Mazdas are some of the most attractively designed vehicles on the market, but that hasn’t stopped the brand from improving its offerings between generational redesigns, as we’ve seen with recent refreshes to the CX-5, Mazda 6, and Mazda 3. Now the CX-3 small crossover has also gone into the operating room for 2019. It emerges with a massaged exterior, mild updates to its powertrain, a tweaked suspension, and nicer interior materials.
Up front, the 2019 CX-3 retains its trapezoidal bar grille but has a new inner grille design. New lower chrome trim on the sides complements the carryover side-sill chrome slat, while the headlights carry on unchanged. The rear lights, however, see a new design that’s more similar to those in front, with a round eye accented by straight lines.
he 2018 model year has brought some upgrades in the equipment department. So, among standard features, there is the Mazda’s Smart City Brake Support. As well, the manufacturer has added a few more options which include power driver’s set with memory, a heated steering wheel, and full-color driving display. Moreover, because of the revised suspension, the CX-3 is even better to handle and the road noise has been reduced which made the cabin more pleasant.
Inside, Mazda replaced the prior cable-operated parking brake with an electronic unit with an automatic hold feature and incorporated it into the center console next to the rotary infotainment dial. That change opens up some real estate on the console, and the mode selector has been relocated behind the shifter’s PRND indicator, the previous gloss-black surround is gone, the cupholders are repositioned, and the armrest gets a comfier makeover.
Mazda says the front seats, which can be ordered with full leather on top trims for the first time, have been completely redesigned to be wider and more comfortable. The dashboard wears new faux-suede appliqués, the climate-control dials feature flashy red accents, and the rear seats have a new fold-down center armrest with cupholders. Together, these small changes add up to a tidier and classier look.
Mazda’s Skyactiv-G 2.0-liter inline-four remains the only engine offered, but Mazda says it has been retuned to reduce internal friction, increase torque, and improve refinement and fuel economy. It now produces 148 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque, up 2 horses and 2 lb-ft from the 2018 model, and the engine is said to deliver more torque across the entire rev range.
Aiming for sharper handling and a smoother and quieter ride, Mazda added its G-Vectoring Control programming, retuned the suspension and steering, and developed new 18-inch low-profile tires. To reduce noise intrusion, the door panels, rear-door glass, and headliner have been thickened, and the door seams were improved.
The 2019 CX-3 is set to go on sale within the next two months, with pricing expected to be announced soon.