Sharper looks and improved refinement for Mazda's keenly-priced new CX-5
MAZDA has announced more details of its new version of its brilliant CX-5 SUV, which goes on sale at the end of June, writes William Scholes.
The CX-5 was launched in 2012 and heralded Mazda's so-called Skyactiv philosophy of reducing weight and 'right-sizing' engines to improve both efficiency and driving fun.
It's been a winning approach and the CX-5 today accounts for around a quarter of Mazda's sales around the world and forms a cornerstone of a range of cars which are unusually excellent.
The new car evolves the current car's design, with a more prominent front-end, sleeker sides and a lower roofline.
The interior takes a jump in quality, and Mazda says it has paid attention to reducing interior noise.
The body is 15 per cent stiffer than that of the outgoing car which, allied to upgraded steering, suspension and brakes and the company's G-Vectoring Control system, should make the CX-5 even more fun to drive.
Two trim levels - SE-L Nav and Sport Nav - are available, with a 163bhp 2.0-litre petrol and a 2.2-litre diesel in either 148bhp or 173bhp tune under the bonnet. Transmissions are a mix of six-speed manual and automatic gearboxes with front- or four-wheel-drive.
The engines are substantially similar to those found in the current car, though Mazda has introduced noise reducing technology that it calls 'natural sound smoother' - this involves fitting a dynamic damper within the pin securing the piston to the connecting rod to reduce start-up and idle reverberation.
In addition, a 'transient control' system sharpens throttle responsiveness by more precise control of engine torque with optimised turbo pressure and finer adjustment of fuel injection.
The CX-5 is a well equipped car: standard kit on the SE-L Nav includes LED headlights, auto power-folding door mirrors, dual-zone climate control, DAB radio and a 7-inch colour touchscreen display.
Sport Nav adds a reversing camera, an eight-way power adjustable driver's seat and keyless entry, plus heated front seats and steering wheel. Sport Nav models also feature a power lift tailgate and a head-up display.
Mazda UK managing director Jeremy Thomson said "the CX-5 was a landmark car" in the company's history.
"Not only did it introduce Skyactiv technology and Kodo: Soul of Motion design, it also showcased how Mazda could make an SUV that was stylish, great to drive and capable of luring customers from premium badged rivals," he said.
"The all-new Mazda CX-5 takes this to the next stage, elevating exterior design, cabin quality and refinement to new levels of sophistication, whilst at the same time ensuring Mazda's love of driving is even more apparent in the handling."
Prices start at £23,695 for a petrol SE-L. The most expensive model is a 2.2-litre diesel with the more powerful 173bhp, or 175PS, engine in Sport Nav trim with an automatic gearbox and four-wheel-drive: it costs £33,195.