We can't ever think of a time we've heard anyone accuse the current Mazda2 of being too edgy, which makes reports of a softer design for the next-gen model a little surprising. Autocar reports that when the new 2 debuts next fall, it will have a "softer, more feminine appeal" than the current design.

This description lends a little more credibility to the Japanese magazine image we saw of the car back in July. Aside from Mazda's Kodo-inspired signature face, that picture did reveal softer lines, especially along the side of the car. This softened styling is to appeal to the car's target market, which Mazda's European design chief is reported to have called a "predominantly feminine customer base." Last we heard, though, Mazda might keep the next 2 out of the US due to slow sales.

The 2015 Mazda2 will reportedly ride on a shortened version of the platform used for the CX-5, but Autocar mentions that its platform could also be the basis of a new subcompact crossover – possibly to go up against vehicles like the Buick Encore and the upcoming Honda Fit-based crossover called the Vezel.

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