MSRP
$20,390
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2019 Mazda CX-3 Interior Review

Scorecard

Interior: 5.4

The 2019 Mazda CX-3 has a luxurious cabin that rivals some luxury manufacturers. Premium materials abound, and while upper-level trims are especially nice, even the base model stands out in the class. The front seats are supportive and spacious, but the back seats are best left to children. Cargo space is below average for the class. After a bit of learning curve, the infotainment system is straightforward to use. The CX-3 doesn’t offer some of the tech features that rivals do, but it does have many advanced driver assistance features.

  • "It's not unfair to say that, of all the Japanese car companies, Mazda is the one that consistently comes out with attractive designs that could easily apply to luxury labels like Lexus, Infiniti or even Jaguar. Imagine if Acura had stuff that looked like this. The CX-3, however, is a reasonably priced subcompact-crossover SUV." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The CX-3 gets high marks for its attractive interior that makes use of high-quality materials." -- Edmunds
  • "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)

Seating

Five cloth seats come standard in the 2019 CX-3, while synthetic or real leather upholstery, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and a power-adjustable driver’s seat are available. Most adults can sit comfortably up front, but space in the back is tight, especially legroom. The comfortable seats include ample side support to keep you in place when scooting around turns.

For installing child safety seats, the CX-3 has two full sets of LATCH connectors on the outboard rear seats, with an additional upper tether anchor on the middle seat.

  • Front headroom is quite good, aided by low seat height (for a crossover). Rear headroom isn't bad considering the segment, and average-size adults should be fine. But the rear-seat area is tiny, and it can feel as if the front occupants are sitting on your lap." -- Edmunds
  • Front passengers will find a surprisingly good degree of room—especially if they get to fully stretch out. However, if they do, rear passengers will be somewhat cramped. Even under the best of circumstances, the rear seat can hold two adults. Front headroom is ample enough, but some rear headroom is sacrificed the sloping roof." -- Consumer Guide
  • 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 CX-3 has a decent list of standard features. Basic amenities include the Mazda Connect 7-inch infotainment system, a six-speaker audio system, a USB port, Bluetooth, internet streaming app services like Pandora and Aha, a rearview camera, low-speed automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert. Optional features include a moonroof, automatic climate control, a seven-speaker Bose sound system, satellite radio, HD Radio, navigation, and numerous advanced safety features, including a head-up display, a traffic sign recognition system, adaptive headlights, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning. Notably, the Mazda CX-3 offers neither Apple CarPlay nor Android Auto smartphone integration.

The Mazda Connect infotainment system has a brief learning curve, but it’s intuitive enough after that. It can be controlled using both the touch screen and a console-mounted control knob, though some features require multiple steps to access. The screen itself is placed high on the dash, making it easy to see from the driver’s seat.

See 2019 Mazda CX-3 specs »

  • "Mazda is the only non-luxury brand to use a dial infotainment controller, which helps to reduce distraction. But some functions require more steps than they do in rivals. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are conspicuously absent." -- Edmunds
  • "The iPad-like infotainment system includes text-message audio delivery, voice command, and apps like Aha and Stitcher, with the screen mounted fashionably on top of the dash." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "After some early issues, the 7-inch screen and the Mazda Connect experience are easy to use.” -- Motor Trend (2016)

Cargo

The CX-3 has 12.4 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and 44.5 cubic feet with them folded. That’s well below average among subcompact SUVs. Even many hatchbacks offer more cargo room than the CX-3 does. Not only is storage space small, but there are not many small interior cubbies for you to store your personal items. Additionally, the cargo floor is set high above the ground, making it difficult to load things.

  • “Cargo capacity behind the rear seats is a bit small for the class at 12.4 cubic feet. Folding them flat expands that space to 44.5 cubic feet." -- Edmunds
  • The glove box is usefully large, but other personal-item storage isn't always as accommodating. There are small front-door pockets with bottle holders, and a small open area under the instrument panel that holds power and USB ports. The console contains a pair of cup holders, but they are inaccessible when the center armrest is in use. The rear row has just a pouch on the back of the front passenger seat and a bottle holder in each door." -- Consumer Guide (2018)
  • "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)
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2019 Mazda CX-3

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