Crossover utility vehicles are popular the world over, and they're going to get smaller.
What started out as full-size and mid-size trucks are now most popular as car-based compacts--and subcompact crossovers are coming fast.
MORE: 2013 Mazda CX-5 & 2012 Mazda 3: Real-World Mileage Boost From SkyActiv Engine
Mazda is the latest to confirm that it'll offer a smaller crossover, likely built on the same underpinnings as its all-new 2014 Mazda 3 compact sedan and hatchback.
2014 Mazda 3 sedan leaked
Call it CX-3?
There's a new subcompact Mazda 2 coming next year, and the new vehicle might logically be called the Mazda CX-3.
The company already has the compact Mazda CX-5 crossover, but especially in global markets, there's room for at least one smaller entry.
Mazda president Takashi Yamanouchi told the British Autocar magazine at the recent Frankfurt Auto Show that the company is developing two new crossovers.
One is a "B-segment" or subcompact entry; the other is "D-segment," meaning mid-size.
While the latter may replace the current CX-9, the smaller of the two is a new entry for Mazda into a growing segment.
Today, the Nissan Juke and MINI Cooper Countryman are the only subcompact crossovers--but more are on the way.
Honda's Urban SUV Concept
Honda has already said that it'll offer a crossover based on its Fit subcompact when an all-new 2015 Honda Fit goes into production in Mexico next spring.
That smaller Honda crossover was previewed by the Urban SUV Concept shown in January at this year's Detroit Auto Show.
Late to the game
Mazda, known for its sporty sedans and MX-5 Miata roadster, was late to the crossover game. It didn't launch its first vehicles, the CX-7 compact and CX-9 seven-seat crossover, until 2007.
Both of those vehicles were based on components adapted from Ford vehicles; at that time, Ford and Mazda jointly developed several cars together.
But Ford is now out of the picture and Mazda is developing its own vehicles based around the highly fuel-efficient SkyActiv line of four-cylinder engines and transmission.
MORE: Full review of 2013 Mazda CX-5
The 2013 Mazda CX-5 was the first vehicle developed largely in-house, replacing the CX-7. It has been followed by the 2014 Mazda 6 mid-size sedan and now the 2014 Mazda 3--with more vehicles on the way.
We'll bring you all the latest news on the new--and probably very fuel-efficient--Mazda models as we get it.