Tony O'Kane | Apr 26, 2016

The segment-blending Mazda CX-4 SUV-hatch-coupe has made its debut at the Beijing auto show, with the CX-5 sized crossover showing off its shapely fastback silhouette and demonstrating that Mazda’s designers can make even an everyday SUV look sexy.

The CX-4’s powertrain line-up has also been confirmed, with a 116kW 2.0 litre and a 141kW 2.5 litre petrol powering the range and taking power to the ground via a six-speed automatic transmission.

Like the Koeru concept that previewed it last year, the CX-4’s 2700mm wheelbase is identical to the Mazda CX-5.

The Koeru’s design language is still very much present in the CX-4, albeit softened to make it more production-friendly.

Extra cutlines have appeared, the wheels have shrunk, there are fewer splashes of chrome and the front bumper now features cutouts for foglamps, DRLs, indicators and a reshaped lower air dam.

There are more reflectors at the rear, the chrome bar that linked the Koeru’s tail-lamps has been shortened and the tailpipes are smaller and located beneath, rather that set into, the bumper.

That said, the rear three-quarter view shows that Mazda has retained the Koeru’s shallowly-raked rear glass and short, squat turret for the CX-4.

Inside the cabin, the CX-4’s interior is familiar territory. Mazda’s tombstone-like screen for the MZD-Connect infotainment system sits atop the dash, the steering wheel is identical to the Mazda3’s and a centrally-mounted tachometer dominates the instrument panel.

The presentation is premium, with metallic-look dash trim, chrome-effect highlights, gloss-black plastics and a clean presentation to the centre stack and centre console.

But while it looks like it’d fit in well alongside the rest of the cars in local Mazda showrooms, the CX-4 is, for now, exclusive to the Chinese market.

Speaking to Australian media at the recent opening of Mazda Australia’s new headquarters in Melbourne, Mazda’s Director and Senior Managing Officer Yuji Nakamine said the CX-4 would, for now, be confined to China.

“We have to study, we have to understand if the CX-4 concept will be well-accepted by other markets or not. The possibility is there, but at the moment we don’t have plans to sell the CX-4 in [markets other than China],” he said.

Asked why, Nakamine said there were a number of factors behind the decision to restrict the CX-4 to China:

“There are a few elements involved - production capacity, resources, engineering and also the confidence in this kind of a product concept,” he said.

“So we’ll see how it works in China, then in the meantime we’ll continue to study the possibility of this kind of concept for other markets.”

MORE: Mazda News and Reviews

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