Cars Mazda Mazda CX-5

2017 Mazda CX-5

2017 Mazda CX-5 High Resolution Exterior
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The next-gen CX-5 hopes to be more competitive while offering great comfort and awesome features

When it was introduced for the 2013 model year, Mazda had high hopes for the CX-5. But, the model has been a major disappointment with sales in 2014 not even hitting the 100,000 mark while models from competitors, like the Honda CR-V, for example, saw much higher numbers to the tune of 350,000 examples sold. The CX-5 was facelifted in 2016, but it still failed to meet expectations, despite having a fair amount of muscle under the hood. Consider the CX-5 isn’t exactly a slouch, it must be the design that turns customers away, so Mazda got to work. It didn’t take long for Mazda to complete the second-gen model, and it made its debut at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show sporting an awesome new body color, G-Vectoring Control, a revamped body shell, slightly wider stance, and the addition of Mazda’s SKYACTIV, 2.2-liter diesel engine as an option for U.S. buyers.

The hardest thing Mazda really has to overcome is how overcrowded the compact SUV segment really is. Big names like CR-V, Escape, Equinox, and Rav 4 all resonate through the minds of those looking for the best ride in this segment, and that doesn’t help a newer model like the CX-5 – being around just a few years – establish a good hold in the market. But Mazda isn’t giving up yet, and the new design that makes front clip inherently longer than the outgoing model should help the CX-5 garner the attention of those really wanting a sporty compact SUV. On top of that, there’s lots of cool technology like Mazda’s G-Vectoring control, i-ACTIVESENSE safety features, and there’s even a two-step reclining mechanism built into the rear seats.

But, there’s a lot more to talk about when it comes to the 2018 Mazda CX-5, so let’s dive on in a take a good look at what it brings to the table and how it compares to the rather stiff competition in this segment.

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Latest Mazda CX-5 news and reviews:

Mazda Introduces Virtual Reality Test Drives At U.K. Dealers

Mazda Introduces Virtual Reality Test Drives At U.K. Dealers

Technology promises to change the car buying experience

Mazda is giving its U.K. customers a chance to wring some zoom zoom out of the new CX-5 on the Longcross test track in Surrey, no helmets required. Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen, right? Not when the experience happens via virtual reality.

“With virtual reality our aim is to create a sense of oneness with the car through an immersive experience,” says Kim Crawford, Mazda U.K. Marketing Communications Manager. “You literally get a test drive experience on a track, whilst sat inside the all-new Mazda CX-5 without leaving the building.” U.K. residents are encouraged to check out the new tech at four select Mazda shopping centers, including Bullring, Birmingham, August 5th and 6th, Trafford Centre, Manchester, August 12th and 13th, Bluewater, Kent, August 19th and 20th, and Braehead, Glasgow, September 2nd and 3rd. And while the 175-horsepower SUV isn’t exactly the Japanese automaker’s most adrenaline-inducing model on offer, the virtual experience should be a big step up from the normal test drive routine on public roads. Which begs the question – how will technology change the car buying experience in general? Read on for our take.

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2017 Honda CR-V vs 2017 Mazda CX-5

2017 Honda CR-V vs 2017 Mazda CX-5

The newest kids on the most competitive block

It’s no secret the compact crossover segment has exploded in popularity over the last several years. Nearly every automaker sells some form of vehicle in this class, including the Ford Escape, Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Cherokee, Kia Sportage, Toyota RAV4, and Subaru Forester. But it’s the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 that have attracted the most attention in the recent months. Both enter the 2017 model year with heavy changes and big improvements. The two aren’t the only new contenders in the compact crossover class, but they sure stand out.

That’s why we’ve chosen to take a close look at the CR-V and CX-5 as they compare to each other. From exterior aesthetics and interior features, to drivetrain options and trim level pricing – everything is detained below.

