2016 Mazda CX-3
(Mazda North American Operations)

As automakers continue to build even smaller compact SUVs, shoppers who want the utility and capabilities of an SUV in a small package have more options than ever. Mazda debuted its new 2016 CX-3 compact SUV at the Los Angeles Auto Show this week, which is the third SUV in the automaker’s lineup, slotting below the three-row midsize CX-9 and two-row compact CX-5.  

Mazda says in a statement the new CX-3 “is a vehicle to suit the customer’s creative lifestyle in any scene, from inner-city driving to enjoying the great outdoors.”

[See pictures of the new 2016 Mazda CX-3]

The front-wheel drive 2016 Mazda CX-3 will have a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, a six-speed automatic transmission and available all-wheel drive. The CX-3 will also have features like a head-up display, the Mazda Connect infotainment system with a 7-inch display, Bluetooth and Aha Internet radio connectivity.

2016 Mazda CX-3
(Mazda North American Operations)

The new Mazda CX-3 will compete with subcompact SUVs like the Honda HR-V, Chevrolet Trax, Buick Encore and Nissan Juke. One thing some auto journalists initially like about the new CX-3 is its styling. Car and Driver says, “Damn, this thing looks good.”

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The New York Daily News writes, “Mazda will sell a ton of CX-3s on the strength of the styling alone. The interior is stylish, too, and while the rear seat and cargo areas are predictably cramped, they do not appear to be more confining that the admittedly small Mazda 3 5-door hatchback.”

The Mazda CX-5 compact crossover is currently Mazda’s second best-selling model in the U.S., behind the Mazda3 compact car, and some industry analysts think the CX-3 will undoubtedly be a hit.

“Mazda is on a product blitz, releasing several impressive models in the last two years,” says Karl Brauer, senior analyst at Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com. “The CX-3 will continue the trend by sticking with Mazda’s winning formula — capable handling and high fuel efficiency wrapped in an attractive shell. The CX-3 will be a high-volume vehicle for Mazda, helping the brand grow revenue and awareness.”

2016 Mazda CX-3
(Mazda North American Operations)

Pricing and full specs for the CX-3 haven’t been announced yet. The new 2016 Mazda CX-3 will go on sale in the summer of 2015.

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