Mazda is set to join the growing band of car makers building pint-sized SUVs by producing a tiny SUV that could be called the CX-3.

A senior Mazda insider has revealed exclusively to CarAdvice that the company is planning the new model to capitalise on the relentless surge in global SUV sales.

The model is still some years away and the program is not believed to be yet officially signed off, but plans are underway for the baby CX to become Mazda’s fourth global SUV model, joining the CX-5 that launches locally this month, CX-7 and seven-seater CX-9.

“We are now developing a more compact SUV [than the CX-5] – more for Europe and we must imagine emerging markets … Eastern Europe, South America, India…” CarAdvice’s Mazda source said.

“It is common sense [to build it]. We have to develop this vehicle, whether we call it CX-2, CX-3 or CX-4.”

The baby CX model is likely to share its platform with the next-generation Mazda2 city car, which is expected by 2014 and will follow the CX-5 and the 2013 Mazda6 by utilising Mazda’s full range of Skyactiv technologies.

It will make the CX-3 (the number three would be a logical choice considering the other Mazda SUV names) a direct rival for the likes of the Fiesta-based Ford Ecosport, which goes on sale here in 2013, and the Barina-based Opel Mokka and a Chevrolet twin that’s likely to also be badged as a Holden for Australia.

Mazda has been struggling on the financial side in recent years, and CarAdvice’s Mazda source says the company’s relatively small size means it’s crucial to spend its model investments wisely.

The insider pointed to smaller models as a natural volume seller in crucial markets such as Europe, where the Mazda2 is very popular, and emerging markets such as India.

“Mazda is a smaller player [in the global industry]. Picking the right model to build is very important.

“What is small [in terms of SUVs]? What is the right product for emerging countries/markets?

“We are not Toyota, not Ford, not Hyundai, not Volkswagen … we are Mazda.

“We believe the smaller the better [for vehicles]. Small means efficiency is number one priority [for that vehicle]. [And] what should we do for our customers, that’s our priority.”

Mazda has already confirmed it will build next-generation versions of the CX-7 and seven-seater CX-9 SUVs. The all-new Mazda CX-5 goes on sale next week.

Check CarAdvice at 5pm Monday for our review of the new Mazda CX-5.




  • Daniel

    I find it kind of funny how baby SUVs are almost exactly the same size as hatchbacks and cater to the same audience, yet they’re apparently a whole new segment. 

  • bbb

    just read another article from smh drive that as per CEO Mazda Aus that small SUVs are out of the question and the focus will be on medium SUVs like the CX5

  • Hillyb

    Who really cares about Europe..

    If you want success you should focus on U.S, China, Australia, Canada etc..

    • Bill

      “Europe” is a larger market than the US, with a much larger middle class, and much higher disposable incomes — even in it’s current economic condition. That’s why car makers care about Europe.

  • Nom

    It is doubtful that this “source” was from Mazda Corporate in Japan…  4 in Japanese is a close homonym for “death” .. (Also in Chinese)
    That;s why there’s a Mazda 2, 3 … 5, 6, CX-5, CX-7, CX-9, RX-8.

    • Sydlocal

       How does that explain the RX4 then???

      • RogerThat

        Locally branded? According to wikipedia (that great fountain of knowledge):
        “The Mazda RX-4 (called the Luce Rotary in Japan) is an automobile sold in the 1970s.”

  • Gus

    In a previous article you mentioned that the CX5 was going to replace the CX7.
    In this article you mention that new generation CX7 is on the cards.. please clarify.

    http://www.caradvice.com.au/149476/mazda-cx-5-to-kill-of-cx-7/In 

  • GUESTY

    where is the CX-5 review????

    • Artega

      Here: http://www.caradvice.com.au/160584/mazda-cx-5-review/

  • Henry Toussaint

    so the CX-3 may be the size of the Mazda 3? if they make a CX-1 it’ll be the size of the Mazda 2…

    • O123

      cx5 is mazda 3 size isn’t it?

    • Jinnzhang

       cx5 is mazda 3 size. cx3 must be mazda 2 size.

  • http://www.caradvice.com.au Jez Spinks

    Okay, a few responses for everyone…

    First for bbb: yes, we saw that ‘other’ article, too, and had a bit of a chuckle. All I can say is that we spoke to someone much closer to Mazda’s HQ and internal operations…

    Gus – the Mazda CEO told us last year that another CX-7 would indeed be built but it will be sold only in certain markets, as is happening with the current model now that the CX-5 has launched. As we did report in that story, Mazda Australia will focus on the CX-5 as its main-selling SUV, with the CX-9 there as the seven-seater option.

    As for the CX-5 review, Guesty, we have driven the car but Mazda has put an embargo on all CX-5 coverage until 5pm Monday. So head back to CA then for our verdict.

    Hope that helps to clarify things. Cheers.

    • Labryz

      Can’t wait for the review Jez!

      Very interested to see how it went.

  • Simon

    the ceo said last year is a new cx7 , i am sure it can be the best seller ever in australia ,big and small enough ,specially if they come with power,plus economy ,and good looking like the old one with a moon roof,,they can be  the best suv ever,,,,,,