Mazda's entry into the growing subcompact crossover segment is almost here.

The Japanese carmaker has hinted at a crossover that would slot below the CX-5 in its lineup, and now it appears that vehicle--likely dubbed the 2016 Mazda CX-3--will debut in just a few weeks.

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The CX-3 will make its global debut at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show in November, and go on sale next year, according to a report from Australia's Motoring.

[UPDATE: Mazda confirmed that the 2016 CX-3 will debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show after this article was originally published. Updated versions of the Mazda 6 sedan and CX-5 crossover will also debut at the show.]

It will be one of three Mazda world debuts at the show. Another may will be a refreshed and updated version of the CX-5, and the final debut will be a refreshed Mazda 6 mid-size sedan.

2016 Mazda 2 (Japanese model)

2016 Mazda 2 (Japanese model)

The CX-3 will likely share its platform with the new 2016 Mazda 2 subcompact, which in turn shares its underpinnings with the next Toyota Yaris.

Engines should be shared with the 2 as well, meaning a selection of fuel-efficient Skyactiv four-cylinder gasoline units. We've seen impressive real-world fuel economy from these engines in the CX-5 and other current Mazdas, which bodes well for the new CX-3.

This will allow Mazda--one of the last major independent carmakers--to gain greater economies of scale from the platform. With fewer resources than many of its competitors, Mazda needs to get the most out of any money spent on new-vehicle development.

It will also give Mazda an entry of its own in a growing segment.

2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 2.5 - First Drive, February 2013

2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 2.5 - First Drive, February 2013

U.S. crossover and SUV sales have increased significantly, and much of that growth is thanks to smaller vehicles like the Nissan Juke and Buick Encore.

That's leading to a flood of new subcompact crossovers, including the Fit-based Honda HR-V, Jeep Renegade, Fiat 500X, and the Chevrolet Trax--a twin of the Encore.

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All of these models should be on sale by next year, giving the CX-3 plenty of competition.

How will the Mazda compare? We'll find out in a few weeks when the CX-3 makes its world debut in Los Angeles.


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