Mazda Motor Corporation has begun taking orders for the updated CX-3 SUV at dealerships in Japan.

The redesigned model adopts parts of the next generation Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture and has revised suspension tuning, new tyres and higher-damping urethane for the front seats.

A new 1.8-liter diesel engine improves efficiency and emissions performance while the two litre petrol engine adopts the same innovations as in the updated CX-5, including edge-cut piston heads and high-dispersion injectors. These new technologies improve torque throughout the entire rev range and contribute to better real-world fuel efficiency.

Design improvements, including changes to the front grille, LED rear combination lamps and aluminium wheels, are aimed at creating the feeling of a higher-class vehicle. Inside, the centre console has been redesigned and the addition of an electric parking brake, centre armrest and multi-box enhance comfort and reduce fatigue.

The refreshed CX-3 is the first Mazda to adopt an updated version of Advanced Smart City Brake Support (Advanced SCBS) with enhanced ability to detect pedestrians at night.

"The concept behind the CX-3 was to create the standard for the new era, and we've worked hard to evolve the model in response to customer feedback," said Michio Tomiyama, programme manager for the model.

Improvements were made to the front dampers, front stabilisers and coil springs, and the G-Vectoring Control and electric power steering systems were retuned to achieve even smoother changes in vehicle posture.

Newly developed 18-inch tyres with a softer vertical spring and optimised rubber and tread combine with the more responsive suspension to smoothly absorb any impact from the road surface. Ride comfort is enhanced by greatly reducing the impact and resulting oscillations of passing over a joint in the road.

A quieter cabin has been achieved by increasing the thickness of front- and rear-door outer panels, making the rear-door window glass as thick as that of the front-door (4 mm), improving the door seals and the sound-absorbing properties of the headliner. The new tyres also reduce road noise.

Cushions in the front seats use the same high-damping urethane as those in the CX-8, a high-end SUV. Its superior damping and vibration-reducing properties ensure comfortable seating and improve ride quality.

The 1.8 replaces the previous 1.5-litre diesel engine.