Mazda is ready to push the compact crossover envelop even further with the unveil of the second-generation CX-5 at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Not much technical details were given during the launch, but it’s said to roll out as early as February 2017 in Japan with other markets to follow thereafter.
With a tagline of “an SUV all customers will enjoy”, Mazda is aiming to improve driving pleasure that everyone, not just the driver, will enjoy. To achieve this, the CX-5 is engineered around human sensibilities and will prioritize passenger comfort with a quieter cabin and a more pleasant ride while not compromising the responsive performance that the CX-5 has been known for.
The design moves further away from the likes of the Mazda3 and Mazda6 and is now closer to the CX-3 and CX-9 crossovers. This evolution of the KODO – Soul of Motion design language remains both sensual and bold while a new color, Soul Red Crystal, highlights Mazda’s aim for beauty and quality. From the general shape, it is clear that Mazda is now relying on more mature sensibilities and as such, is defined by keywords such as: “mature physique”, “elegant form”, and “fine fit and finish”.
Inside, the 2018 CX-5 promises a premium and upscale interior built around ‘ambiance’, ‘form’, and ‘texture’. All elements in front of the driver flow outward from the center of the steering wheel while real wood and metal trims emphasize depth and strength. Mazda has also improved the driving position with the shift knob positioned higher (up to 60 millimeters) making it easier to operate. At the back, the rear seats feature a two-step reclining mechanism (the first for Mazda) for added comfort. Luggage space is more or less the same as before: 505 liters versus 500 liters previously.
Catering to a wider set of audience, the 2018 CX-5 is up to 10 percent quieter than the current model at highway speeds. At the same time, it is available in various interior color packages: pure white, black leather, or black fabric.
The 2018 CX-5 will remain powered by two Skyactiv-G (gasoline) engines in two displacements: 2.0-liter and 2.5-liter while a sole Skyactiv-D (diesel) with 2.2-liters of displacement comprises the diesel-fed line-up. No power figures were given, but it’s safe to assume that all powerplants will receive tweaks and enhancements to provide a more linear driving performance and outstanding fuel efficiency.
In order to promote handling and driver appeal, it has a lower center of gravity as well as wider front and rear treads (widened by 10 millimeters) while the A-pillars have been moved back 35 millimeters compared to the previous model. It uses front MacPherson Struts and rear independent multi-links. Body rigidity has also been stiffened by 15.5 percent. The CX-5 will also receive the new Skyactiv-Vehicle Dynamics suite, the first of which is the G-Vectoring Control, something seen in the refreshed Mazda3 and Mazda6. And as always, the CX-5 is fitted with i-Activ AWD, a predictive type of AWD system that provides surefooted traction without sacrificing much in fuel economy.
The 2018 CX-5 has a lot to live up to given its predecessor has won more than 90 awards and accolades worldwide including the 2012-2013 Japanese Car of the Year.
2018 Mazda CX-5 Specifications:
- Body Type: SUV
- Seating Capacity: 5
- Overall Length x Width x Height: 4,550 mm x 1,840 mm x 1,690 mm
- Wheelbase: 2,700 mm
- Engine: Skyactiv-G (2.0, 2.5); Skyactiv-D (2.2)
- Transmission: 6-speed AT
- Front Suspension: MacPherson Struts
- Rear Suspension: Multi-link
- Steering: Electric, Rack & Pinion
- Front Brakes: Ventilated Disc
- Rear Brakes: Solid Disc
- Tires: 225/55 R 19 (f & r)