$15,501 - $21,182

2017 Mazda CX-3 Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2017 Mazda CX-3 was new.

Scorecard

Interior: 7.3

Reviewers generally like the interior of the 2017 Mazda CX-3, which they say has an attractive design and feels almost upscale, with high-quality materials. The front seats are comfortable and roomy, but the second row is cramped. Cargo space is also low for the class. A standard infotainment system functions well for the most part.

  • With a keen attention to design, the 2017 CX-3's cabin looks sleek and contemporary, and it's trimmed in materials that look reasonably high-end. The plain Jane gauge cluster in lower trims makes way for a prominent central tachometer and integrated digital speedometer in Grand Touring trim. We're less impressed by the Grand Touring's awkward-looking head-up display, however." -- Edmunds
  • "So functionality isn't the CX-3's thing. Look past that, however, and you're rewarded with a nicely arranged, genuinely premium-feeling interior. The choice of materials in both the mid-grade Touring and top-level Grand Touring models are above average for the class, with nicely grained plastics and soft-touch stuff mixed into a design that is both simplistic and modern. It may be a step down in terms of packaging, but the CX-3's interior is a leap above segment average." -- Autoblog (2016)
  • "The crossover's interior really stood out. Our CX-3 Grand Touring model came with a cream, red, and gray interior with leather/cloth seats, plenty of soft touch spots on the doors and dash, and, well, a dashing, cream-colored padding area on the dash itself. It looked and felt luxurious." -- Motor Trend (2016)

Seating

The 2017 CX-3 seats five on standard cloth upholstery. Optional seating features include leatherette-trimmed seats, leather and suede seats, heated front seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. The front seats are comfortable and provide good support from all sides. In the back, however, lack of headroom and legroom make for disappointing passenger space.

The LATCH car seat system in the CX-3 receives a rating of Acceptable, the second highest, from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. There are complete sets on the outer rear seats, and the middle seat can borrow lower anchors from the other seats. IIHS reports that all the top tether anchors are easy to find, and the only problem with the lower anchors is that they are too deep in the seat.

  • The CX-3's front seats deliver outstanding comfort for this segment, with pleasantly firm support for long hauls and lateral bolstering that's well-suited for spirited driving. Rear legroom is at a premium, a common malady among subcompact crossovers, and adult passengers in the rear will probably need the front seat occupants to skooch their seats forward." -- Edmunds
  • … the CX-3 lacks interior space. It's fine up front, for two passengers - Mazda fully admits that this is a car for single folks or younger couples - but the rear compartment and cargo area are pretty tight. You could sit in the back seats for short distances and be fine, and there's enough room in the hatchback to carry a weekend's worth of luggage or a full load of groceries." -- Autoblog (2016)
  • The seats themselves are comfortable and supportive, with plenty of room up front. The back seats are a different story, as they're designed with shorter passengers in mind -- so much so that Mazda thoughtfully designed the rear-seat height to be high enough to allow short rear-seat passengers to match the eye-level of front-seat passengers. That unfortunately means tall folks such as myself will have a hard time getting comfortable in back; with the front seat in my preferred driving position, there isn't enough room in back to fit my six-foot frame. Foot room and knee room space is adequate (the latter thanks to a nice scallop in the back of the front seats), but legroom and headroom are pretty close to nonexistent for taller adults." -- Motor Trend (2016)

Interior Features

The 2017 CX-3 features a solid amount of standard features, including Bluetooth, HD Radio, a USB port, an infotainment system with a 7-inch touch-screen display, voice command activation, push-button start, and a rearview camera.

The CX-3’s infotainment system operates smoothly and is simple to use. However, some common commands, like changing a radio station, are overly complicated. The dash layout is intuitive, and physical controls for functions like climate are easy to reach. The system includes a physical knob to help with controls, which makes it a little easier to use.

See 2017 Mazda CX-3 specs »

  • All CX-3s are equipped with a 7-inch touchscreen interface that's also controlled by a handy control knob on the center console. It works well overall, although certain tasks that should be simple - such as changing satellite radio stations - require multiple inputs to accomplish." -- Edmunds
  • After some early issues, the 7-inch screen and the Mazda Connect experience are easy to use. I'm still not totally sold on the flip-up HUD screen despite online production guru Zach Gale's reminder that it works with polarized sunglasses, unlike other systems. And the CX-3 avoided a common CX-5 complaint by not putting the front/center HVAC vents too low." -- Motor Trend (2016)
  • "The dash is low and wide, with a well-located infotainment screen mounted up high. An iDrive-style controller rests on the center console, an easy reach from the driver's seat. The interface is straightforward and easy to use—as are the HVAC controls—all the better to let you focus on driving. In this area, Mazda lands a body blow on Honda." -- Road and Track (2016)

Cargo

The Mazda CX-3 has 12.4 cubic feet of cargo room with its back seats in place and 44.5 cubic feet with them folded, which are very low numbers for the class. Along with the small amount of space, the floor of the trunk is high, which makes it harder to load items.

  • Cargo capacity in the CX-3 is decidedly modest, checking in at 12.4 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 44.5 cubes with the rear seatbacks folded down. Opting for the Bose system with its bulky trunk-mounted subwoofer shrinks those numbers to 10.1 and 42.3 cubes, respectively. By contrast, the Honda HR-V can swallow up to 58.8 cubic feet of stuff." -- Edmunds
  • "Above all, the paltry amount of space available in the cargo area and its high load floor eliminate any impression of utility. A Mazda3 five-door hatchback is more spacious inside in every respect and offers a more usable hatch opening and a more accessible low load height. Aren't crossovers supposed to be more practical than traditional cars?" -- Automobile Magazine (2016)
  • Overall visibility is good despite the slender windows and high beltline, but pack light because a couple of carry-on bags may nearly fill the rear cargo compartment." -- Car and Driver (2016)

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