9 October | Rob Maetzig
In the middle of this year, Mazda New Zealand did something quite significant with its CX-3 small SUV - it stopped selling diesel models.
Lack of demand was the reason behind this decision. As several other car companies have experienced, the increasing cost of New Zealand's Road User Charges on diesel models is resulting in fewer and fewer motorists being bothered with them. Instead, they're finding it far more convenient to own a petrol vehicle.
In the case of the CX-3, although it was a smooth little operator, it was around 100kg heavier than its petrol-engined equivalent, which made it a lot slower. But as they say, when one door closes another one often opens. And Mazda NZ has made sure this can happen with the CX3 by giving the petrol models a substantial facelift, introducing them at the same time as it has dropped the diesels.
The company has also increased the selection of petrol models, including a "leather" version of the mid-spec GSX model. So now there are a total of five petrol CX-3s to choose from GLX, GSX, GSX Leather and Limited models with front-wheel drive, and one GSX with all-wheel drive.