Of course, we’ll have to save driving impressions until we can get behind the wheel of each, so consider this a more objective run-down of features rather than a subjective comparison of in-person impressions.

Continue reading for the full comparison.

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2017 Mazda CX-5

2017 Mazda CX-5

The next-gen CX-5 hopes to be more competitive while offering great comfort and awesome features

When it was introduced for the 2013 model year, Mazda had high hopes for the CX-5. But, the model has been a major disappointment with sales in 2014 not even hitting the 100,000 mark while models from competitors, like the Honda CR-V, for example, saw much higher numbers to the tune of 350,000 examples sold. The CX-5 was facelifted in 2016, but it still failed to meet expectations, despite having a fair amount of muscle under the hood. Consider the CX-5 isn’t exactly a slouch, it must be the design that turns customers away, so Mazda got to work. It didn’t take long for Mazda to complete the second-gen model, and it made its debut at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show sporting an awesome new body color, G-Vectoring Control, a revamped body shell, slightly wider stance, and the addition of Mazda’s SKYACTIV, 2.2-liter diesel engine as an option for U.S. buyers.

The hardest thing Mazda really has to overcome is how overcrowded the compact SUV segment really is. Big names like CR-V, Escape, Equinox, and Rav 4 all resonate through the minds of those looking for the best ride in this segment, and that doesn’t help a newer model like the CX-5 – being around just a few years – establish a good hold in the market. But Mazda isn’t giving up yet, and the new design that makes front clip inherently longer than the outgoing model should help the CX-5 garner the attention of those really wanting a sporty compact SUV. On top of that, there’s lots of cool technology like Mazda’s G-Vectoring control, i-ACTIVESENSE safety features, and there’s even a two-step reclining mechanism built into the rear seats.

But, there’s a lot more to talk about when it comes to the 2018 Mazda CX-5, so let’s dive on in a take a good look at what it brings to the table and how it compares to the rather stiff competition in this segment.

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New Mazda CX-5 Brings Diesel Engine to the U.S.

New Mazda CX-5 Brings Diesel Engine to the U.S.

Mazda’s long-anticipated diesel engine is finally coming Stateside

Mazda has been promising to bring its 2.2-liter diesel engine to the U.S. ever since it introduced the new family of SkyActiv engines in 2011, but that has yet to happen as of 2016. Fortunately, this will change in 2017, when the Japanese automaker plans to launch the oil burner Stateside in the redesigned CX-5 crossover.

According to Mazda, the 2.2-liter four-cylinder will arrive in North America after four years of delays as part of a diversification drive that will also include an electric car and a plug-in hybrid over the next few years. However, the diesel won’t cross the pond in the same specification available in Europe, as the SkyActiv-D powerplant has to be tweaked to meet the more stringent U.S. regulations for nitrogen oxide emissions. Given the fact that Volkswagen’s "Dieselgate" scandal has damaged the diesel’s already not-so-encouraging reputation in North America, this is far from surprising.

The new CX-5 debuted at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show with three engines: the 2.0- and 2.5-liter gasoline units and the 2.2-liter turbodiesel. Although output figures are not yet available, we do know that the oil burner pumps 173 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque in other models. Given that the recently announced Chevrolet Equinox diesel will come with 136 horses and 236 pound-feet, the CX-5’s rating is nothing to sneeze at. Sure, the output may differ depending on tweaks, but not by much.

Mazda went on to add that the diesel mill will make the CX-5 one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in its class. The engine will also use the Natural Sound Smoother and Natural Sound Frequency Control, two technologies that reduce diesel knock for a quieter and more pleasing sound.

Look for the diesel-powered Mazda CX-5 to hit U.S. dealerships in the second half of 2017.

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Mazda Redesigns CX-5 for 2017, Gives It CX-9 Features

Mazda Redesigns CX-5 for 2017, Gives It CX-9 Features

Four-year-old crossover replaced with brand-new model

It’s been only four years since the Mazda CX-5 made its global debut and introduced the company’s then-new Kodo design language and SkyActiv technology, and the crossover has already been redesigned. And no, I’m not talking about a comprehensive facelift, but a full overhaul inside and out, alongside notable changes under the hood.

