2016 Mazda 3 facelift spyshots 1

The 2016 Mazda 3 facelift has been spotted in Japan, ahead of its local launch debut thanks to Minkara and CarDrive. Known as the Axela there, the visual updates seen on these 3s (all in hatchback form) appear to match up to those seen in an earlier leaked brochure.

As you can see, the updates are more prominent at the front, where a reshaped grille with a repositioned Mazda logo can be found. The grille’s chrome surrounds also appear to be thicker and extend less into the redesigned, CX-9-like headlamps.

Moving downwards, there is a larger intake along with a new pair of front fog lamps, which are not only slimmer than before, but also feature a chrome strip. Along the sides, the door mirrors now incorporate new LED turn indicator strips, replacing the previous lighting units located at the corner of the mirrors.

Meanwhile at the rear, the changes on the 3 hatchback are subtle, with reshaped rear fog lamp and reflector elements. We’ll have to wait and see what has been done to the sedan’s rear when the car is launched.

Earlier spyshots of the 3 facelift indicate that the car will retain its familiar dashboard (with MZD Connect display screen) and three-pod instrument cluster layout. Cabin updates include a new steering wheel design and more importantly, the introduction of an electronic parking brake.

The new 3 is also set to feature G-Vectoring Control, a new technology which Mazda claims reduces the steering angle at turn-in, as well as the rate at which one turns the wheel. This is achieved by reducing engine torque by modifying the car’s ignition timing, corresponding to steering input.

GALLERY: Mazda 3 Hatchback (Malaysia CKD)