Mazda CX-3 gets

mid-life refresh

Mazda CX-3, 2018, front
Mazda CX-3, 2018, side
Mazda CX-3, 2018, rear
Mazda CX-3, 2018, interior
Mazda CX-3, 2018, dashboard
Mazda CX-3, 2018, boot
Mazda CX-3, 2018, rear seats
Mazda CX-3, 2018, display screen
Mazda CX-3, 2018, badge

MAZDA has enjoyed a busy 2018 updating every vehicle in its range with the exception of the Mazda3 - an all-new version of which was launched at the Los Angeles motor show in November.

The latest model to get a substantial refresh is the pretty CX-3 - the company's popular compact SUV.

As the CX-3 is Mazda's second best seller the visual changes are fairly cosmetic with additional improvements being made to the cabin and increased technology and safety equipment.

A limited edition Sport Black+ version spearheads the charge for sales and only 500 are available.

Based on the 2.0-litreSKYACTIV-G petrol 121ps 2WD SE-L Nav+ model it comes in manual or auto priced at £22,195 and £23,195 respectively.

The manual version does 0-62mph in 9.0 seconds, and has a top speed of 119mph and, according to official figures, can deliver combined fuel economy of 45.6mpg with carbon emissions of 141g/km.

The Sport Black offers striking good looks and features a revised grille, blacked out windows and pillars, a brilliant black roof spoiler, black door mirror caps and stylish 18-inch silver alloys. A shark fin antenna completes the sporty look.

Inside the step-up in quality is impressive. The instruments and controls are surrounded by premium quality materials and there is much to enjoy including a superb sound system.

You also get sat nav, heated powered seats, leather, a dash mounted seven-inch colour screen and Mazda's latest in-car connectivity system.

The manual handbrake has been replaced by an electronic one to free space and acontroller dial situated in front of that allows you to access all the car's functions and many of them can also be operated from the car's multi-function steering wheel.

Other changes have reduced noise intrusion resulting in a very quiet and comfortable cabin.

I also sampled the CX-3 with the new 1.8-litre 115ps engine. It offers a creditable 64.1 mpg in the latest WLTP test and delivers its power smoothly and efficiently via the six-speed manual transmission. Emissions are 117g/km.

Designed to deliver class-leading performance, economy and refinement, the new engine replaces the 1.5 diesel and although it is larger it is cleaner and more fuel efficient. It is also quieter because of reduced knock and although the petrol models will continue to be the most popular, the diesel is a good choice for buyers who do a higher mileage.

All versions of the CX-3 are good to drive with excellent steering and improved handling thanks to some new suspension changes. It is happy in town or on open roads and cruises without fuss at motorway speeds.

It may not be the biggest car in its class but it still offers good comfort levels and has many practical storage areas. There is 350 litres of boot space which goes up to 1.260 litres with the split 60:40 rear seats folded flat.

Mazda has also introduced a raft of new safety features to the CX-3 some of which are standard while some are optional for an additional cost.

Prices for the new range start at £18,995 and the latest updates will ensure that the CX-3 will continue to be in demand from private and fleet customers.


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