Introduced at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, the new CX-5 borrows heavily from the larger and newer CX-9. It actually looks like a shrunken CX-9 to some extent, but it has plenty of unique features of its own. For instance, while the headlamps and grille are shaped like the CX-9, the mesh is honeycomb-like, while the chrome frame extends further into the headlamps. The latter are also longer and have thin LED stripes toward both the inner and outer edges. Also, the chrome frame and the engine hood don’t make contact like they do on the CX-9. This gives the crossover a sporty feel, but it also make it look somewhat awkward from certain angles. Definitely a "love it or hate it" features.

There are obvious similarities around back too. The headlamps are slimmer and more stylish, while the tailgate sports a big trapezoidal license plate recess. Unlike the CX-9, the CX-5 doesn’t have the chrome strip between the taillights and the black bumper insert is significantly lower. I really prefer the CX-9’s more massive looking bumper, but hey, I’m sure other drivers dig the CX-5 as it is.

The interior has also been updated to current Mazda standards, with the most notable change being the infotainment screen sitting on top of the dashboard. There’s also a new control knob on the center console, revised seats, and new materials. Customers can choose from one of three interior packages, including pure white or black leather, or black fabric.

Mazda didn’t release output figures yet, but confirmed that the engine lineup include three engines. There’s the familiar 2.0-liter and 2.5-liter gasoline units, as well as the 2.2-liter diesel powerplant. The six-speed manual and automatic transmissions carry over with modifications. As usual, all-wheel-drive is optional.

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Mazda Announces "Mobile Start" Smartphone Application

Mazda Announces "Mobile Start" Smartphone Application

There is no bigger feeling of being a bonehead than locking your keys in your car (if that’s even possible any more) or losing your car in a parking lot, but Mazda has created a new smartphone-enabled feature to bring a little more peace of mind to vehicle ownership. Using just about any smartphone from virtually anywhere, the Mazda Mobile Start app gives vehicle owners the ability to perform various tasks, including starting the car, locking or unlocking doors, locating the car using GPS or activating the panic alarm.

Priced at $500, Mazda Mobile Start is currently only available as a dealer-installed accessory on the 2016 Mazda6 and 2016 Mazda CX-5 (equipped with automatic transmissions), but Mazda said “it is expected that additional models will be added this year.” The first year of service is complimentary, and after that it will require a $65 annual subscription.

Of the three main remote functions, perhaps the coolest part of Mazda Mobile Start is the car-finder function that uses GPS and the smartphone camera to guide users to their vehicles. Unlike the standard dot on the map that most car locators use, Mazda’s system shows a live view image to track the vehicle and show exactly where it is. If you still can’t find it for some reason, the app can also turn on the panic alarm, which can obviously also be used as a security device.

For added comfort, users can remote start their car, and it uses previous HVAC settings to heat or cool the cabin. The engine runs for 30 minutes before automatically shutting off, and there is a timer built into the app to show how much time is left before the engine shuts off. Finally, the app allows a user to lock and unlock the car doors whether the keys got locked in the car of if he forgot to lock the doors.

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2015 Mazda CX-5 Tokyo Concept

2015 Mazda CX-5 Tokyo Concept

Mazda has been a regular participant at the Tokyo Auto Salon and it’s going to be no different when the 2015 installment of the aftermarket show opens its doors in January. One of the Japanese automaker’s offerings at the event is the CX-5 Tokyo Concept, a showpiece model created to display what we can only imagine to be future options for the SUV.

Actually, “showpiece” might be a stretch to describe the CX-5 Tokyo Concept, largely because the breadth of customization doesn’t really cover a whole of real estate. It sports a new black finish and has a new set of admittedly awesome 19-inch, darkened alloy wheels. Other than that, there’s not a lot going on as far as the CX-5 Tokyo Concept is concerned.

