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Future models - Mazda - CX-3

New York show: Mazda CX-3 receives mild facelift

Where’s Wally: It might be hard to find the differences, but the CX-3 has been subjected to meaningful upgrades – albeit minor ones.

‘Exquisite and edgy’ Mazda CX-3 receives second update, including tweaked interior

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Mazda logo2 Apr 2018

By JUSTIN HILLIARD

UPDATED: 03/04/2018

MAZDA has given the hot-selling CX-3 small SUV its second update in as many years, with changes including tweaked styling, an overhauled interior, engine refinements and dynamic improvements.

Speaking to GoAuto, Mazda Australia senior manager of public relations Sonia Singh confirmed that an upgraded CX-3 will lob locally but cautioned its changes may vary from those shown overseas.

“Mazda is always looking to develop and update its product in line with consumer demands,” she said. “We will be exploring an update to the CX-3 in Australia towards the end of this year.

“America does have different needs to us, so the update is likely to differ slightly.”

Revealed at the New York motor show last week, the CX-3 ushers in a restyled front grille insert that consists of four horizontal louvres instead the old seven-slat look.

Trainspotters will also notice the CX-3’s new chrome accents which flank the front bumper and line the side mouldings, as well as its redesigned LED tail-lights and metallic-finish 18-inch alloy wheels.

Look a little closer and a piano-black finish has been applied to the B- and C-pillars as well as the front foglight bezels. Meanwhile, Soul Red Crystal premium paint now resides on the options list.

Inside, upgrades are more significant, spurred on by the inclusion of an electric park brake with auto-hold functionality, which has freed up cabin space and prompted the redesign of the centre stack and console.

Specifically, a central storage bin with an integrated armrest has been added, while the cupholders are now located further forward and the gear selector surrounds have a simpler look.

The front seats have been redesigned – again – making them wider, firmer and more supportive than before, while higher-specification grades are available with white or black full-leather upholstery with high-gloss pleated piping for the first time.

Applications of the grey suede-like material have extended further, now encompassing the dashboard in addition to the usual door trims.

Additionally, red accents have been added to the air vent surrounds, replacing the previous piano-black highlights. Rear passengers also now have access to a centre armrest with built-in cupholders.

Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels have been reduced thanks to redeveloped low-profile tyres and upgraded door seams as well as thicker door panels, rear-door glass and headliner.

Meanwhile, the CX-3’s four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines have been refined further, with the naturally aspirated 2.0-litre petrol raising its torque output across all engine speeds while improving fuel efficiency and reducing internal friction.

As a result, peak outputs for the US-market model have increased to 110kW of power and 201Nm of torque, up 1kW and 9Nm. While the petrol now meets stricter Euro 6 emission standards, it goes without a petrol particulate filter.

Alternatively, the turbocharged diesel has also been worked over to meet the aforementioned emission standards, with its combustion temperature lowered by increasing engine displacement, while a newly added nitrogen oxide storage catalyst plays a role, too.

However, the exact changes to the oil burner’s displacement – which is currently 1.5 litres – and power and torque outputs remain under wraps for now.

According to Mazda, the “CX-3’s suspension and power steering have also been fine-tuned to optimise dampening characteristics and enhance responsiveness”.

Advanced driver-assist safety technologies for the European-market model expand to adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality, and Matrix LED headlights, but it is currently unknown if these will be offered Down Under.

Sales of the CX-3 took a slight hit last year, with 17,490 examples sold to the end of 2017, representing a 4.6 per cent decrease over the 18,334 deliveries made in 2016.

Nevertheless, this effort was good enough to place the Mazda second in the sub-$40,000 small-SUV segment last year, trailing the Mitsubishi ASX (19,403 units) but ahead of the Nissan Qashqai (13,495), Honda HR-V (11,843) and Subaru XV (10,161), among others.

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