What if you could see a Nissan Juke remade from the ground up with Mazda’s award-winning SKYACTIV technology and Kodo design language?
We’ve been hearing rumors of a Mazda CX-3 for a while now, but this is the first time we’ve heard an official reference to the car. It comes via an interview between The Motor Report and Martin Benders of Mazda Australia.
Basically, the interview confirmed one thing: Mazda is definitely interested in the compact crossover segment. They are officially gearing up to jump on the Nissan Juke bandwagon. Benders elaborated, saying, “There is 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.”
In the interview, The Motor Report used a bit of psychological trickery to pry a little more info out of the Mazda Australia boss. They bemoaned the fact that all previous rumors indicated a distant launch date for the CX-3, prompting Benders to say, “Oh, it’s not that far away.”
Brilliant, The Motor Report, simply brilliant! This means we can probably expect the Mazda CX-3 as early as next year, perhaps as a 2016 model year. This would fit with Mazda’s previous commitment to launching five new SKYACTIV models by the end of 2016.
As you can probably guess, the new CX-3 would fit into the Japanese automaker’s lineup right below the Mazda CX-5, and would likely share much of its design with the larger SUV. However, it’s looking like Mazda will take the CX-3’s platform and powertrain options from the new Mazda2. Previous rumors suggested that the crossover would share its design with the new hatchback too, but this report implies that Mazda will maintain a rugged SUV feel with the car’s design.
If the Mazda CX-3 does in fact make it to production with the Mazda2’s powertrains, that’ll mean drivers will choose between a 1.5L SKYACTIV-G petrol and a 1.5L SKYACTIV-D diesel (depending on the market). No further powertrain options have been hinted at, but it wouldn’t surprise us if Mazda teased a sportier engine option closer to the crossover’s launch date. That’d be a great way to build some extra hype.
Either way, compact crossovers make up one of the fastest growing segments on the market, so it’s no wonder that Mazda is anxious to get a competitor out on the field. And, it explains why they’d leak this new timeline information to TMR. All in all, we’re thrilled to hear that the Mazda CX-3 is “not that far away,” and we’ll definitely keep you updated as we learn more.
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