Mazda CX-3 SUV 'Not Far Away' Photo:
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Mike Stevens | Aug, 06 2014 | 5 Comments

Mazda is moving closer to entering the growing compact SUV market, with new confirmation this week of a smaller companion to the midsized CX-5.

Known in the press as the CX-3, the new crossover has been the subject of speculation for some time, with reports pointing to a 2015 or 2016 debut.

Speaking with TMR this week, Mazda Australia boss Martin Benders said that compact SUVs are a compelling segment for the company.

“There’s opportunity there [in the compact SUV segment], absolutely. We’ve made it clear that it’s an area we’d like to be represented in.”

A small CX-3 model could provide Mazda with a significant boost, with sales in the segment passing 50,000 year-to-date - compared to 42,958 for the same period in 2013.

Responding to speculation that such a model could still be some time away, Mr Benders added, “Oh, it’s not that far away”.

Above: a smaller companion to the CX-5 looks to be on the way.
Above: a smaller companion to the CX-5 looks to be on the way.

In Australia, the CX-3 would slot in below the CX-5 as a rival to the Ford EcoSport and Holden Trax, along with Peugeot’s 2008 and the ageing Nissan Juke and Skoda Yeti.

Other rivals in the coming year will include the Jeep Renegade and Honda HR-V.

The CX-3 will likely share its platform and engines with the new Mazda2, and its styling cues would likewise be drawn from the ‘Kodo’ styling language now common across the Mazda range.

But, while this latest rendering (top of article) points to a ‘jacked up’ version of the Mazda2’s design, the CX-3 would likely share the styling themes of the midsized CX-5.

Above: the new Mazda2 hatch.
Above: the new Mazda2 hatch.

The usual rugged-look tricks should feature, including the unpainted grey plastic guards shown here (but expect them to extend over the wheel arches).

As with the new 2, the CX-3’s development focus will be on lightweight materials and efficient powertrains to battle the ultra-low fuel figures of the latest models in the light-car market.

Expect Mazda’s new 77kW/250Nm 1.5 litre diesel engine to feature, mated to six-speed manual and automatic transmissions - just as it will in the new Mazda2.

Watch for whispers of the CX-3 to become reality in 2015.

Note: Rendering by SRK Designs for Indian Autos Blog.

MORE: Mazda News and Reviews

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