The folks over at Spanish publication km77 have put the facelifted Mazda CX-3 through the dreaded Moose Test, with the Japanese brand’s smallest crossover having to settle for a “poor” rating after displaying “alarming” reactions.

In the video below, the CX-3 – in this instance, in naturally aspirated 2,0-litre, front-wheel-drive guise – is subjected to one of the toughest handling tests out there, designed to simulate an animal suddenly running in front of a moving vehicle.

As we’ve pointed out before, though, whereas the Swedes usually perform the evaluation at about 60 km/h, this test from the Spaniards is conducted at higher speeds.

The CX-3 (here running on 18-inch alloys wrapped in Toyo Proxes rubber, in 215/50 size) was put through the test first at the standard 77 km/h, but struck a number of cones as the driver struggled to keep it under control. Still, as the publication points out, considerable body roll was evident and the electronic stability control (ESC) didn’t appear to do its job.

After a bit more practice, the driver successfully completed the Moose Test at a speed of 75 km/h, despite alarming reactions from the suspension. Again, though, the ESC didn’t seem to intervene. Other attempts saw the CX-3 bouncing violently between swerves (lifting wheels clear off the ground), while slow-motion footage showed the tyres deforming dramatically under load.

Watch the clip below, which includes a slalom test, to see just how the CX-3 performed (take note that the commentary is in Spanish, but has the option of English subtitles)...