Turns out the new MX05 sports car is not the highlight of Mazda’s lineup at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show. That’d be an all-new compact crossover called Mazda CX-3, in essence a jacked-up Mazda2 with larger wheels and longer wheelbase.
The designers have done a fairly good job differentiating the Mazda CX-3 from the car on which it is based by revising the grilles, adding black styling elements round the fenders and the sills, and sculpting the bonnet, so it looks more purposeful.
The new CX-3 will launch in American and European markets in the second half of 2015 with a choice of three engines: the petrol SKYACTIV-G 2.0-litre in two power versions and the new SKYACTIV-D 1.5-litre clean diesel. Americans will only get the 2.0 liter petrol unit, but everybody can choose between six-speed SKYACTIV-Drive automatic and SKYACTIV-MT manual transmissions. All-wheel-drive is optional.
In spite of its small size, 2016 Mazda CX-3 will be packed with features, chief among which the latest i-ACTIVSENSE active safety systems, SKYACTIV-Body, and MZD Connect in-car connectivity system. The interior design is largely similar to the Mazda2.