What are they like inside?
Only the Suzuki Vitara and Skoda Yeti offer the sort of high-set and upright driving position that many people look for in an SUV. The Mazda CX-3 is shorter and feels more like a traditional hatchback from behind the wheel. The view out isn’t as good as those in the Yeti and Vitara, which have larger windows.
The CX-3 has the most comfortable and supportive seats, however, and while those in the Yeti and Vitara’s are comfortable enough, they don’t have enough side support to hold you in place through corners. Many may also find it hard to find a decent seating position in the Yeti, because the height adjustment for both its steering wheel and driver’s seat is a little limited.
On the other hand, the Yeti is by far the most spacious, thanks to its tall, boxy shape. You can sit three adults abreast in its rear seat, which is a squeeze in the other two cars. And the Yeti has the biggest boot and the most flexible seating layout. The three seats in the back slide back and forth, recline, fold flat and can even be removed entirely.
The other two cars have fixed rear seats that fold down in a conventional 60:40 split when you need to carry larger items. The Vitara isn’t great for rear headroom, particularly in SZ5 trim, which includes a headroom-shrinking glass roof. However, it’s still roomier than the CX-3, which also has the smallest boot.
The Yeti has the plushest and most neatly designed interior. It feels hard wearing and the materials used are of a good quality. The CX-3’s dashboard is well laid out and interesting to look at, but there are too many different materials and none is particularly tactile.
It’s the Vitara that’s least impressive inside, with hard plastics everywhere. Fortunately it looks quite smart and the wheel and gearlever are pleasant enough to touch, preventing it feeling too much like a budget choice.
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