Mazda CX-3 SUV (2015-2020) - Interior & comfort
The Mazda CX-3 has a high-grade cabin that’s packed to the brim with technology, quality materials and supportive seats
Inside, the CX-3 is distinctly upmarket. High-grade materials, soft-touch plastics and contrasting colours help to lift its interior above those of mainstream rivals. The overall fit and finish is better than in the Nissan Juke, for example, but the harder plastics at around knee level are prone to scratching.
The ride at low speeds has a firm edge, but it smoothes out as you accelerate and is generally smoother than that of the Hyundai Kona. On the motorway, both the 1.8-litre diesel and 2.0-litre petrol engines remain settled and hushed, while wind and road noise are well suppressed.
Mazda CX-3 dashboard
The combination of a touchscreen and a centre console rotary dial allows both the driver and front-seat passenger to operate the sat nav and infotainment systems with ease. Indeed, most controls on the dashboard are easy to find and well placed, but you should remember to check by your right knee if you can’t find something on the centre console, as some controls are relegated to here.
An update to the CX-3 in 2018 saw an electric handbrake replace the manual one, which freed up space to move some of the infotainment controls to a more convenient place. There's now also a central armrest with a cubby space underneath it.
The 'eyeball' air vents and stereo controls have a knurled metal finish, similar to the switches found in some Audis, while the instrument cluster impresses. All trim levels have the same seats, but they’re comfortable and supportive in both the front and rear, particularly after the 2018 facelift brought upgraded seat padding.
The CX-3 is available in three main trim levels: entry-level SE Nav+, SE-L Nav+, and Sport Nav+. All models come with cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, DAB radio, air-conditioning and a leather steering wheel.
All versions have satellite navigation as standard, as well as Mazda Connect, which provides Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The top-end Sport Nav+ trim features 18-inch silver alloy wheels, LED headlights, signature LED rear lights and chrome effect body trim. The SE-L Nav+ trim is the best one to go for, as most necessary equipment is included before the options list starts to make the CX-3 look expensive.
Options for the CX-3 include metallic paint, leather seats and different alloy-wheel designs, but we’d recommend either the Dynamic Blue or Mazda’s trademark Soul Red paint finish to really make your car stand out in the crowd of silver and grey vehicles on the roads and potentially even boost its resale value.
Mazda also offers a number of option packs for the CX-3. The Aero Pack adds a bodykit comprising extended front, rear and side skirts, as well as a black roof spoiler; the Travel Pack adds a Thule roof box, plush floor mats and a boot liner, while the Interior LED Pack brings ambient lighting, illuminated scuff plates and puddle lights, which illuminate the ground with Mazda logos.