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Mazda debuts 1.8 diesel with updated CX-3 SUV

Mazda has launched its updated CX-3 compact SUV in Japan, debuting a new 114bhp 1.8-litre diesel engine as a replacement for the old 1.5-litre unit.

2018 Mazda CX-3

The CX-3 is the first to get Mazda’s new 1.8-litre diesel engine.

Revealed at the New York International Auto Show in April, the visual upgrades are – in typical Mazda style – very light, comprising new rear lights, an additional paint colour and a new wheel design. The CX-3 also gets subtle interior updates, including moving to an electric parking brake for the first time.

The brand’s new 1.8-litre diesel engine also makes its debut in its home market – unusually, considering Japan’s stringent emissions limits, which have made the fuel a small seller. This produces 114bhp – up from 105bhp for the 1.5-litre unit it replaces – though with the same 199lb/ft torque, available over a wider 1,600-2,600rpm rev range.

Mazda claims the new diesel unit offers better real-world fuel economy, while also meeting the latest Euro 6d Temp emissions standards, and complying with the still-optional Real Driving Emissions Step 1 on-road test. The engine is likely to feature in the next Mazda3, and could also be introduced as an entry-level unit for the Mazda6, though neither have been confirmed.

For 2018, Mazda has also fine-tuned the suspension, added extra sound deadening, redesigned the seat foam for added thicker glass, and changed the tyres on 18-inch wheels, all aimed at offering a quieter and more comfortable drive. New technology includes the ability to detect pedestrians at night.

European markets will get the new CX-3 from summer 2018.

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Alex Grant

Trained on Cardiff University’s renowned Postgraduate Diploma in Motor Magazine Journalism, Alex is an award-winning motoring journalist with ten years’ experience across B2B and consumer titles. A life-long car enthusiast with a fascination for new technology and future drivetrains, he joined Fleet World in April 2011, contributing across the magazine and website portfolio and editing the EV Fleet World Website.