News: Mazda CX-3 compact crossover to take on Nissan Juke, due spring 2015

CX-5 gets a baby sister

Mazda CX-3 pricing and UK launch date

MAZDA WILL take on the hugely popular Nissan Juke next year with its own compact crossover SUV.

Unveiled last night at the Los Angeles motor show, the high-riding CX-3 – intended as a little sister to the CX-5 but sharing more DNA with the Mazda2 supermini – will hit showrooms in spring 2015. Also in Mazda’s sights are the Renault Captur and Vauxhall Mokka.

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The Mazda will come with the option of all-wheel drive with torque-vectoring for added grip and traction, if not full SUV-style abilities.

Three engines will be offered in Europe: a 2-litre petrol with a choice of two power outputs, and the new 1.5-litre diesel used in the new Mazda2. Six-speed automatic transmission will also be an option.

Mazda is keen to make us aware of its so-called Skyactiv suite of technologies – developments designed to reduce fuel consumption and emissions, including lightweight components and improved aerodynamics – as well as its latest safety systems, which include lane-departure warning, blind-spot monitoring and emergency braking intervention.

Mazda claims the CX-3’s entertainment and communications kit is generous: a package including the MZD Connect infotainment system with smartphone compatibility is promised, and a head-up display will be available.

No British prices have been announced as yet, but given that there’s no entry-level small petrol engine on offer, at least at first, expect the CX-3 to start at about £18,000.