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Should you buy a Mazda SUV or ute now or wait for the redesign or facelift? Life cycles for the Mazda CX-3, CX-30, CX-5, BT-50 and more

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Many contemporary Mazda models like the CX-5 and CX-9 still look good after all these years, but how long will they be around?
Many contemporary Mazda models like the CX-5 and CX-9 still look good after all these years, but how long will they be around?

Whatever type of vehicle you buy new, knowing when a model update or change is coming is essential in getting yourself a better deal.

If seeking new, why should you pay top dollar or wait six months or more, just to find out that your new Mazda is about to be superseded by something newer, fresher, safer and better equipped? That’s the opposite of a happy buying experience.

Likewise, used-car values usually fall by thousands of dollars when a new model is imminent, meaning it might be worth waiting until after that happens to get a better deal. You can save big time.

To clarify, minor specification updates that are often implemented annually will be ignored, and instead we’ll concentrate on larger changes instead – important design, safety and/or equipment advances you’ll notice immediately.

Let’s go.

Mazda CX-3

The CX-3 was first introduced back in 2015.
The CX-3 was first introduced back in 2015.

Launched: 2015, 1st-generation, all-new.

Pluses: Enduring Mazda2 hatch-based SUV that’s improved with age thanks to thoughtful updates.

Minuses: Getting on now, still looks like 2015 inside and out, tight back seat and boot.

Update due… Not yet. CX-3 may peter out by 2025, ousted by hybrid/EV baby SUV (CX-20?), and it may be Toyota-based.

Verdict: Despite age, fun CX-3 is still hard to beat for sporty driver appeal, reliability and build quality.

Our advice: Good to BUY!

Mazda CX-30

The CX-30 is based on the Mazda 3.
The CX-30 is based on the Mazda 3.

Launched: 2020, 1st-gen, all-new.

Pluses: Stylish and sophisticated Mazda3-based crossover with above-average dynamics.

Minuses: Poor vision, costly X20 Astina supercharged hybrid has disappointing economy and performance.

Update due… Maybe in 2024, but it will be subtle.

Verdict: Still one of the classiest small SUVs on the market at any price. Popularity justified.

Our advice: Good to BUY!

Mazda MX-30

The MX-30 features suicide doors like the RX-8.
The MX-30 features suicide doors like the RX-8.

Launched: 2021, 1st-gen, all-new.

Pluses: Distinctive design, upmarket cabin, smooth and sporty hybrid petrol engine, sophisticated EV.

Minuses: Oddball looks, impractical rear-hinged doors, poor vision, EV’s expense and range anxiety.

Update due… A failed coupe SUV exercise. Dynamic EV only works for wealthy city slickers.

Verdict: Better to sit in and drive than its strange styling suggests, but a replacement isn’t likely.

Our advice: BUY – because it’s that rare thing… an attempt at a modern-style coupe; but you might have a hard time moving it on.

Mazda CX-5

The CX-5 is Mazda Australia's best selling model.
The CX-5 is Mazda Australia's best selling model.

Launched: 2017, 2nd-gen, rebody.

Pluses: Stylish, smooth, sporty and spacious, with something for everybody; subtly improved over time.

Minuses: Getting on so can’t be for this earth for too much longer; ageing multimedia.

Update due… Likely to be discontinued (eventually).

Verdict: With Mazda marching upmarket with CX-60, this could be the last of its affordable medium SUVs, so…

Our advice: Good to BUY!

Mazda CX-8

The CX-8 currently sits between the CX-5 and CX-9.
The CX-8 currently sits between the CX-5 and CX-9.

Launched: 2018, 1st-gen, all-new.

Pluses: All the advantages of an CX-5 with added length to accommodate two more seats

Minuses: Loses the CX-5’s good looks as a result. Outmoded multimedia system.

Update due… the CX-80 should be here later next year.

Verdict: Nice to live with and drive but the CX-8’s days are numbered

Our advice: Maybe WAIT

Mazda CX-9

The CX-9 is being discontinued this year.
The CX-9 is being discontinued this year.

Launched: 2016, 2nd-gen, all-new.

Pluses: Mazda’s move upmarket started here, with the CX-9 remaining great in many ways after so many years.

Minuses: Now looking and feeling dated inside despite constant updates. Multimedia now seems old.

Update due… this year, with the CX-90 here shortly. But it will be much more expensive. Mazda has confirmed that the CX-9 will be discontinued later this year.

Verdict: A modern family SUV classic that will be missed as its CX-90 replacement moves up in price.

Our advice: Maybe WAIT! But BUY if you’re on a tight budget because CX-90 is expected to cost substantially more.

Mazda BT-50

The current BT-50 is based on the Isuzu D-Max.
The current BT-50 is based on the Isuzu D-Max.

Launched: 2020, 3rd-generation, all-new.

Pluses: Based on the Isuzu D-Max that pushed safety boundaries back in 2020 while remaining truck-tough.

Minuses: Not quite as good to drive or comfortable as latest Ford Ranger.

Update due… A big change is many years away still, but a facelift might arrive by 2025.

Verdict: Still one of the better medium pick-up trucks in Australia.

Our advice: Good to BUY!

Byron Mathioudakis
Contributing Journalist
Byron started his motoring journalism career when he joined John Mellor in 1997 before becoming a freelance motoring writer two years later. He wrote for several motoring publications and was ABC Youth radio Triple J's "all things automotive" correspondent from 2001 to 2003. He rejoined John Mellor in early 2003 and has been with GoAutoMedia as a senior product and industry journalist ever since. With an eye for detail and a vast knowledge base of both new and used cars Byron lives and breathes motoring. His encyclopedic knowledge of cars was acquired from childhood by reading just about every issue of every car magazine ever to hit a newsstand in Australia. The child Byron was the consummate car spotter, devoured and collected anything written about cars that he could lay his hands on and by nine had driven more imaginary miles at the wheel of the family Ford Falcon in the driveway at home than many people drive in a lifetime. The teenage Byron filled in the agonising years leading up to getting his driver's license by reading the words of the leading motoring editors of the country and learning what they look for in a car and how to write it. In short, Byron loves cars and knows pretty much all there is to know about every vehicle released during his lifetime as well as most of the ones that were around before then.
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