2018 facelift for the Mazda CX-3 focuses less on cosmetics and more on mechanical upgrades
The Mazda CX-3 has been facelifted, gaining changes to its styling, interior, suspension and engine line-up.
From the outside, the revisions to the Nissan Juke rival are hard to spot: aside from a touched-up grille and darker pillar trims, barely anything is new. One tweak makes a big difference inside, however: ditching the old manual handbrake with an electrical item has not only freed up space for the repositioned infotainment controls, but also a central armrest with a cubby space beneath it.
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The front seats get different padding to make them more supportive, and those in the back get a folding centre armrest with cupholders. Several changes that are harder to spot should improve refinement: there’s thicker roof lining and sound insulation in the doors, and revisions to the door sill trims and rear glazing.
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The bigger upgrades lie on the mechanical side. The previous CX-3 was among the most fun to drive mini SUVs on the market, but Mazda has overhauled the springs, dampers and front anti roll bar. Along with a revised steering system, Mazda claims that the updated model both rides and handles better than the old one.
The petrol side of the engine line-up remains pretty much the same as before, with a 2.0-litre unit available in 119bhp or 148bhp outputs. However, adjustments to the pistons and injectors – both of which introduced in the latest CX-5 – are said to improve torque and real-world fuel economy. The car’s previous 1.5-litre diesel has been replaced by a 1.8-litre unit. The 1.8 makes 113bhp, which is 10bhp more than the old one. The diesel and the 119bhp petrol are front-wheel drive, while the 148bhp model is all-wheel drive only.
The CX-3 line-up is available to buy from 31 August, starting from £18,995. That’s for the SE Nav+ model with the lower-powered petrol engine; the SE-L Nav+ costs an extra £1,400, and at £21,695, the 2.0-litre Sport Nav+ costs £1,300 more than the SE-L Nav+. The most expensive model in the range is the 148bhp petrol Sport Nav+ Auto, which costs £24,995.
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