Crossovers are shrinking. What started with a handful of vehicles like the Buick Encore and Nissan Juke is growing into a large and varied segment.

Unveiled at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, the 2016 Mazda CX-3 marks the Hiroshima-based carmaker's entry into that segment, with styling and a powertrain shared with some of Mazda's other recent models.

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At first glance, the CX-3 looks like a high-riding version of the 2016 Mazda 2 subcompact, or perhaps a shrunken version of the larger CX-5 crossover.

The only engine available in the U.S. will be a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline unit from Mazda's SkyActiv line of fuel-efficient engines.

2016 Mazda CX-3

2016 Mazda CX-3

Mazda did not release power-output figures for the CX-3, but this engine produces 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque in the CX-5 and the Mazda 3 compact.

A 1.5-liter four-cylinder diesel engine will also be offered in other markets. Mazda has promised to bring its larger 2.0-liter "SkyActiv-D" diesel to the U.S. in the Mazda 6 mid-size sedan, but that's been repeatedly delayed.

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A six-speed automatic transmission is mandatory, but Mazda will offer a choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.

We've seen impressive real-world gas mileage results from Skyactiv engines in other Mazda models, so it will be interesting to see how the CX-3's performance stacks up against its EPA fuel-economy ratings, once those are released.

Like the exterior styling, the interior of the CX-3 also borrows heavily from other Mazda models. It's also available with the latest Mazda Connect infotainment system with smartphone integration.

2016 Mazda CX-3

2016 Mazda CX-3

Other technology options include a suite of active and passive safety systems under the i-Activesense banner.

The 2016 Mazda CX-3 will go on sale in Japan in spring 2015, with U.S. sales likely to follow shortly after that.

For more 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show coverage, check out our news page for the latest production cars, concepts, and more.


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