Mazda CX-3 SUV debuts at NYIAS 2018 with pure but subtle refinements


once again transcending the typical notions of the subcompact crossover SUV segment, the 2019 mazda ‘CX-3’ offers even more superior dynamic performance with the latest technologies and design principles. typifying a ‘less is more’ style, the car showcases the brand’s updated KODO design philosophy, which means ‘soul of motion’. with the insight of masashi otsuka, vice president of mazda’s R&D and design in irvine, california, designboom explores how the model, shown at the new york international auto show 2018, extends the philosophy all the way from the exterior, to the interior, and again to its performance.

all images courtesy of mazda

the beauty of the surface makes the car much more than a product,’ explains masahi otsuka. fundamentally, the mazda ‘CX-3’ follows the brand’s KODO design, which, by combining hiroshima traditions and japanese craftsmanship with french spirit, creates an essential emotive style. in a way similar to that of the subtle, artisanal yet fluid curves seen in vase craft, the exterior body is sharp, striking but minimal with almost no defining lines.

the 2019 model follows a mission of ‘exquisite and edgy’, where the exterior not only emphasizes strength in form and proportions but a deeper feeling of elegance and quality. starting with the large wheels pushed to its corners, the strong presence is furthered by the new front grille. chrome accents, running along its side, projects a forward motion and combines with piano black details on the side pillars to contrast with its soul red crystal premium paint.

the vehicle’s interior continues the ‘soul of motion’ design but, subtly, more complexly. whilst eliminating the unnecessary, the space is simplified and focused on human centric design. from the redesigned center console to the armrests and again to the wider front seats, it is a cabin of japanese aesthetics paired with upscale materials. as such, a suede-like material, from the dashboard to the door trims, helps provide a sophisticated ambience.

the updates to the ‘CX-3’ highlight the brand’s continuing developing and devotion to their KODO principles. the redesigns further strengthen the connection between the car and customer, which, for a vehicle intended for extended use for active lifestyles, is hugely important. the car is completed with improved ride comfort, handling and quietness that is made possible by the new powertrain and suspension.