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Mazda CX-3 baby SUV tipped

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    The CX-3 will likely carry the family face seen here on the CX-5.

Mazda is rumoured to be developing a CX-3 to slot into its SUV line-up.

The baby crossover would enter a growing segment as the world continues to downsize – and add more two-wheel drive options to – the SUV carpark.

The CX-3 is likely to be launched in 2014 and be based on the platform for the next Mazda2, according to a report from Auto Express in the UK.

With a focus on economy, engines are said to be a 1.6-litre diesel and a 1.3-litre turbo petrol engine, with Mazda’s SkyActiv technology and fuel-saving strategies used throughout the platform. Auto Express believes the CX-3 could have Prius-beating fuel consumption as low as 3.3L/100km and emissions around 96g/km.

The CX-3 is a sure bet to be offered as a front-wheel drive, but possibly with no all-wheel drive option. However Mazda will be keen to give the crossover – which would face off against the lauded Nissan Juke -- some on-road appeal, with sharp steering and capable dynamics.

It will likely carry the family face seen here on the CX-5, and get some tough-touch bodykit to give it the SUV look. However with family practicality in mind, there’s also said to be seats that drop flat at the touch of a button.

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