Report: Mazda Planning Subcompact SUV to Compete Against Honda Vezel

By Jacob Brown | February 18, 2014
According to a report from Japan's Nikkei, Mazda is ambitiously pursuing a subcompact crossover SUV to slot under its Mazda CX-5 to compete with the 2015 Honda Vezel.
According to the Nikkei and Automotive News, the new subcompact SUV would be based on the same chassis as the upcoming Mazda2 subcompact car and would cost approximately $15,000 to $20,000 in its Japanese home market. Mazda is allegedly planning to introduce it by late 2014 to go on sale as a 2015 model in Japan, introducing the crossover about the same time as the next Mazda2.
The report also states that Mazda would first bring the next Mazda crossover to Japan and later to emerging markets, as well as Europe. But it did not explicitly mention the U.S. On the other hand, the next Mazda CX-9 three-row crossover SUV will reportedly be sold in more markets, including Japan. Its biggest market is currently the U.S.
With its three-SUV strategy, Mazda will be competing head-on with other mainstream automakers. The next Mazda2, expected to come to the U.S. as a 2015 model, will share its underpinnings with the next Toyota Yaris, meaning it will likely be slightly larger and more powerful than the current car. As we previously reported, Toyota is planning a more rugged crossover SUV version of the next Yaris, which will also compete against the Vezel and other smaller vehicles like the Buick Encore and internationally sold Chevrolet Trax/Opel Mokka. The subcompact crossover market is exploding overseas, and there's plenty of expectation that trend will continue in the U.S. Will the next Mazda crossover, which we speculate could be called Mazda CX-2 or CX-3, be sold in the U.S.? With the 2015 Mazda2 being built in Mexico instead of Hiroshima, we wouldn't bet against it. Source: Nikkei via Automotive News (Subscription required)