Mazda has unveiled its second-generation CX-5 at a special event in Los Angeles, revealing for the first time some significant shifts away from the design of the outgoing SUV, now five years old.
The changes bring the new CX-5 into line with the recently released and bigger CX-9. They include a 10mm longer vehicle; 10mm lower centre of gravity; windscreen A-pillars pushed back 35mm for better visibility from the front seats; a wider front and rear track; re-styled grille and thinner and lower headlights; and lower beltline.
CX-5 sits on a modified version of the existing platform but the overall structure itself has gained 15.5 per cent more torsional rigidity, thanks to the use of ultra-high-tensile steel.
In short, says Mazda, the CX-5 is an all-new vehicle inside and out. The only direct link between the old and new are the carried-over engines, the SkyActiv-D 2.2 turbodiesel, and SkyActiv-G 2.0 and SkyActiv-G 2.5 direct-injection petrols.
Mazda NZ managing director Andrew Clearwater can’t wait for the new model to arrive in 2017. “The current CX-5 has been an outstanding success in New Zealand and we expect the all-new CX-5 to continue the vehicle’s dominance of the mid-size SUV market,” he said.
The CX-5’s electric power-steering system has been revised and is aided by more rigid mounts to provide a more accurate response. The suspension system – MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link set-up at the rear – also gets new dampers and liquid-filled bushes for what Mazda says is an improved ride on broken surfaces.
The stiffer body and the use of noise-cancelling technologies have helped cut comparable road noise for occupants by up to 1.3dB, or about 10 per cent clearer at 100km/h, says Mazda. The interior itself has been overhauled.
Front and rear seats are said to offer better support; cup holders are more adjustable; so too air-conditioning controls. Practical changes include raising the console floor to in turn raise the height of the automatic gearshift by 60mm and the manual by 40mm.
CX-5 gets the latest evolution of Mazda’s infotainment system. Its 18cm display sits higher on the dashboard and is crisper than before, thanks to a new process that uses optical bonding to join the LCD screen to the touch panel. Other changes include the option of a head-up display that can project sat-nav instructions on to the windscreen.
New active safety measures for CX-5 include G-Vectoring Control (GVC), which controls engine torque based on the driver’s steering and acceleration inputs and is stage one of Mazda’s new SkyActiv dynamics package.
Mazda’s signature Soul Red paint scheme has been given more lustre. It is now called Soul Red Crystal and has 20 per cent greater colour saturation and 50 per cent more depth than the current hero colour.