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Future models - Mazda - CX-3

LA show: Mazda CX-3 locked in

Good to go: Mazda has released a sketch of its forthcoming CX-3 crossover that will take on the likes of the Ford EcoSport and Holden Trax.

Mazda confirms three world debuts for LA including all-important CX-3 crossover

Mazda logo28 Oct 2014

By TIM NICHOLSON

MAZDA has confirmed that its Holden Trax-rivalling CX-3 crossover will be unveiled at next month's Los Angeles motor show, alongside facelifted versions of its CX-5 SUV and Mazda6 mid-sizer.

As well, Mazda confirmed its all-new MX-5 roadster would be offered with the SkyActiv-G 2.0-litre petrol powerplant, as well as the 1.5-litre unit announced at the Paris motor show earlier this month.

No power or torque figures have been released for the MX-5, but this information is likely to come to light at the LA show.

The Japanese car-maker has offered few details of the Mazda2-based compact CX-3, but has confirmed it will be the fifth model in its line-up using the 'Kodo – Soul of Motion' design language following the Mazda3, 2, 6 and CX-5.

The sub-CX-5 crossover has been the subject of much speculation, but Mazda so far has remained tight lipped about the production reality of such a model.

Mazda is arriving slightly late to the light SUV party that already includes the Holden Trax, Ford EcoSport, Peugeot 2008, Suzuki S-Cross, Nissan Juke and Mitsubishi ASX.

The segment will heat up even more next year with Honda's Jazz-based HR-V and Renault's much-delayed Clio-based Captur both arriving in the first quarter.

Mazda is yet to detail powertrains for the CX-3, but it said in a release that it would feature SkyActiv technology.

The most logical option would be the 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine found under the bonnet of the Mazda2 hatch that arrives in Australian showrooms this week in two states of tune – 81kW/141Nm and 79kW/139Nm – and the fourth-generation MX-5 due in Australia mid next year.

It is unclear how the CX-3 will be priced but based on its competitors, an entry level variant could kick off from between $22,000 and $24,000, excluding on-road costs.

Mazda's LA show stand is set to be a hive of activity, with the car-maker confirming the mid-life facelift for the CX-5 mid-size SUV that arrived in Australia in early 2012.

The CX-5 – the first Mazda to feature Kodo design cues – is likely to carry updated front-end styling as well as changes to equipment levels.

In Australia, the CX-5 has become the top-selling mid-size SUV in its class, out-performing its rivals so far this year with 16,643 sales.

This is 8.7 per cent ahead of this time last year when it had achieved 15,315 sales before finishing the year with more than 20,000, ahead of the Toyota RAV4, Subaru Forester and Honda CR-V.

Perhaps the most surprising addition to Mazda's list of world debuts at LA is the refreshed version of its Mazda6 mid-size range which is being facelifted after just two years on the market.

Again, Mazda is yet to provide any information about the 6, but expect light styling tweaks and updates to cabin comfort features.

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