Updated Mazda CX-3 SUV on sale 31 August

Mazda's smallest SUV gets tweaks to boost comfort and a new diesel engine

An updated Mazda CX-3 goes on sale in the UK on 31 August, bringing claimed improvements in comfort and driver appeal, as well as a new 1.8-litre diesel engine. Prices start at £18,995.

First revealed at the New York Motor Show in March, the latest CX-3 has a sharper look that brings it into line with the Mazda3 hatchback and Mazda6 saloon. The five-sided front grille is more prominent, with four horizontal vanes, and a dark finish to the side window pillars intends to lend the CX-3 a coupe-like appearance.

While exterior changes are superficial, the interior update has been rather more in-depth, with a newly designed dashboard that takes full advantage of using an electronic handbrake. This frees up space for the centre console to flow into the dashboard, while allowing the infotainment controls to be repositioned for greater ease of use. The new console also incorporates a padded armrest with storage space beneath. New seat materials are said to improve comfort and support, and changes to the sound insulation should result in a quieter ride.

Perhaps more significant still, though, are the updated CX-3's mechanical changes. While the familiar 2.0-litre SKYACTIV-G petrol engine continues in 119 and 148bhp forms, it's now joined by a 1.8-litre SKYACTIV-D diesel that replaces the former 1.5-litre engine. The change in size is claimed to bring an improved blend of performance, economy and smoothness, while complying with the latest European exhaust emissionsregulations.

Economy figures have yet to be released, but Mazda says it has measured the fuel-efficiency of its new engine according to the latest economy measurement methods, which are said to be representative of real-world driving.

Other changes include redesigned suspension which, together with a recalibrated electric power steering system, is intended to improve cornering response while ensuring a smooth ride. All models apart from the entry-level SE Nav+ gain LED foglights and rear privacy glass, and Sport Nav+ cars now feature 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and signature LED rear lights.

The updated Mazda CX-3 SUV range is available from 31 August, with prices starting at £18,995.

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