The wraps on the all-new Mazda CX-3 have just been removed at the 2014 Los Angeles Motor Show, revealing what appears to be one of the best looking compact crossover SUVs at present time.

We must say that it looks nothing compared to the speculated (maybe rendered, even) picture we previously posted, not even by a slight margin. To best serve your memory, the CX-3 is Mazda’s fifth vehicle to adopt the new KODO design language, with KODO meaning the expression of life within a vehicle.

Mazda CX-3  (27)

EXTERIOR

The aggressive looking front view of the CX-3 is mainly contributed by the front grille with seven horizontal chrome linesThe grille is joined to the headlights with integrated LED Daytime Running Lights, where to its side you’ll find the signal indicators. Its front fenders are pushed rearwards, underneath the A-pillars. 

Dimensions wise, the CX-3 measures at 4,275 mm in overall length, 1,765 mm width and 1,550 mm height, while the wheelbase spans 2,570 mm long. It sits on 18-inch wheels wrapped with 215/50 R18 series tyres, although it’s quite unlikely that we’ll be getting such large wheels.

Mazda CX-3  (7)

This compact SUV gets Mazda’s full suit of SkyActiv Technology, including the SkyActiv-Chassis. It rides on MacPherson struts at the front and torsion beam axle on the rear.

INTERIOR

Inside, it looks largely like the Mazda2 with minor changes done to distinguish between the models. Mazda has added fine piping seen in the pure white leather seats, whereas the door trims and get accented in dark red trims. Essential information is displayed onto the multi-info display built into the instrument clusters, and the familiar 7-inch LCD screen with Commander Control Switch is carried over from the Mazda2.

Mazda CX-3  (14)

Mazda Connect or MZD Connect – Mazda’s in-car connectivity system – also comes standard here. It boasts internet connectivity and communications that function even when driving. This Bluetooth operated system can even display text messages and perform hands-free phone operation, and in some regions – internet radio.

PERFORMANCE

There are two engines being offered in the CX-3; a 1.5-litre clean diesel Skyactiv-D engine and the 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G petrol engine. In Japan, the CX-3 gets the 1.5-litre diesel and six-speed Skyactiv-MT manual transmission configuration, whereas the US gets the 2.0-litre petrol with six-speed Skyactiv-Drive automatic transmission.

Mazda CX-3  (23)

We are certain that we’ll be getting the 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G variant (if there are no changes to the engine offering), but remain in the dark in terms of specific output. In its default state of tune, the 2.0-litre engine (shared by the Mazda3 and Mazda6) makes 155 hp at 6,000 rpm and 200 Nm at 4,000 rpm. The Mazda3 sold by Bermaz Motor here is tuned to produce 162 horsepower and 210 Nm of torque.

The CX-3 is front-wheel driven, although it can be had with the company’s next-generation All-Wheel Drive system with active torque control coupling, similar to the one in the CX-5. It also employs the world’s first front wheel slip detection warning system. Also carried over from the Mazda2 is the power take-off and rear differential unit.

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WHAT ELSE?

With the Mazda2 now slated for arrival in the first quarter of 2015, it’s only a matter of time before the CX-3 gets introduced here as well. The CX-3 goes against the likes of the Peugeot 2008 (RM120k) and Ford EcoSport (from RM93k), both rocking engines smaller than 2.0-litre.


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Matthew H. Tong
A straightforward, fun-loving guy who appreciates the superficiality of a car's appeal, but his admiration for anything on four wheels gives him no reason to neglect the makings of a car. He still believes that fun comes with three pedals and a stick.