Having made its global debut at the New York Motor Show in March, Mazda has announced UK pricing and specification for the 2018 Mazda CX-3. On sale from the 31st August, the updated CX-3 is offered in a simplified eight model line-up that sees the debut of a new SKYACTIV-D 1.8-litre diesel engine, plus a host of technology and interior improvements.

Visually, the 2018 Mazda CX-3 is distinguished by a revised grille, while the darker side pillar treatment enhances the sweeping coupe-like profile of this sporty small SUV. Mazda’s signature Soul Red Crystal Metallic paint is also now available on the CX-3. Offered in SE Nav+, SE-L Nav+ and Sport Nav+ trim: all cars, with the exception of the entry-level 121ps SE Nav+, feature front LED fog lights and rear privacy glass, while Sport Nav+ cars have 18-inch silver alloy wheels, LED headlights, signature LED rear lights and chrome effect front bumper and side trim garnishes.

However, it’s inside that customers will notice the biggest revisions, with an even more comfortable, ergonomic and upmarket interior. Redesigned around the adoption of an electric parking brake, the centre console now flows more elegantly into the dashboard, while the Mazda Multimedia Commander has moved forward for improved usability.  Comfort and functionality has also been improved with a padded armrest with console storage box underneath.

The front seats benefit from use of high-damping urethane foam cushions that improve comfort and support, while the rear seats now feature a central armrest with built in cup holders. Cabin refinement has been improved with upgraded door sill trims, thicker sound isolation in the doors and enhanced rear glazing. In addition, an increase in the cabin headliner thickness absorbs more sound to deliver a hushed cabin.

With the focus on the driver engagement you’d expect from Mazda, the 2018 CX-3’s development also targeted enhanced handling and improved ride comfort.  New coil springs and dampers have been fitted, while the front anti-roll bar has also been changed. Combined with a recalibration of the electric power steering, the end result is more consistent weight transfer and improved shock absorption.

As before, the bulk of the range is powered by the 2.0-litre SKYACTIV-G petrol engine, which is available in 121ps and 150ps power outputs. Now featuring innovations that debuted on the Mazda CX-5, the 2018 CX-3’s petrol engines have new edge-cut pistons and high-pressure injectors to ensure ample torque through the rev-range and improve real-world economy.

Making its debut in the 2018 Mazda CX-3, the displacement of Mazda’s small clean diesel engine has increased from 1.5 to 1.8 litres and now adopts rapid multi-stage combustion, while new egg-shaped pistons combine with ultra-high response multi-hole piezo injectors to increase combustion efficiency. As with all Mazda’s SKYACTIV diesel engines, the new 1.8-litre unit is designed to deliver a class-leading blend of performance, economy and refinement, while all three of the 2018 CX-3’s engines are homologated according to the requirements of the new WLTP/RDE test cycle and meet Euro 6d temp emissions standards.

“Ever since its launch in 2015, the CX-3 has hit the right spot with our customers, and seen this small SUV become Mazda’s second best-selling car in Europe”, commented Mazda Motors UK Managing Director, Jeremy Thomson.

Adding, “the 2018 model builds on this success with its well-considered updates and from the the 1st October we’ll also have the Mazda CX-3 Sport Black+ joining the range. Limited to just 500 cars it features a black leather interior, black roof spoiler, mirror caps and free of charge metallic paint. As with all our special edition models, it adds a standout distinctive model to the line-up, but across the whole range the 2018 Mazda CX-3 has the style, quality and driving dynamics to remain at the top of this most demanding of segments.”