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More refinement and features in mid-life Mazda CX-3 update

Talking further about Mazda’s just upgraded CX-3 SUV – the number 2 seller to Mitsubishi’s ASX and one can understand why – the short bob tail on the CX-3 gives it much style but limits luggage space. So the CX-3 is best suited to young buyers or retirees – small families better suited to the Mitsubishi, Honda’s recently updated HR-V and Nissan’s excellent Qashqui, all with superior luggage space. Having said that the CX- 3 still has loads of appeal and the update brings a far superior ride, improved noise suppression, better performance, especially from an uprated 1.8-litre diesel engine. However, diesel only makes up 1 per cent of sales, the 2.0-litre petrol with six-speed automatic the popular choice in front-wheel-drive with optional all-wheel-drive accounting for just 8 per cent of sales. A new grille, LED taillights, small interior updates and the fitment of an electric handbrake a welcome addition plus a 360 degree monitor for safety. Prices rise around $1300 across the extensive model range. The entry 2.0-litre manual petrol Neo Sport kicks off the range at $23,990 however the higher grade Maxx Sport model is the big seller representing 55 percent of Mazda CX-3 sales – the front wheel drive 2.0-litre Max Sport at $27,490 in six-speed automatic front wheel drive gains sat nav, 16-inch alloy wheels, climate control air, blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert. It also has a rear-view camera and rear parking sensors. The 2.0-litre more fuel efficient engine now officially returns 4.7L/100 on the city/country cycle. I’m David Berthon

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