The all-new Mazda CX-3; Its exterior part doesn't have any additional changes

Mazda CX-3 Review: “Facelifted 10 months after its debut, what’s its real value?” by Takahito Nakamura

The Mazda CX-3 has been facelifted 10 months after its release in the market. This can be referred to as a very early improvement compared to the usual.

When we take it into consideration, some customers might hesitate about buying at this timing, but Mazda diligently offers constant progress, so they aim to upgrade their product strength and let their customers experience the evolution of these products. In the first place, the CX-3 is a crossover model based on the Demio, and even though its base concept was a B-Segment car, its value can be compared to that of a C-Segment car. When we consider purchasing gasoline-operated cars, the price of the Volkswagen Golf and other models is expensive. Moreover, when it comes to the size hierarchy as viewed generally, it has a narrow interior, and its luggage space is not really that sufficient.

They say that the CX-3 goes together with the CX-5 luxury model in the market, but at least after looking at it for 10 months, it has been splendidly improved.

Well then, which part of it has been improved? According to the research so far, the customers say that it feels inefficient even when driving it at low speed (with the diesel version). Its passing acceleration performance on slopes is not quite satisfactory. It is necessary to make delicate steering corrections with its steering wheel, and it lacks flexibility in its ride quality. It has a high set price. Some say that they want to have a black leather interior. There are many more comments about it. This newly improved model answered those problems.

What did they particularly do? As for its active performance even at low-speed driving, its engine control has been reconsidered, its degree of acceleration in the acceleration operation has been enhanced, and its starting function has been improved. Further, it is now mounted with a Natural Sound Smoother that negates knocking sounds as standard equipment, which was previously just an option setting. The ESP control of its steering operation has also been revised. As for its ride quality, it has better suspension settings, and the size of its front stabilizer has been purposely reduced. Furthermore, they thoroughly made improvements by responding to the demands of their customers, such as equipping it with a black leather interior and the like.

And in order to feel its difference, I test-drove the existing CX-3 model first at the place where I could test the both the old and new CX-3. And after that, I immediately test-drove the all-new CX-3 as it matched to my schedule, and went outside the test course to drive it downtown and in the metro area. By the way, I test-drove the CX-3 with the XD Touring L Package. When I test-drove this model after its debut, I thought that its Natural Sound Smoother has a limited efficiency. However, when I test-drove it recently, it was clear, and it had a different sound quality compared to the previous-generation model during full acceleration.

As for Mazda’s diesel engine, it has a low compression so it had low external noise during idling stop, but when I drove it in both full and partial acceleration, it expressed its distinct diesel engine noise. Other brands with diesel engines include BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volvo. It has great sound tuning since even though it has a huge external sound during idling stops, it is difficult to identify whether its sound when acceleration starts is from a diesel engine or a gasoline engine. As expected, it wasn’t certain what kind of plan they apply, but this Natural Sound Smoother has made that result clear. Therefore, I felt that it somehow became closer to that of the European diesel engine in terms of its sound. Of course, this is just about my personal impression.

By the way, aside from enhancing its level of quietness, the thickness of its windshield was also increased from 3.5mm to 4mm.

Next is about the improvement of its acceleration feel at low speed. As a result of the system that I mentioned from the start, by looking at the graph that displays the time on the horizontal axis and the acceleration on the vertical axis, the engine in this machine became more remarkable and sharp with its stable acceleration gear when I stepped on the accelerator pedal. However, I actually did not remarkably feel its sharpness upon driving it. Nonetheless, its torque feel is so strong that I couldn’t imagine that its engine capacity is only 1.5L, so I think that it made me satisfied about the advantage of a diesel engine. Moreover, without using any devices, Mazda will add a clean exhaust gas that would meet the regulations.

The change in its electric power steering was also remarkable. Its gentle steering feel was excellent. However, there were also insufficient parts that I was not satisfied about. With the previous-generation CX-3, its steering feel was clearly heavy yet it had a greatly straight stability, but with the new CX-3, even though it has a very excellent steering operability, I could only feel a little of its center feel even though it is natural. It would have been best if I would get satisfied in both aspects.

And with black leather as its new interior color, it exudes thickness, and since 80% of the customers actually purchased the models with real leather equipment, they have been achieving just as they aimed. With regards to those who say that its price is expensive, Mazda retains keeping its price as it is with these settings. Since Mazda will continuously introduce new technologies and ideas and improving the cars hereafter, it might be perfect when the timing is right for buying.

â–  5 Star Rating
Packaging: ★★★
Interior / Comfort: ★★★
Power Source: ★★★★★
Footwork: ★★★★
Recommendation: ★★★★

Takahito Nakamura | AJAJ Member

Born in 1952. He loves cars that adorned the pages of car magazines, even at the young age of four. He started working part time at a Super Car shop. He also has experience being an apprentice mechanic for Nova Engineering. After that, he went to Germany to continue his pursuit of knowledge about cars. He entered the journalism industry in 1977, and has been a fixture in it for the last 36 years. He continues to be active as a freelance journalist.

(Translated by Claire Marie Sausora)