Mazda hasn’t yet released any details on the CX-3, which is expected in Australia in the second half of 2015. It will be based heavily on the Mazda 2 city car – sharing its Skyactiv platform, engines and more.
The teaser sketch that accompanied the press release even suggests the Mazda CX-3 will look like a high-riding 2, with an insider claiming the styling will “blow everyone away with its stunning looks”.
With the 2 measuring 4060mm long, the CX-3 shouldn’t stretch much beyond 4.1m in length, putting it at the small end in terms of size against rivals that include the Holden Trax, Ford EcoSport, Renault Captur, Peugeot 2008 and Nissan Juke. Pricing would need to start in the low-$20,000 area to be competitive with those models.
The CX-3’s relationship to the Mazda 2 means it's likely to be front-wheel-drive only, with engines set to include the 2’s duo of 1.5-litre four-cylinder engines.
In the city car the entry-level version produces 79kW and 139Nm. The higher-spec engine has 81kW and 141Nm but adds stop-start, variable valve timing and a higher compression ratio to improve fuel efficiency further.
Transmissions will be a six-speed manual or six-speed auto.
The interior would be expected to be similar to the Mazda 2’s cabin (pictured above), with the company’s MZD Connect infotainment system set to feature – though only on higher-spec models using the 2 line-up as a guide.
In February 2012, a Mazda insider told CarAdvice the CX-3 was important for boosting sales in key areas around the world.
“We are developing a more compact SUV [than CX-5] – more for Europe and we must imagine emerging markets … Eastern Europe, South America, India,” the source said at the time.
“It is common sense … to develop this vehicle, whether we call it CX-2, CX-3 or CX-4.”
CarAdvice suggested the CX-3 name was the most logical based on the company’s SUV nameplates even though it is based on the 2 rather than 3 small car.
Mazda will have a busy LA show, where the CX-3 will be joined by a facelift of the CX-5, and an updated Mazda 6.