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2021 Mazda CX-3 Interior Review

Scorecard

Interior: 5.2

 The 2021 Mazda CX-3 feels upscale and looks opulent. Build quality is superb. The front seats are snug but provide plenty of room for adults to get comfortable. The rear seats are a different story as legroom is wanting, and headroom is only bearable. Most rivals offer more cargo space than the CX-3 as well.

  • "The CX-3’s cabin is extremely appealing, with an excellent layout and high-end materials." -- Autotrader
  • "The CX-3's well-built and impressively detailed cabin feels upscale, and its comfortable and straightforward driving position makes it easy to settle in for a drive. Rear-passenger space is limited, though, which reduces its practicality as a people hauler." -- Car and Driver
  • "The … Mazda CX-3 Sport … looks thoroughly modern inside, but you won’t want to sit in the cramped back seat. Nevertheless, we like the overall interior style of the CX-3. It has an upscale look." -- Kelley Blue Book (2020)

Cargo

The CX-3 has 17.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row and 44.5 cubic feet with the rear seats folded flat. These figures are quite low as most subcompact SUV rivals offer more cargo room.

  • "As with its passenger space, the CX-3 is stingy when it comes to cargo room." -- Car and Driver
  • "Similarly, cargo space with the rear seat up is less than generous at 17.8 cubic feet. Even with the back seats folded to make 42.7 cubic feet, the CX-3 can’t swallow a mountain bike or larger items." -- Autotrader
  • "There’s not a lot of cargo room beneath that rear hatch, but here’s a tip: If you keep the split rear seat folded forward all the time, the CX-3 can be used as an all-weather 2-seater with a very generous cargo hold." -- Kelley Blue Book (2020)

Seating

The CX-3 seats up to five people in two rows. The front seats are comfortable, if a bit tight. Six-footers should not have trouble finding a comfortable position, as legroom is ample. However, the cramped second row is best left for children. Any adult passengers sitting in the rear seats will have to dip down to enter and exit the vehicle because the roofline cuts into interior space. Cloth upholstery and manually adjustable front seats come standard.

For installing child safety seats, there are two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats and a tether anchor for the rear middle seat. The tether anchors are easy to locate, but it may be difficult to reach the lower anchors, which are set too deeply in the seats.

  • "The front seats are snug, but they hold their occupants firmly in place during spirited drives. Unfortunately, the CX-3’s rear accommodations suffer from a lack of headroom and less legroom than the class best, the Honda HR-V." -- Autotrader
  • "While folks up front have enough room, the rear seat is cramped, even for a skinny, average-height gent like me." -- CNET (2019)
  • "Most people will find the front seats of the CX-3 agreeable and comfortable, though the seats come up a bit short on thigh and back support for larger-framed folks. The CX-3's compact footprint hurts rear-seat legroom." -- Edmunds (2019)

Interior Features

Standard features in the CX-3 include automatic climate control, a 7-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a six-speaker stereo, a USB port, Bluetooth, and voice recognition.

Mazda’s infotainment system is fairly intuitive and user-friendly. The touch screen is generally responsive, and the rotary knob makes it easier to control the system when driving. Some reviewers did note that the system was slow to respond to some commands.

Standard active safety features include automatic emergency braking, day and night pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, automatic high-beam headlights, adaptive LED headlights, a rearview camera, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a head-up display, and adaptive cruise control. Rear parking sensors are available.

See 2021 Mazda CX-3 specs »

  • "All CX-3s come standard with a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system perched atop the contoured dashboard. A rotary-knob controller is on the center console to prevent screen smudging and to eliminate the need to reach forward to operate the system while driving." -- Car and Driver
  • "The CX-3 is at or near the top of the class with its intuitive and flexible infotainment interface, along with driver assistance niceties such as traffic-adaptive cruise control. There's no native navigation system, but Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard equipment. With better integration with your phone and more natural voice control, we prefer these alternatives to the navigation systems in other Mazdas anyway." -- Edmunds (2020)
  • "When it comes to standard driver-assistance systems, that's where the CX-3 excels in the class. Blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and collision-mitigation braking are all standard. [Other standard features include] adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane-departure warning, LED headlights, automatic high beams and rain-sensing wipers, not to mention other niceties like heated front seats, a sunroof and a pop-up head-up display." -- CNET (2019) 
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2021 Mazda CX-3

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