Mazda has refreshed the CX-3, its rival to the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur, as it passes the midpoint of its life cycle, with a suite of subtle aesthetic refreshes and a £300 price increase over the pre-facelift car.
The exterior of the small SUV, now priced from £18,995, remains largely the same, although Mazda has tweaked the grille and side pillars. It’s under the bonnet where the biggest change has taken place — the facelifted CX-3 is the first car to get the brand’s 1.8-litre Skyactiv-D diesel engine, which replaces the 1.5-litre diesel unit currently offered.
Emissions of 114g/km and fuel economy of 64.2mpg is claimed and the engine is likely to filter down to other Mazdas as model updates and replacements come in, with the next car due being the 3 next year. The next model due to be facelifted is the CX-5 in 2020, three years after its introduction last year.
The Skyactiv-D 1.8 diesel engine has efficiency-boosting improvements including egg-shaped pistons and revised injectors, with rapid multi-stage combustion. Mazda's upcoming Skyactiv-X engines are claimed to boost economy by 30%, although no diesel version is planned.
Revisions to the CX-3’s interior include the addition of a space-saving electric parking brake in place of the traditional handbrake lever, a revised dashboard with ergonomic improvements and an infotainment upgrade, as well as improved soundproofing. Padded armrests have also been added in the front and back, although the rear gets cupholders in place of a storage box.
Mazda has also paid attention to the car’s driving characteristics, with tweaks to the suspension, chassis and power steering, while it claims to have improved ride quality and handling from a reworked anti-roll bar and new springs and dampers.
The CX-3 goes on sale at the end of August, with a special-edition, 500-unit Sport Black+ edition topping the range with black exterior trim, leather interior and black headliner. That car goes on sale on 1 October.
In the UK, the CX-3 has found 3716 homes, to the bigger-selling CX-5's 6033, with the CX-3 taking 15% of Mazda's UK sales volume overall. Around 15% of CX-3 sales are diesels, with the remaining 85% being petrol models.