Mazda planning a small SUV which will use a modified Mazda3 platform

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 4, 2011

Earlier today we revealed you the fact that Volvo is working on the XC30 entry-level SUV, but it appears that the Swedish manufacturer is not the only one planning a small SUV, as Mazda is also working on a new model, likely to be called CX-3 or CX-5. Spy photographers already caught the test mule, showing a car with CX-7 panels, but with a lower stance.

According to Autocar, the vehicles uses a modified Mazda3 platform. Regarding the engines, it is believed that Mazda will use the new range of Sky-G and Sky-D powerplants.

Expect the new car to make its debut by the end of the year, at the Los Angeles or at the Tokyo Motor Show. Still, if you don’t want to wait the end of the year to get the small SUV, you should go for the Mazda CX-7 SUV, hugely popular in the USA as well as in Europe and United Kingdom.

He CX-7 is offered with a turbocharged four-cylinder petrol powerunit capable to deliver 260 hp (found also on the Mazda3 MPS super-hatch model), but if you want a diesel engine, the CX-7 is also available with a 2.2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder MZR-CD diesel engine delivering 173 hp and 400 Nm of torque.

While its dons a revised appearance, the new Mazda CX-7 remains as sporty-looking as ever, thanks to a flat A-pillar angle of 66 degrees, a rising belt line and roof spoiler, large wheels and dynamic wheel arches inspired by Mazda RX-8 sports coupe. Its palette of seven exterior colors has been updated to include Aluminium Metallic, Stormy Blue Mica and Sparkling Black Mica.

The front end of the new Mazda CX-7 comes with a new lower five-point grille that is now larger and more aggressive – effectively taking on the brand’s new design language that had its debut on the new Mazda3. This new grille is bordered by chrome moldings for a more premium appearance.

Furthermore, the front end of the new Mazda CX-7 now comes with new front fog lamps that are embedded in a more vertical bezel design. The top outer corners of these fog lamps serve as points flowing into the fender panels.

Visual revisions on the new Mazda CX-7 are also prevalent on the sides and the rear. For instance, chrome-plated moldings on the small SUV are now found at the bottom of the doors and around the side windows as well as below the large Mazda logo at the rear.

Depending on the grade, customers could avail of a new and larger roof spoiler. Likewise, the face-lifted Mazda CX-7 can be specified with 18- and 19-inch alloy wheels featuring three dimensional designs. Revisions are not only limited to the exterior of the Mazda CX-7.

It still features the practicality and spaciousness typical of an SUV, as well as an ergonomic cockpit and high craftsmanship. However, this face-lifted SUV comes with a couple of updates that should enhance its look and feel. The materials for the trim and dashboard feature dimples and round edges that make them more resistant to dirt and that convey a higher quality feel.

Also, the instrument cluster lying in front of the driver now has new dials and white pointers for a 3D appearance, as well as a new blue-ring illumination. The face-lifted Mazda CX-7 now sports a newly designed steering wheel with more control buttons.

Meanwhile, the small SUV features a redesigned double-roof hood that rises in the middle to accommodate a new Multi-Information Display (MID). Mazda also updated the audio panel with either piano black or metal-look edging on the sides, and the steering wheel with low-glare chrome plating on its vertical spoke.

Chrome plating can be found on the air vents around the center and on the sides of the dashboard. On the other hand, the door-trim armrests and the center console lid -- depending on grade – now feature soft padding. The interior of the face-lifted Mazda CX-7 could be specified in either black or sand beige, depending on grade.

Topics: mazda, mazda3, suv, platform

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