Mazda CX-3 interior
The Mazda CX 3’s central rev counter and circular air vents give the interior a sporty feel you don’t get in most small SUVs. Sadly, though, plenty of cheap-feeling plastics spoil the show
The Mazda CX-3 feels sportier inside than most small SUVs thanks, in part to its large central rev counter, deeply recessed digital screens and smart three-spoke leather steering wheel.
All its switches are nice and intuitive to use and the three-round heating and ventilation control dials on the centre console fall easily to hand. These are much more intuitive to use than the fiddly touchscreen temperature controls you get in a Citroen C4 Cactus.
Every Mazda CX-3 comes with some glossy metal-effect trims around the gear lever and a faux leather dashboard covering but there’s no disguising the hard plastics on the centre console and doors. Top-spec cars do come with partial leather seats with contrasting grey piping as standard, however.
All models get a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system up on the dashboard that comes with an easy-to-use rotary controller on the centre console – just like in an Audi or BMW. It looks pretty smart and you get satellite navigation as standard.
The Mazda CX 3’s sporty cabin drops more than a few hints that this is actually a fun-to-drive SUV
Every Mazda CX-3 comes with a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment display as standard that’s mounted on top of the dashboard so it’s easy to glance at quickly on the move. The screen’s reasonably bright but you might struggle to read some of the more detailed menus in direct sunlight.
It’s not quite as quick to respond as the system you get in a Renault Captur but the text is reasonably clear and the bold, bright icons make it relatively easy to switch from one feature to another on the move. Using the scroll wheel on the centre console to sift through the system’s menus is pretty intuitive, too.
All models come with satellite navigation as well. It delivers clear, easy-to-follow directions, but the graphics look a tad dated so it’s a far cry from the 3D buildings and high-resolution Google maps imagery you can see in the Audi Q2’s sat-nav system.
You can get the Mazda CX-3 with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring so you can use your phone’s navigation apps through the car’s built-in screen. Both systems are easy to set up, respond quickly to your inputs and let you stream music through the car’s stereo.
Speaking of music, it’s well worth upgrading to a high-spec Sport Nav+ car if you’re serious about sound quality. These models come with an upgraded Bose stereo with seven speakers that sounds far better than the car’s standard six-speaker system.