Mazda has been doing well in the ever-popular SUV market for some years now. Their large CX-5 SUV is the best selling model in the Mazda UK range and their CX-3 is arguably the best in its class. Plenty to shout about, then. Now for 2018 both the CX-3 and CX-5 have been gently revised with changes that might not be immediately noticeable, but will make a huge difference throughout ownership.
So, what’s changed?
The CX-3 has had revisions to its front grille as well as the side pillars, which now emphasise its coupe-styling that little bit more than the previous model. It is also now available in Mazdas incredibly popular Soul Red Crystal Metallic Paint. All models now come with rear privacy glass and LED headlights except for the entry-level SE Nav models and the Sport Nav+ models have been given big 18-inch silver alloys, LED headlights, LED rear lights and a chrome-effect front bumper and side trim garnishes.
Most changes in the CX-3 come inside the cabin, where the dashboard has evolved to encompass the new electronic handbrake. Comfort and functionality have been improved too, with the centre console being brought forward slightly to make it easier to use.
The CX-3 will notably see the debut of Mazda’s new 1.8-litre ‘SkyActiv-D’ diesel engine, replacing the previous 1.5-litre diesel unit. Yes, that’s right, as the rest of the market goes to smaller, turbocharged petrol engines, Mazda is making their smallest diesel engine a bit bigger - but there’s method to the madness. This new unit uses clever egg-shaped pistons to deliver a more pleasing blend of power delivery, refinement and economy. This bigger diesel will be more potent to drive and less polluting than the 1.5 unit it replaces.
What about the CX-5?
The main changes with the new CX-5 come to its engine lineup. Firstly, the 2.2 SkyActive Diesel engine has been further refined to reduce emissions even further. The engine will now warm up quicker, burn fuel more efficiently and deal with its exhaust fumes more sustainably. All of this, of course, means increased miles per gallon. Elsewhere, Mazda is now offering the option to combine their petrol engines in the CX-5 with automatic gearboxes, which should help open the target market up even wider.
There are no aesthetic changes on the inside or the outside of the CX-5, which you wouldn’t really expect because the car is still less than 12 months old. The most important change is that the CX-5 models will now come with bucket-loads of new and improved safety equipment as standard. Mazda Radar Cruise control will keep you safe on the motorway, as it will stick to a certain speed limit and ease-off as you approach slower moving traffic, it will then pick up again as your path clears.
There is also features such as Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring, Smart Braking, High Beam Controls to prevent blinding other drivers, Lane Keeping and Lane Departure functions are all included in the price too. Plenty of kit to keep you and your precious cargo safe then…
The new CX-3 and CX-5 entered the showrooms on the 31st of August and your local dealership will be happy to get you out and test driving a new model as soon as possible. The CX-3 is priced from £18,995 which is marginally more expensive than the likes of the Nissan Juke, albeit with a better standard of equipment, and the CX-5 starts from £27,495 which again is more expensive than a Volkswagen Tiguan however you needn’t spend much more adding kit to the entry-level CX-5.