Owner Review

2015 Mazda CX-3 Maxx Safety (FWD) Review

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Two great things about this car: "Sports" mode, allowing you to sacrifice economy for power (arguably the power it should have had in the first place, sacrificed for economy) and the centre console, allowing you to control the infotainment system with a joywheel, instead of the touch screen.

Now... about that infotainment system...

The single MOST disappointing thing about this car! It feels like it is unfinished - like Mazda rushed it out to meet a deadline, like some second rate software company.

First, the Bluetooth FAILS to download ALL your contacts - seemingly arbitrarily picking which contacts to sync and pretending the rest don't exist. It also FAILS to allow you to read SMS messages on the screen.

This just straight up doesn't work.

The satnav also arbitrarily reboots, after about 10mins into your journey - no idea why.

The music system also has some bizarre arbitrary system of sorting your song files - WHAT IS WRONG WITH NAME ORDER? You cannot change the order.

You know what is the very first lesson #1 they teach you in programming school? How to sort through a list.

Now for the wifi. My experience may be unique here - I'm convinced mine has a hardware fault but Mazda swear to me there is nothing wrong and to wait patiently for a software update - that was two months ago - apparently the update has been cancelled.

After some experimentation, I worked out the wifi takes about 25mins to start working properly. For that initial period you cannot get it to connect to ANYTHING - it just times out, no matter what your wifi settings are, no matter what you try connecting to.

So traffic updates on your satnav happen at the END of your journey, not the start, because.. no wifi!

One final word - I got the "Safety" pack for an extra $1500, featuring warnings that come from side sensors if you are in danger of meeting someone in your blind spot (significantly more blind, in pretty much all SUVs, now).

This is effectively useless because it throws up so many false warnings, it trains you to ignore it when it goes off.

No wonder they give you a button to turn it off, next to the button which turns off the "istop" feature. This is when the engine shuts down if you have your foot on the brake - presumably, so they can claim 6.9L/100km in fuel economy (I get 7.4).

I don't really have a problem with this BUT I wish it was turned OFF by default and the button turned it ON, rather than the other way around - it can be very annoying when there is a >1 sec delay when you put your foot on the accelerator to start moving, because the "istop" is playing catchup and has to restart the engine.

All in all, more positive than negative but - considering all the hype when this car came out - so disappointing...