The CX-3 is a truly compact crossover, and very literally a Mazda2 on stilts.
The world of difference separating the two lies in the fact that it’s taller so no hassle at all to get in and out of, with loftier seating that also makes it easier to see out of.
Once ensconced on firm but supportive front seats, the CX-3’s smallness is palpable, but it isn’t cramped, even for this tester’s 200cm-tall partner up front. That has to do with the wide range of adjustability and a decent level of available space. Result? The driving position is excellent.
The dash architecture is also shared with the Mazda2, down to the oddly deco-style central speedo flanked by the world’s tiniest tacho to the left and a trip computer/fuel-gauge info to the right. The controls have a quality, well-oiled feel to them, the stylised turbine air vents are reminiscent of the old-shape Audi A1's (no bad thing) and 2018's upgraded centre console feels premium.
Rear-seat entry/egress is unexpectedly easy due to doors that open almost 80 degrees; the seats are a little short in length for longer thighs but well-padded, nicely angled and promote a natural posture, so are comfy; and there are overhead grab handles with coat hooks, a single map pocket and a small bottle receptacle. Your 178cm tester can sit behind themselves with lots of shoe room and enough knee and head clearance too.
Further back, the boot is as you’d expect – deep and wide but fairly short due to the stubby rear. The loading lip is a little high, but there’s a very useable amount of space, with a space-saver spare wheel living beneath the floor. Speaking of which, there are two of those – one that offers extra protection from prying eyes. Cargo capacity is rated at a reasonable 264 litres, or 1174L with the 60/40 rear backrests folded.
Bad points include poor side and rear vision, but otherwise the CX-3’s cabin has weathered the years almost as well as the sporty dynamics. Particularly at its price point.