Hours after the first pictures of the Mazda CX-3 have been leaked onto the Internet, Mazda has finally let the cat out of the bag. Based on the latest Mazda 2, the new B-segment crossover made its world premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show, going on sale beginning in Japan in the spring.

The exterior styling features a development of Mazda’s now-familiar Kodo design language, with a slightly more angular look than preceding models. There are chrome slats on the front grille, rugged plastic body cladding with chrome trim on the lower rocker panels, an aggressive downward character line sweep aft of the front fenders and blacked-out D-pillars that give an impression of a “floating” roof.

As we noted before, the interior is almost identical to the Mazda 2’s cabin, save for an undoubtedly higher seating position, some minor trim changes and different door card designs. The 2’s interior is one of the nicer places in the segment to sit, however, so it’s probably another case of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Details regarding the CX-3’s mechanicals remain scarce, but it is confirmed that it will be offered with either Mazda’s new 1.5 litre SkyActiv-D clean diesel engine or the 2.0 litre SkyActiv-G petrol. A choice of between a six-speed SkyActiv-MT manual or SkyActiv-Drive automatic transmissions will be offered, as well as either front-wheel drive or the company’s next generation all-wheel drive system.

The CX-3 will be facing stiff competition upon its arrival on our shores, which is expected to be at the end of next year. The Peugeot 2008 and the Ford EcoSport have already been launched, with the Honda HR-V also slated to be coming next year. So, which one you’d pick – CX-3, 2008, EcoSport or HR-V?


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