Mazda has given its CX-3 small SUV a facelift for 2018 along with equipment and engine upgrades to enhance its appeal.
Available in Australia at the end of August, the refreshed CX-3 sports a new front grille with bold horizontal lines for a more assertive stance, while the rear combination lamps on the sTouring and Akari models have been tweaked for a more premium look. Maxx Sport and above also get gloss black fog lamp bezels and side pillars.
sTouring and Akari models now feature bigger 18-inch wheels with a bright metallic finish that is said to better absorb high frequency road noise and vibration.
Inside, the new CX-3 has been given a substantial makeover with a revised centre console design to accommodate the new Electric Parking Brake which is now standard on all variants.
The change from a manual park brake to an electric one has meant the Command Controller has been relocated, moving forward for easier reach. A folding padded lid has also been fitted to the console box, doubling as a central armrest for driver and front seat passenger.
Maxx Sport and above now get a folding rear armrest featuring two cup holders that can carry containers of varied sizes.
The front seat cushions adopts urethane foam with a high-damping quality to give greater ride comfort, and seat upholstery has been changed to full leather on the high grade models.
sTouring and Akari also get a new anti-glare interior rear-vision mirror that automatically cuts glare, dimming the reflections of strong, bright lights, while reversing camera is standard across the board with the range-topping Akari adding 360o View Monitor and Radar Cruise Control with Stop & Go.
Mazda says the CX-3’s dynamics have been improved further with suspension and Electric Power Steering revisions.
2018 models will be available with the SKYACTIV-G 2.0L petrol engine, which has seen a range of SKYACTIV technologies applied to improve economy and promote quicker engine response, lifting power from 110kW to 111kW at 6,000rpm, and torque from 192Nm to 195Nm at 2,800rpm.
The new SKYACTIV-D 1.8L turbo-diesel engine is also offered, replacing the smaller capacity 1.5L engine in the previous model.
Combined with a host of SKYACTIV technology upgrades, including redesigned stepped egg profile combustion chamber, ultra-high piezo injectors, a new coolant control system and Natural Sound Smoother, the new engine boosts power to 85kW from 77kW at 4,000rpm, while torque remains a high 270Nm delivered between 1,600 and 2,600rpm.
The 2018 Mazda CX-3 is available in both front- and all-wheel drive guises with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission.
It is offered in four variants, with the Neo and Maxx upgraded to Neo Sport and Maxx Sport to sit alongside the sTouring and the top-spec Akari models. There are eight exterior colours to choose from, matched with five model-dependent interior colour schemes.
2018 Mazda CX-3 pricing (excl. on-road costs):
|Neo Sport||2.0L Petrol||FWD||6MT||$23,990|
|Neo Sport||2.0L Petrol||FWD||6AT||$25,990|
|Maxx Sport||2.0L Petrol||FWD||6MT||$25,490|
|Maxx Sport||2.0L Petrol||FWD||6AT||$27,490|
|Maxx Sport||2.0L Petrol||AWD||6AT||$29,490|
|Maxx Sport||1.8L Diesel||FWD||6AT||$29,990|