A RECENT revamp makes the Mazda CX-3 more refined than a bag of sugar.
It's sweet to drive as well following a number of technological improvements introduced to refresh the crossover first launched on to the motoring world in 2015.
I'm a sucker for snazzily named gizmos so couldn't resist looking into Mazda's G-Vectoring control system - now available across the 13-model line up.
The blurb claims it gives more responsive handling, greater grip and ‘super sporty driving dynamics'. This is backed up on the road as corners are treated with distain by the front-wheel drive motor while the steering is sharp and informative.
Mazda has a ‘Fun to Drive' philosophy which runs through all the models they make and the CX-3 upholds this ideal in spades. The ride smooths out any humps and hollows thanks to a suspension that also benefits from a small tweak.
Together with what Mazda calls its Soul of Motion design with the award-winning SKYACTIV technology the CX-3 offers a great driving experience whether negotiating inner city roads or touring the countryside.
The modern cabin is well insulated from the outside world with improved sound insulation while the engines are also quieter so less intrusive. There is also an efficient climate control system included on the more expensive models.
It all makes for a calming atmosphere so the CX-3 is a pleasant place to spend a long journey.
The 2.0-litre petrol engine is punchy with 62mph reached from a standing start in nine seconds while fuel economy is reasonable. There are also diesel alternatives available as well as four-wheel-drive.
Safety improvements also abound with an array of new technologies available.
On the SE-L Nav model I drove these include smart city brake support which automatically applies the anchors when detecting a low-speed collision is likely. It uses a camera to detect obstacles with the vehicle collision avoidance threshold now raised to 31mph.
There is also a lane departure warning system that does exactly what it says on the tin should you stray from your lane when driving on dual carriageways or motorways.
Mazda's crossover is also extremely well connected thanks an intuitive infotainment system that gives access to all your music, social media, text messages via your fingertips. It's easy to use and forms the centrepiece of a dashboard that gives the driver all the information he or she will ever need.
Heated front seats are also included on the well kitted out SE-L Nav model which also gets privacy glass at the rear as well as rear parking sensors, LED front fog lights, dusk-sensing headlights and rain-sensing front wipers. As the model name implies there is an integrated navigation system with three-years of free European map updates.
Quality materials are used giving a luxury feel to proceedings. The seats are comfortable and there is plenty of room for four adults. The fit and finish are beyond reproach as everything is well screwed together.