Mazda CX-3 spied on the cusp of global premiere

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The Mazda CX-3 baby SUV will premiere at the LA motor show starting this week, but we have a few spy images from our overseas snappers to tide you over.

Based heavily on the Mazda 2 city car – sharing its Skyactiv platform, engines and more — the city car on stilts will give the ‘zoom zoom’ brand ammunition to fire at the Nissan Qashqai, Holden Trax, Honda HR-V and Ford EcoSport, among many others.

Naturally, as a new player in one of the global car market’s fastest-growing segments, the CX-3 has attracted a big share of interest. But so far Mazda has shown a gift for keeping details under wraps.

Mazda CX-3 3

The company revealed a sketch a few weeks ago to give us some idea. Under the test car's camouflage, you can discern some aggressive side sculpting adding some panache to a general body shape reminiscent of the larger CX-5. The small details are concealed, but the general proportions look sharp for the segment.

We can make some guesstimates, however. 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.

The CX-3’s relationship to the Mazda 2 means it may well be front-wheel-drive only, with engines potentially including include the 2’s duo of 1.5-litre high-compression four-cylinder engines. The CX-5’s 114kW 2.0-litre unit could potentially feature too.

Mazda CX-3 2

Transmissions will be a six-speed manual or six-speed auto, and the cabin design is likely to be reminiscent of the Mazda 2, with its MZD Connect infotainment system and head-up display at least on high-spec variants.

The new CX-3 will arrive in Australia around the middle of 2015, or perhaps a little later, priced somewhere from the low $20Ks.

We will bring you the full story on the CX-3 later this week from LA.