Subcompacts are hot items these days, especially subcompact crossovers, and Mazda just might be jumping into the fray. The Motor Report first broke the news that the Japanese automaker is seriously contemplating making a CX-3 model thanks to some comments made by Martin Benders, who is the head of Mazda Australia. While Benders didn’t explicitly state that the company is developing a CX-3, he did say that a smaller crossover model was “not that far away.”
Following the current Mazda nomenclature, such a model would be the CX-3 since it would be slotted below the compact CX-5. Speculation is that such a model would have a shared architecture with the Mazda2, which shares its architecture with the next generation of the Toyota Yaris. There’s a good joke in there somewhere.
Right now Mazda sits in a unique position some might characterize as precarious. It is one of the biggest independent major automakers in the world, which allows it to have some creative direction while at the same time struggling with financial issues many of its competitors do not face. Being able to maximize each platform would be a smart financial move as development costs would yield an even greater return. Such a business model is not a foreign concept for Mazda, considering the current Mazda2 shares a platform with the Ford Fiesta and the first-generation Mazda3 did the same with the Volvo S40 and the Euro-market Ford Focus.
The Mazda CX-3 would probably share the Mazda2’s engine. The company has seen excellent success using the same strategy with the CX-5, which has a solid reputation as a highly efficient vehicle in its class.
Among the models the CX-3 would compete against are the Jeep Renegade, Nissan Juke, Buick Encore, Audi Q3, and Fiat 500x. Honda has already announced it will launch a subcompact crossover called the HR-V, which will be based on the Fit.