The CX 3’s central rev counter and circular air vents give the interior the looks of a sports car. Sadly, though, the cheap feeling plastics don’t live up to the GT appearance
The Mazda CX-3 interior feels sportier than what you’ll find most small SUVs. There’s a large central rev counter, deeply recessed digital screens and smart three-spoke leather-trimmed steering wheel and all its switches are nice and intuitive to use.
The three round heating and ventilation control dials on the centre console fall easily to hand and they’re much less fiddly than the 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 Sport Nav cars do come with partial leather seats as standard, however.
All models get a seven-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 in SE Nav models and above. Unfortunately, it’s not quite as responsive as the system you’ll find in a Renault Captur.
The CX 3’s sporty cabin design reflects that this is actually a fun-to-drive SUV
Every Mazda CX-3 come with a seven-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 menus in direct sunlight.
It’s not quite as quick to respond as the system you get in a Renault Captur and there aren’t any handy shortcut buttons to help you jump between key features. The menus are reasonably clear, however, and its bold, bright icons make it relatively easy to use on the move. Using the scroll wheel on the centre console to sift through the system’s menus is pretty intuitive, too.
All but entry-level SE models come with satellite navigation. It delivers clear, easy-to-follow directions but if you’re tall you might have to stretch forward to reach the touchscreen keyboard to input a postcode.
Unfortunately, there’s no option to get the Mazda CX-3 with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay smartphone mirroring so you can’t use your phone’s apps through the built-in screen. You do get a Bluetooth connection as standard, however, so you can make calls and play 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 standard car’s six-speaker system.