One month in and we’ve put some serious kilometres on our cute little Mazda long-term tester. 3,503 in fact. Two big road trips, one with the whole family in tow and one solo only enhanced my adoration for this little rig.

There are a few niggles popping up. For example, the navigation screen crashed on me while I was on the second of those road trips. Apparently turning off the car while I was mid-menu caused it to have a minor kerfuffle. I was in the middle of the “Find Points of Interest Nearby” screen when I saw something outside the car I wanted to look at and turned the car off. When I turned the car back on, the navigation screen went blank and stayed blank. Only after I ejected the SD card and put it back in did the nav system reset. It hasn’t happened again since.

The infotainment system also mysteriously lost the Sirius XM subscription for a short while but has now come back after I reset the subscription code. I don’t know if this issue is a Sirius issue or a Mazda issue.

I also can’t figure out how to turn the rear interior light on without also turning on the front set – which meant I couldn’t let Maddie use the light to read as we drove home in the dark. Speaking of, Maddie pointed out that there are no cupholders for her back there. There’s no fold-down armrest or anything, the middle seat is simply solid. This and the lack of an armrest console are two “cheap outs” that I think are excessive.

And that’s a real shame, because everywhere else the CX-3 feels anything but cheap. In fact it puts some more expensive cars to absolute shame.

The suede inserts in the door are a particular pleasure of mine, and the leather seats are white, but somehow manage to repel stains beautifully. So far I’ve challenged them with hot chocolate, a mango smoothie and a raspberry ring pop – one spray of interior cleaner and a wipe with a microfibre cloth sorted the problem every time. Bill Clinton would have been home free.

Far more importantly, the ride is refined and smooth. I took the CX-3 on a jaunt around the back roads of Eastern Ontario, winding roads with elevation changes, surface changes and unexpected dips, potholes and bumps.

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