LOS ANGELES -- Mazda hopes that the CX-3 will grab a share of a growing market for subcompact crossovers in Europe, where it will go up against the Renault Captur, Peugeot 2008 and Dacia Duster, and in the United States, where the main rivals will include the Honda HR-V, Nissan Juke, Chevrolet Trax and Buick Encore.
Mazda said that it plans to launch the CX-3 next spring and sees the crossover becoming a new core model in its worldwide lineup.
"The CX-3 is a global car," Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai told Automotive News Europe sister publication Automotive News this month. "We have lots of owners of Mazda2s. And as the lifestyles of those owners change, with growing families and such, the CX-3 will be a good replacement."
Though it is based on the new Mazda2 subcompact, which is built in Japan, Thailand and Mexico, the CX-3 only will be manufactured in Hiroshima, Japan.
Using Mazda’s Kodo design language, the CX-3 takes many of its cues from the Mazda3 and Mazda6, including a shield-shaped grille flanked by chrome wings with lines that extend into the headlights. But it conveys its status as a crossover with a larger air intake beneath the grille, angular housings for the fog lights and black plastic wheel arches that transition into the rear bumper.