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The Nissan Juke is the best selling crossover in Britain having won over motorists with its combination of looks and practicability. It has several competitors, the Juke, but none can match its appeal. Mazda wants this to change, and are set to launch their very own Nissan Juke-rivalling CX-3 SUV in 2015.
As you can see from this Auto Express exclusive image, the new CX-2 SUV features the very latest Mazda design language – a light V shaped grill, clear narrow headlights and diamond shaped front fog light housings. It looks really great, and its design has clearly been though out with the city in mind ahead of off-road use; the ride height looks deceptively low.
The car is expected to be available in both 2WD and 4WD form, and as is the case with crossovers, the biggest-seller will likely be the 2WD version as they are cheaper to buy outright. Engine choices should include the same as in the CX-5, which means a 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G petrol engine and a 2.2-litre Sky-D diesel engine. The latter is a smooth engine with 150 bhp, providing plenty of pull in the larger CX-5.
Just like all Mazda, equipment levels are likely to be generous even in base trim, which is called SE-L in current cars. The automotive industry is moving fast and car buyers now expect a certain level of gadgetry in a new vehicle purchase. Come 2015, it’s likely that Mazda will include satellite navigation as standard in the CX-3. This is just speculation, of course.
The Nissan Juke at Macklin Motors Glasgow is the current best crossover on the market, and the only real-world competitors to it in terms of the overall package are the Kia Sportage, Skoda Yeti, larger CX-5 and the all-new Peugeot 2008, which offers up a surprisingly good drive. The Juke is popular because of its cheap entry-level price and reputation for reliability, along with a competitive range of engines, such as the 1.6 turbo in the Nismo.
So about that release date – yeah, we know, 2015 is a long way away, but Mazda’s offering isn’t going to sink like a block of concrete in the ocean because this car is closely linked to the new Mazda 3 (a fantastic car that’s a direct alternative to the VW Golf), meaning it’ll be balanced, sporty and most of all easy to live with. Combine that with Mazda’s awesome reliability record (they came joint 9th with Ford in the 2013 WhatCar reliability survey) and you have the makings of a truly great crossover that’ll be as bulletproof as it looks.
Of course, we’ll reserve final judgement for when we actually manage to get our greasy driving gloves on it.