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by Matt Campbell

Yet another baby SUV is set to be released in 2014, with a Japanese newspaper reporting a Mazda CX-3 will debut by year’s end.

The Nikkei newspaper claims a new Mazda 2-based crossover model will be sold by the end of the year, likely spawned from the new-generation Mazda2 city car which is expected to be unveiled at the Geneva motor show in March. Our illustration (above) gives an idea of how that new model could look.

Mazda has apparently claimed the report is purely speculative. However, as CarAdvice exclusively revealed in 2012, the Japanese maker was already deep into the engineering phase of the new sub-compact SUV to sit below the popular CX-5, one that would compete with the ever-expanding range of city SUVs which currently includes the Holden TraxPeugeot 2008Ford EcoSport and Nissan Juke.

“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…” a Mazda source told CarAdvice in February 2012.

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

According to the Nikkei report which doesn’t quote any source for its information, and apparently contradicting our aforementioned source, the new model would initially only be sold in Japan, before spreading to Europe and other markets.

Mazda Australia senior manager of public relations Steve Maciver said the segment – on a global scale – can’t be ignored.

“There’s no doubt that sub-compact SUV segment is booming, albeit from a low base. It is growing extremely quickly, but at this point in time we have nothing to confirm,” said Maciver.

The story claimed the new model would be priced between 1.5 million and 2.0m yen ($16,300 to $21,750), and that in Japan there would be a diesel powertrain available for the car.

Further, the story claims an all-new CX-9 could be revealed as soon as 2015. That could would be expected to introduce the brand’s more efficient SkyActiv petrol and diesel powertrains, as the current version sells only with a thirsty 3.7-litre V6.




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