At last week’s 2018 New York Motor Show, a car that definitely did not steal any attention away from the futuristic concept cars and new model launches was the Mazda CX-3. The small crossover made its appearance at the Javitz Centre wearing minor updates for the 2019 model year.
Being only a ‘facelift’, it isn’t surprising that the CX-3’s changes are relegated to a general smoothening out of the car’s rougher edges, in terms of build, exterior, interior and the like. Indeed, the 2019 version is exactly that and nothing more.
The most identifiable change comes at the front, where the fascia incorporates a new grille, followed by the semi-polished 18-inch wheels. But look a little closer and details like the new additional chrome exterior trim and gloss black door surrounds, and at there rear we spy a revised pair of tight light clusters.
Otherwise, the 2019 CX-3 looks virtually identical to the version launched originally in 2015. The compact size of the crossover means that interior space is at a premium, and in terms of front row roominess the switch from a manual handbrake to an electronic one will definitely help.
Probably as a result of that, Mazda has had enough (figurative) wiggle room to improve the seats themselves, which are now wider and more supportive. How big an improvement they are in practice will obviously be revealed over time, but visually the cabin benefits from the option of having it in full white or black colour schemes.
There are smaller changes inside as well, such as the subtle red highlight accents found on the air vents, a repositioning of cupholders, and a very classy suede-like material that’s used on the door trim as well as on the dashboard, a material choice we first saw on the recently facelifted Mazda6 saloon.
Mechanically, the CX-3 will also retain much of the original’s gear, but both the SkyActiv petrol and diesel engines have been optimised to produce slightly more power while meeting stricter Euro 6 emissions standards. Mazda have also said that they have tuned the suspension and steering to make the 2019 version more responsive.
The ‘new’ CX-3 will be rolling out to showrooms in North America in Q3 of 2018, with the rest of the world likely to see its local appearance shortly if not immediately after. Mazda will disclose more details about its specification closer to that launch date.