Sneak peek: Mazda’s next CX-5

While Mazda offers the first teaser image of next family chariot, we illustratively pull the covers off the real deal.


ATHLETIC styling, taut handling and strong performance – all these factors have helped the CX-5 become the country’s best-selling medium sports utility.

But all good things must come to an end. A new CX-5 will be revealed within a fortnight and is coming on sale in New Zealand in 2017. What’s it going to be like?

Mazda is intent on keeping the covers over the next-gen model until a world premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show media day on November 16. It has to date only sent out a single teaser profile image, seen with this story, which really doesn’t give too much away.

So what lays beyond those shadows? We’re confident our own illustrations (right, and below) give excellent insight into what the complete vehicle looks like.

Which is? The outgoing car remains one of the better-looking offers in its category so we believe Mazda is going to provide a refined evolution of its now well-established KODO design language. The recently-launched CX-9, we believe, gives a good idea of what’s going on in the Hiroshima styling studio.

What initially stands out is the dominant new front end; a large deep-set, chrome-framed mesh grille spears into the lower edge of the LED headlights. Elegance adorns the silhouette with a chrome window line, straighter body contours and the D-pillar gets more of a traditional up-kink.

When it comes to the rear, changes over the current CX-5 will be more difficult to distinguish. However it does sport youthful sheetmetal pressings with a curvaceous tailgate and dual exhausts.

On the inside? Potential for big change. One the biggest annoyances with the current car is the plain cabin. While the Mazda6 scored a new dash design upon its facelift, the CX-5 has ridden through its almost five year life cycle with a chunky dash. Thankfully the new car will take styling inspiration from the CX-9, which will improve cabin ambience and perceived quality with upmarket materials and finishing touches.

There’s still conjecture about what improvements to internal packaging and specification levels there may be; however one can at least expect seating for five, improved leg room and boot space. 

A heads-up display) with traffic sign recognition, heated steering wheel on premium models and of course Mazda’s well-regarded MZD Connect infotainment system - hopefully with an upgrade to include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (although the absence of this technology treat in the CX-9 is noted). Road noise has tended to be a Mazda bugbear. The updated Mazda3 and Mazda6 feature improved sound deadening, including a special noise suppressing glass, and we’d hope the CX-5 will have the same.

Will Mazda’s new G-Vectoring (GVC) setup found in the latest 3 and 6 models be standard? Quite potentially: This steering feel assist is tailored specifically for a front-drive application, after all. Jinba-Ittai; the connected feeling between driver and vehicle, is the philosophy behind GVC. This unobtrusive system varies engine torque in response to steering inputs, reducing the need for steering corrections and improves stability in wet conditions.

Expect the current range of engines to carry over; so cue either an 138kW/250Nm 2.5-litre four cylinder petrol or a 129kW/420Nm 2.2-litre turbo diesel. The engine we’d love to see most in this package, of course, is the CX-9’s 170kW/420Nm turbocharged 2.5-litre four, channelling power to all four wheels via a six-speed auto.

Mazda New Zealand is keen to see this next CX-5. The current model has been a stunning success and was a hot seller right from its entry back in 2012.

Meantime, the LA event will also deliver an all-new prototype race car. Mazda currently competes in the American-based IMSA sportscar series with a diesel-powered machine, but it is expected the new car will be driven by a racing version of the CX-9's turbo mill.