Despite dominating SUV sales and comfortably out-selling rivals, Mazda knows it can’t get caught napping, so it’s introduced a range of updates to its second-generation CX-5 only a year after it first arrived down under.
The changes are focused under the bonnet, where the 2.5-litre Skyactiv-G petrol engine gets new cylinder deactivation technology as well as new injection and combustion features for both it and the 2.0-litre petrol version. The 2.5-litre engine sees a very mild 1Nm increase of torque while the 2.0-litre jumps just 1kW more powerful.
Vehicle Style: Mid-size SUV
Price: From $39,990 plus on-road costs
Engine/trans: 140kW/450Nm 2.2 litre 4cyl turbo diesel | 6sp automatic
Fuel consumption: 5.7l 100km
Though this update is centred on engine development, there are some specification changes.
The range-topping Akera model gains an all-new 360-degree parking camera system, while the Touring trim line gets an updated head-up display on the windscreen; replacing the previous flip-up panel.
Despite the new equipment both the Maxx Sport and Touring models get a $400 price cut for all engine choices and the GT and Akera are now $800 cheaper regardless of engine choice.
Mazda claims the 2.5-litre engine’s ability to switch off two of its four-cylinders under light loads can have a significant impact on real-world fuel economy, even though the official figure only drops by 0.1-litres per 100km, to 7.4L/100km.
It may be a tiny improvement but given the seamless integration of the technology, as there is no obvious change in performance from the driver’s seat, it’s a worthwhile addition.
The bigger upgrade is reserved for the Skyactiv-D 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine which gets a new two-stage twin turbocharger, as well as other technical tweaks, that not only reduces fuel consumption but also improves performance.
Fuel economy improves from 6.0L/100km to 5.7L/100km as power climbs 11kW to 140kW and torque is ramped up by 30Nm to 450Nm.
- Standard Equipment: Cruise control, keyless entry with push-button start, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gearshifter, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, dual-zone climate control air-conditioning, power windows and mirrors, and automatic headlights and wipers.
- Infotainment: 7.0-inch colour touchscreen with rotary controller, digital radio, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, USB inputs, Aha/Stitcher internet radio connectivity, satellite navigation, voice control and six speakers.
- Cargo Volume: 442 litres.
Inside is almost identical to before, except for the new on-window heads-up display on Touring grade models.
Like before, the 7.0-inch infotainment screen sits atop the centre of the dashboard and the air-con vents are stylised with a chrome surround that is more appealing than the previous generation.
The back seats are spacious both in terms of knee and headroom and there are also rear air-con vents in the Maxx Sport (although the Maxx still misses out). Overall, it’s a comfortable cabin that’s well presented.
Boot space is reasonable at 442L, and big enough for carting a pram or a haul of shopping.
ON THE ROAD
- Engine: 140kW/251Nm 2.0 four-cylinder petrol
- Transmission: Six-speed automatic, AWD
- Suspension: MacPherson strut front and independent rear
- Brake: Ventilated front and solid rear disc brakes
- Steering: Electrically assisted mechanical steering
While small changes in the grand scheme of things - there are no other mechanical changes given how new the CX-5 is - on the road the new engine feels punchier than before. There’s excellent mid-range pulling power from the Skyactiv-D that makes it feel sprightly for a medium-sized, five-seat SUV.
It feels like a modern European diesel in its performance but one area that could still be improved is its refinement. The delivery of the power and torque is smooth enough but the engine is still noisy under acceleration and doesn’t sound as sophsitcated as the best Europe has to offer.
As for the rest of the CX-5 drive experience there’s nothing new to report. Mazda hasn’t messed with a formula that is clearly working, the CX-5 rides firmer than your average SUV but also has above-average handling in the corners.
ANCAP Rating: 5 Stars - the CX-5 scored 36.5 out of 38 possible points when tested in 2017.
Safety Features: Six airbags, ABS and ESC, autonomous emergency braking (AEB) up to 80km/h with pedestrian detection up to 60km/h and in reverse to 8km/h, blind-spot monitor, rear parking sensors with cross-traffic alert, and reverse-view camera.
WARRANTY AND SERVICING
Warranty: Three years/unlimited kilometres.
Servicing: Mazda’s service program includes annual or 10,000km intervals at a cost of $305 for the first service, then $397 (second), $305 (third), $466 (fourth), $305 (fifth), $459 (sixth), $305 (seventh), $466 (eighth), $305 (ninth) and $397 (10th) up to 100,000km, which is higher than average.
TMR VERDICT | OVERALL
While these are all relatively minor changes they have provided incremental improvements to an already impressive SUV. More than enough to keep the CX-5 heading in the right direction.
- Interested in buying Mazda CX-5? Visit our Mazda showroom for more information.