The Los Angeles motor show how hasn’t even opened its doors yet, but one of its biggest – and smallest – stars has just been unveiled. Audi, Mercedes and Bentley are all showcasing important new models, but Mazda has chosen America's autumn show to reveal its new baby crossover, the CX-3.

The world is hardly short of jacked-up superminis; most mainstream brands have managed to roll out something professing to be a rival for the ultra-popular Nissan Juke, although the VW Group has been curiously slow to react.

Still, based on a quick poke around the car on display at the launch event in LA, Mazda stands as good a chance as any of carving off a bit of the Juke's market for itself.

The CX-3 takes the strongest bits of the styling of the recently launched Mazda2 – with a prominent front grille and crisp surfacing along the sides –and then mixes it with elements from the larger CX-5, including hefty plastic wheelarch cladding.

Mazda's security team were quick to stop anyone from sitting in the CX-3, but from the outside the cabin looks cosy instead of capacious. In that respect, at least, the new arrival falls into line with the other baby crossovers, which offer roughly the same space as a supermini but with a raised seating position.

Still, that in itself means that this is an area of the market fought on image and looks as much as genuine practicality, though – and the CX-3 certainly seems to have the right sort of stance to appeal to Juke and Renault Captur buyers.

Room for another small crossover? Looks like it.