Small updates for a small SUV
The top-selling Mazda CX-3 small crossover will receive a range of pretty low-key upgrades before the end of the year, as previewed on the US model this week at the New York Auto Show.
This is the second upgrade since 2015, and focuses on improvements to driving refinement and cabin feel. The show car appears to be a top-spec version, known as the Akari here.
There's a very small change to the grille, which gets fewer - but broader - chrome horizontal strips. There are also chrome strips running along the side and the addition of Soul Red Crystal paint. There are also new LED tail lights and new 18-inch wheels.
Inside the cabin there is a new centre arm rest with cup holders, enabled by a space-saving electric park brake (with Auto Hold) in place of the old manual one. There are also new faux suede contact points, redesigned front seats and rear cupholders.
The 2.0 petrol engine standard in the US also gets one whole extra kilowatt (gasp!), taking it to 110kW, though in more useful news there's now a broader torque band that should help rolling response.
Dynamically Mazda has changed the dampers and motor-driven power steering tunes, and fitted tyres with cushier sidewalls.
The company also reckons it has improved noise, vibration and harshness levels (NVH) by adding thicker door panels, rear-door glass and headlining, while upgrading the door seams.
On a sales front, the CX-3 managed 17,490 sales last year, second in class after being taken by the cut-price Mitsubishi ASX. Sales fell 4.6 per cent in a segment up overall.
This revised one will lob as a MY19 car before year's end.