Mazda CX-3 2019 maxx sport (fwd)
Owner Review

2019 Mazda CX-3 Maxx Sport (FWD) review - the loaner

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We’re happy to report the findings of a question that our household has had about the CX-3 for some time, and it's something that others may find useful too.

Could a Mazda CX-3 fit either our large or medium Samsonite hard-shell suitcases? Could it even fit both at the same time?

We have been interested in the Mazda CX-3 for a while now, especially with myself being a bit of a fan of Mazda vehicles. Our 2009 Mazda 3 is getting on in years and we have been looking at a replacement for sometime in the future.

But we were also acutely aware that they are not exactly known for being hugely endowed with boot space - all 264 litres of it.

We’re lucky enough to have another car that has a bigger boot. For any city-based car we own, it should be good for picking up and dropping off family visiting the Melbourne CBD, so a bit of suitcase lugging ability would still be handy.

We were handed the keys to a Mazda CX-3 Maxx Sport courtesy car recently, after we had dropped our 2013 CX-5 diesel off for a recall check and service.

At home we have our two regular suitcases: a large, 81cm Samsonite ‘Cosmolite’ suitcase, and a medium, 75cm Samsonite ‘Liteshock’ suitcase.

And we were pleasantly surprised to learn that if you remove the floating floor panel in the boot, stack the largest suitcase on the bottom with the medium one on top, and if you remove the luggage security shelf… you can just fit both of these cases in and close the boot door. This can be done without the top case touching the rear windscreen, and with the rear seats still up.

When I saw both cases stacked in the boot, I thought, “no way” (would the door close), but then, “what the hell, let’s try it”.

And they actually fit!

For all those people out there who are wondering if their city-sized Mazda CX-3 is up to swallowing a large and medium suitcase in the boot (of similar dimensions to ours), then it quite possibly can!

If both the luggage shelf, and the partition floor are in place, you can still fit the biggest suitcase, but only just.

This aside, we enjoyed its nimble handling, interior presentation and its slightly-higher-than-a-regular-car ride height.

When pressed, the engine was actually noisier than I expected - surprisingly so when compared to our older 2009 2.0-litre manual Mazda 3, which is a notoriously noisy car.

The rest of the car, including tyre and cabin noise, was more muted though.

The handling at suburban speeds was also a little more doughy than I thought it would be. We expected it to be razor sharp like our previous ‘go-kart’, a previous generation 2013 Mazda 2.

But on the open road the supple ride more than compensated.

Unfortunately we had to hand the keys back that afternoon when our own car became available. As a second car, where outright space isn’t as crucial to us, we would give it serious thought.

Being a household that mostly travels on the freeway, sometimes very early during winter mornings where black ice and heavy rain can be an issue, the option of all-wheel drive is hugely appealing too.

Minor quibbles? Proximity entry - as found in the base model Subaru XV and Nissan Qashqai models - would be nice, as would longer service intervals of 15,000km instead of 10,000km.

But all up, we found that the CX-3 was fun to drive, felt solid, had good forward visibility (over the shoulder visibility was a bit average), and good fuel economy, while the host of standard safety features also offers great peace of mind.

NOTE: We've used a CarAdvice photo with this story

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