I’m back in the CX-3, about 10 months after last driving this compact SUV. I was a big fan of the car at the time, but subsequent testers Gareth and Luke found the car wasn’t quite suited to their lifestyles.
Rear legroom isn’t great, and the boot on first glance isn’t that big – but it’s perfect for me. I don’t have kids or carry many rear passengers, and the false floor gives way to a further storage place below.
If you don’t have much stuff, the boot is great as it’s level with the opening, and at a nice height to get things into. For larger loads, the rear seats fold virtually flat to create a reasonable loading bay.
I’m an advocate of the Mazda sat-nav and infotainment system, controlled by a rotary dial near the handbrake. This is much safer in my opinion than attempting to prod a touch screen and get the right button. The screen is also placed high-up in the cabin, meaning you don’t have to keep glancing down to follow the nav. Easy-to-reach steering wheel controls do the rest.
However, recent test cars I’ve driven have featured Apple CarPlay, whose live mapping and Spotify access have become essential car features for me. There are a couple of connected apps available, but they require you to connect the car to a Wi-Fi hotspot on your phone – not the usual way round.
The only other omission of note for me is adaptive cruise control – I’ve had this on recent cars and it transforms a long motorway journey. That said, for a small car, the CX-3 is handy on the motorway, taking on 100-mile journeys up the M11 to Peterborough with ease.
Talking of which, fuel economy has remained at a stable 50.1mpg, almost exactly the same as achieved by colleagues. It’s not stunning economy for what is effectively a small car, but considering my driving style isn’t especially economical, I’m fairly happy.