Powered by
Subscribe to the only car newsletter you’ll ever need

Mazda CX-3 2022: more stylish features added to Toyota Yaris Cross rival

John Law

One of Mazda’s best-selling vehicles and a stalwart in the light SUV segment has been subtly updated with new exterior features for 2022.

The ’22 Mazda CX-3 will go on sale in December this year with yet more exterior design tweaks and bigger touchscreen intended to maintain the appeal of Hiroshima’s smallest SUV.

Since the CX-3’s release in 2014, the light SUV category has become saturated with competitors such as the MG ZS, Toyota Yaris Cross and Volkswagen T-Cross, not to mention Mazda’s own CX-30 at a slightly higher price point. 

Mazda CX-3 Akari 2022-4
The Mazda CX-3 continues to be a buyer’s favourite in 2021.

Yet despite the influx of competition, Australian buyers have developed a deep affinity for the CX-3 that regularly features in the top 20 best-sellers

Noting the CX-3’s perpetually effervescent sales, Mazda Australia managing director Vinesh Bhindi said, “we continue to be impressed with the Mazda CX-3’s market performance”.

How has the CX-3 changed for 2022?

Notably the CX-3 has been updated with a larger eight-inch infotainment screen across the range. The new screen, which is 14 per cent larger than last year’s seven-inch unit, should offer improved clarity.

Mazda CX-3 Akari 2022
To maintain its appeal, Mazda has added black painted cladding and a new paint colour (pictured).

Meanwhile, the exterior alterations made by Mazda only affect the three upper trim grades: the sTouring, Akari and Akari LE. 

These CX-3 variants will now visually distinguish themselves with gloss-black painted cladding around the wheelarches instead of textured plastic.

A new paint colour called ‘Platinum Quartz’ metallic – described as “stylishly underrated”– has joined the CX-3 palette for 2022.

Mazda has also added rear seatbelt reminders across the CX-3 range to conform with tightening Australian Design Rules.

What powers the updated CX-3?

Under the bonnet the CX-3 retains its peppy 2.0-litre engine.

The 2022 update leaves the familiar 110kW/195Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine as the only option for CX-3 buyers. 

As before, Mazda will offer a six-speed manual transmission across all grades, with a six-speed auto available for an additional $2,000. While most CX-3 sales are front-wheel drive, Mazda does offer an effective AWD system for $2,000 on selected variants.

Is the CX-3 well specified?

The entry-level Neo Sport gets cloth upholstery, DAB radio, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, an 8.0-inch touchscreen, push-button start, rear parking sensors and frontal AEB with pedestrian detection.

Mazda CX-3 2021 interior
The interior also remains unchanged for 2022.

Moving to the Maxx Sport – the best-selling grade – nets 16-inch alloy wheels, navigation, rain-sensing wipers and a leather-appointed steering wheel. Maxx Sport also gets rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring as standard, with AWD optional.

The recently introduced Maxx Sport LE grade adds white ‘MazTex’ leatherette upholstery, tan-coloured cloth trim and different wheels to the popular mid-spec CX-3 and will continue for 2022

The sTouring will be the most affordable CX-3 to get gloss black cladding for 2022. It also gets LED lighting, a head-up display, keyless entry, black Maztex upholstery and 18-inch alloy wheels, as well as driver attention alert, lane-departure warning and front parking sensors. 

Mazda CX-3 Akari 2022-2
From sTouring up the CX-3 gets painted cladding and LED lighting.

Further building on safety features, the range-topping Akari gets a 360-degree monitor, adaptive LED headlights and adaptive cruise control. 

The Akari is pitched as the premium CX-3 and scores a sunroof, leather upholstery in white or black, and heated front seats with electric adjustment and memory function for the driver.

Buyers who want their CX-3 to really stand out can opt for the Akari LE which lifts interior ambience with ‘dark russet’ leather upholstery set off by white cabin highlights.

2019 Mazda CX-3 Akari LE dashboard
The range-topping Akari LE continues with its brown leather and white cabin trimmings.

Will it be more expensive?

Pricing is likely to increase slightly for 2022, though Mazda Australia is yet to confirm specific details. The current Mazda CX-3 starts at $22,890 (before on-road costs) for the Neo Sport manual and stretches to $38,690 (before on-road costs) for the Akari LE AWD. 

The updated 2022 Mazda CX-3 range will go on sale in December 2021.