Mazda’s second-generation CX-5 has been revealed in Los Angeles as the company looks to continue its global momentum, spurred on by the popularity of SUVs. Mazda says the all-new CX-5, on sale from the middle of next year, will kick-start a fresh era for its line-up, where passenger enjoyment is as important as driving pleasure and simplistic Japanese design helps it to stand out among rivals. In Europe, the new CX-5 enters a congested segment dominated by models such as the Nissan Qashqai and Kja Sportage. Its design takes heavy inspiration from the larger, US-focused CX-9.
The CX-5’s sleek headlights are split by a wide-mouth grille and sit above a cleanly designed bumper, but bulky wheel arches and tall doors give the car the more rugged look of a proper SUV. The wheelbase is unchanged in the new car, at 2700mm long, but shorter overhangs have cut the overall length by 5mm. Compared with the outgoing CX-5, the new model sits lower and is 10mm wider at the front, creating a more sporting stance.
This is combined with improved visibility for front occupants, with a wider field of view for front-seat occupants thanks to the A-pillars having been moved back by 35mm. The cabin has been designed with a driver-centric focus and uses familiar Mazda features such as a three-spoke steering wheel and clutter-free dashboard design topped by a 7.0in display. This is accompanied by a 4.6in high-resolution TFT display in the instrument panel and head-up display on the windscreen.
Mazda’s MZD connected technology enables users to link the infotainment system with their smartphones and other mobile devices. Handsfree phone operation, Harman cloud-based technology and SD-card-based sat-nav are all included. The CX-5 also gets a 10-speaker Bose sound system with ambient noise technology that improves audio quality while on the move. In the pursuit of a more comfortable driving experience, the base of the centre console has been raised compared with its predecessor, lifting the automatic gear selector by 60mm and manual gear lever by 40mm.
The 2017 car also introduces a new two-step reclining mechanism on its rear bench and uses more shapely cushions for its seats in a bid to provide better support. The CX-5 retains the engine line-up of its predecessor, which in the UK is made up of a 2.2-litre Skyactiv-D diesel and 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G petrol motor.
Specifications have yet to be confirmed, but the outgoing diesel CX-5 has 163bhp and combined fuel economy of 61.4mpg, while the petrol model’s figures are 173bhpand47.1mpg. In the US, the CX-5 will also be available with a 2.5-litre petrol engine carried over from the outgoing car. This unit is not expected to be sold in the UK.
Six-speed manual and six-speed automatic gearboxes are offered. Drive is sent to the front wheels as standard, with Mazda’s i-Active all-wheel drive system available as an option. The CX-5 will also have Mazda’s new comfort improving technology called G-Vectoring Control (GVC). This system adjusts engine torque in response to steering angle to optimise the vertical load on each wheel, reducing the amount of movement experienced in the cabin and lessening the need for the driver to make steering corrections.
The CX-5 gets MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension, with enlarged diameters for the front damper pistons to help reduce body roll and give a smoother ride. The body structure is 16% stiffer than the old CX-5’s, partly due to the use of more rigid steel in the A-pillars and side sills. Mazda also says improvements to the structure and aerodynamics have reduced road noise by an average of 1.3dB at 62mph.
Safety features include both passive and active systems, combined within Mazda’s i-Activsense technology. It incorporates driver assist features such as radar cruise control, which can bring the CX-5 to a complete stop, and traffic sign recognition. Prices are expected to rise slightly from the current CX-5 starting price of £23,195.