017 Mazda CX-3

The 2017 Mazda CX-3 has also proven to be a noteworthy contender in terms of reliability. 

Owners of the 2017 Mazda CX-3 have consistently reported positive experiences with the vehicle’s reliability. 

Many have commended its:

  • Solid build quality
  • Robust mechanical components
  • Overall longevity
  • Engine
  • Transmission
  • Drivetrain

Experts in the automotive industry have also weighed in on the reliability of the 2017 CX-3. 

Their assessments align with the positive sentiments expressed by owners, emphasizing the vehicle’s durability and minimal mechanical issues. 

Therefore, while no vehicle is entirely immune to occasional problems, the 2017 model year has proven to be notably reliable, with fewer reported issues compared to some other model years.

However, when considering the reliability of the 2017 Mazda CX-3, it’s important to note that regular maintenance and timely servicing play a crucial role in ensuring its long-term dependability. 

Adhering to the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and addressing any potential concerns promptly can further enhance the vehicle’s reliability.

Nonetheless, if you are in the market for a used CX-3, the 2017 model year presents a promising choice, offering a reliable and enjoyable driving experience for years to come.

2019 Mazda CX-3

When it comes to reliability, like its predecessors, the 2019 Mazda CX-3 stands as a notable contender among compact crossovers. 

Many drivers have reported minimal issues and a high level of satisfaction with the CX-3’s dependability. 

Experts have praised the CX-3 for its solid build quality, well-engineered components, and durable mechanical systems, all contributing to its reputation for reliability.

Reliability statistics for the 2019 Mazda CX-3 reveal a promising track record. 

According to industry sources and reliability studies, the 2019 CX-3 demonstrates above-average reliability ratings. This means that the vehicle has showcased a lower frequency of reported issues and a higher likelihood of maintaining consistent performance over time.

One significant factor contributing to the 2019 CX-3’s strong reliability is Mazda’s commitment to engineering. Mazda has consistently emphasized quality and reliability in its vehicles, and the 2019 CX-3 is no exception. 

Furthermore, the 2019 CX-3 benefits from Mazda’s ongoing technological advancements and refined manufacturing processes. 

By utilizing reliable components and implementing stringent quality control measures, Mazda has aimed to ensure that the CX-3 maintains its reliability throughout its ownership lifespan.

While reliability statistics provide valuable insights, it is important to note that individual experiences may vary. 

Therefore, regular maintenance and adherence to the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals play a vital role in maximizing the reliability of any vehicle. 

While personal experiences and opinions may differ, the reliability data suggests that the 2019 CX-3 is a dependable choice for those seeking a compact crossover that offers consistent performance and peace of mind.

What Mazda CX-3 Years Should You Avoid?

The Mazda CX-3 has earned a reputation for its reliability. 

However, as with any vehicle, certain model years may present more challenges and concerns for owners than others. 

In this section, we will delve into the Mazda CX-3 years to approach with caution and provide insights into the potential issues associated with these models.

2018 Mazda CX-3

The 2018 Mazda CX-3 is a model year that potential buyers should approach with caution, as there have been reported concerns and reliability statistics that negatively impact its dependability.

According to reliability statistics, some owners have reported problems with:

  • The transmission: Issues such as rough shifting, slipping, or hesitation. These issues can affect the overall driving experience and may require costly repairs or component replacements. 
  • Electronic glitches: These glitches include problems with the infotainment system or electrical malfunctions. While not widespread, these issues can be frustrating and potentially impact the vehicle’s overall reliability. 

Furthermore, experts have noted a few drawbacks that negatively impact the 2018 CX-3’s dependability. 

  • Limited cargo space: The CX-3’s compact size means it may not be the most practical choice for those needing ample cargo capacity. 
  • Noisey cabin: This can affect the overall comfort and driving experience.

While these concerns may detract from the 2018 CX-3’s overall dependability, it is important to note that Mazda, as a brand, has a reputation for producing reliable vehicles. 

The 2018 model year is not indicative of the entire CX-3 lineup’s reliability, and many owners have reported positive experiences with their vehicles.

To mitigate potential issues with the 2018 CX-3, it is advisable to thoroughly inspect any used vehicle before purchase and consider evaluating the vehicle’s maintenance history.

2020 Mazda CX-3

The 2020 Mazda CX-3 is another model year that warrants caution when considering its dependability. 

One notable area of concern associated with the 2020 CX-3 is its engine performance. 

Some owners have reported excessive oil consumption or engine misfires, which can affect the overall performance and reliability of the vehicle. 

In addition to engine concerns, there have been some reported electronic glitches with the 2020 CX-3 that hadn’t been ironed out with previous models. 

These glitches can manifest as problems with the infotainment system or electrical malfunctions. 

To mitigate potential issues with the 2020 CX-3, it is advisable to conduct a thorough inspection of any used vehicle before purchase. Evaluate the maintenance history, conduct a test drive to assess performance, and check for signs of engine or electronic problems. 

In conclusion, the 2020 Mazda CX-3 has reported concerns related to engine performance and electronic glitches. While these issues may impact its dependability, not all vehicles from this model year experience the same problems. 

2021 Mazda CX-3

The 2021 Mazda CX-3, unfortunately, is another model associated with certain reliability concerns that potential buyers should be aware of. 

Consumers and experts found the following problematic:

  • Engine performance: Some owners have reported a lack of power or sluggish acceleration, which can significantly impact the overall driving experience. 
  • Isolated cases of electrical glitches: Owners have mentioned intermittent issues with the infotainment system or dashboard displays. 

While it is important to consider the reported concerns, it is essential to note that not all 2021 CX-3 vehicles experience these issues. However, the presence of these problems in the model year indicates that there may be potential reliability drawbacks.

In summary, the 2021 Mazda CX-3 has reported concerns related to dependability. While these issues may impact its reliability, not all vehicles from this model year are affected. 

What Are Some Typical Problems With the Mazda CX-3 Models?

The Mazda CX-3, like any vehicle, may encounter some common issues reported by owners. 

While Mazda strives to deliver reliable vehicles, it is worth being aware of the following typical problems associated with Mazda CX-3 models:

  • Transmission Issues: Some CX-3 owners have reported problems with the transmission. These issues can manifest as rough shifting, slipping, or hesitation. 
  • Engine Performance Problems: Owners have mentioned excessive oil consumption or engine misfires. 
  • Electrical Glitches: These glitches can affect various electronic components, such as the infotainment system or dashboard displays. 
  • Road and Wind Noise: While this may not be a mechanical problem, it can affect the overall comfort and driving experience, particularly at higher speeds. 
  • Lack of Power: In some cases, owners have reported a lack of power or sluggish acceleration with the CX-3. 

For a more in-depth analysis, please read our article about common issues with Mazda CX-3 cars.

It is important to note that while these problems have been reported, not all Mazda CX-3 models will experience them. 

Regular maintenance, prompt repairs, and following manufacturer recommendations can contribute to a more reliable ownership experience with the Mazda CX-3.


Back to best/worst years across all Mazda models.

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ⓘ  The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.