Rumours surrounding the new Mazda3 just keep on coming. Just yesterday we reported that the next MPS could take the all-wheel drive route, and now it seems that AWD will play a more integral role in the lineup. The latest word is that an SUV or crossover version of the hatchback is being considered for production.

If Australia’s Drive report proves accurate, the new model could fit in nicely between the standard five-door Mazda3 and the high-riding CX-5 SUV (a sketch of the Minagi concept from 2011 that previewed the latter is pictured above). Nothing has been confirmed just yet though, so don’t get excited yet.

A simple formula of pairing a raised ride height with offroad-style visual add-ons has been suggested, much in line with the close relationship between the Subaru XV crossover and the Impreza hatchback it’s heavily based on. As for the drivetrain, the Mazda3 is already available with optional all-wheel drive in Japan.

Over to you, then. Would you want a high-riding Mazda3 with go-anywhere looks, possibly badged as the CX-3? Voice your opinions below.

2014 Mazda3 hatchback

2013 Mazda CX-5