Will the American market follow suit?
The Mazda 3 and Mazda CX-30 are core models for the Japanese brand, not just in America but globally. As the brand tries to shift focus by releasing a new platform, new engines, and a slew of new SUVs, it's also updating its current product portfolio. The Japanese updates for the aforementioned compact models have been announced, with one key change - the naturally aspirated 2.0-liter engine available in Mazda's home market is no longer available and has been replaced by the e-SKYACTIV G 2.0, which supplements the motor with a mild hybrid system.
Mazda says the new system is quieter but also provides stronger acceleration.
Elsewhere in the lineups of these vehicles, Mazda has consolidated its high-end trims into one "Proactive Touring Selection" trim, making the model more exclusive by means of new interior trim and genuine leather upholstery. The Mazda 3 has the option of leather in either burgundy or black, while the CX-30 has the option of white or black.
That really doesn't seem like much of a change, but with new models - namely the CX-60, CX-70, CX-80, and CX-90 - on the way, perhaps Mazda is happy with a winning recipe in its bread and butter models.
The 2023 model year Mazda 3 and CX-30 begin sales in September this year with the 3 priced from approximately $16,950 and the CX-30 starting at the equivalent of $18,200.
What remains to be seen is whether these updates will be reflected in the USDM offering. The US market differs in several ways, most notably in that the smallest engine sold in either of these models is a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter motor, with a turbocharged version sold in upper trims. Mazda is yet to integrate its mild-hybrid technology with this motor. We have reached out to Mazda to find out if this powertrain will be available locally.
At present, Mazda does not sell a genuine hybrid of any sorts in the US. The MX-30 - which is proving to be a sales flop - is a fully electric vehicle and is being joined by a range extender version with a rotary engine to provide additional range.
Mazda is quickly falling behind other OEMs in the race to electrify its range and is pegging its hopes on new technology to keep combustion alive.