Other than the wheels and paint, only the sharpest-eyed observers will notice the upgrades Mazda gave the concept.

Click past the jump to read more about the Mazda CX-5 Tokyo Concept.

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2015 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring w/ Tech Package - Driven

2015 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring w/ Tech Package - Driven

In 2011, Mazda eliminated the Escape-based Tribute, leaving it without a compact SUV to compete in this growing segment. Fortunately, it only took the brand one model year to come up with the Tribute’s replacement, as it released the CX-5 crossover in 2013. In its first model year, the CX-5 had the agility expected of a Mazda, but it lacked in the power department with its 2.0-liter engine that produced only 155 horsepower. The following year, Mazda added in the 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G engine to round out the powertrain offerings, plus it added in the new range-topping Grand Touring trim. As we venture into the 2015 model year, the CX-5 carries over unchanged with the exception of a little feature shuffling through the various trims.

I recently got my hands on the 2015 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring and spent a week seeing what I thought of it. I am a Mazda guy, so I tend to have rather high expectations when testing them. Did the CX-5 blow me away as much as the Mazda3 did last year or were my expectations set too high?

Click past the jump to read my full review and find out.

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2016 Mazda CX-5

2016 Mazda CX-5

Launched in 2012 for the 2013 model year, the Mazda CX-5 is one of the newest crossovers on the market. Sharing its platform with the smaller Mazda3 and Mazda6 sedans, the CX-5 was Mazda’s first vehicle featuring the new KODO design language and the company’s SkyActiv technology. Available in North America since 2013, the U.S.-spec CX-5 is offered with two engines. Coming into 2016, the Mazda CX-5 is set to receive its first mid-cycle facelift.

In 2014, the CX-5 lagged behind its main rivals in terms of sales, as it only managed to deliver 99,122 units. While selling nearly 100,000 units is never a bad thing, the CX-5 plays in a popular segment where the class leader, the Honda CR-V, saw 355,019 units roll off of dealer lots and to new homes.

Will the CX-5’s refresh be enough to put a dent in the CR-V’s sales numbers in 2015?

Click past the jump to read our full review and find out.

Updated 02/11/2015: Mazda announced prices for the 2016 CX-5, which will be put on sale later in the spring.

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2014 Mazda CX-5

2014 Mazda CX-5

Sales of the Mazda CX-5 compact crossover more than doubled in 2013, following the introduction of a more powerful SkyActiv 2.5-liter four-cylinder for the top two trim levels.

The little CX-5 has certainly caught buyer attention since it replaced the CX-7 in the Mazda lineup about two years ago. In terms of overall market share earned versus the heavy hitters, this small SUV has been a runaway success in a way that still eludes the handsome Mazda6 midsize sedan.

On track to move 70,000-plus units this year in the U.S., the CX-5’s popularity shows the brilliance of Mazda’s entry into the exploding segment at the right time, with the right style and the right price. This five-seater offers all-wheel drive and sprint stats as low as 7.2 seconds to 60 mph for the latest engine and six-speed transmission combo.

The value-priced CX-5 Sport now comes standard with an extra gear ratio in its manual gearbox, but sees base pricing jump to $21,000 for the cheapest entry in the front or AWD range. Even with this price increase of about $1,000 versus last year, the CX-5’s 26 mpg city and 35 mpg highway numbers still make life very difficult for traditional economy cars like the Dodge Dart and Hyundai Elantra.

This means some really handsome, fresh and tasteful styling to wrap a roomy and practical five-seat cabin.

Is this handsome face enough to have staying power versus the Toyota RAV4, Kia Sportage or Ford Escape?

Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Mazda CX-5, with detailed information about the enhanced performance of the new 2.5-liter powerplant upgrade.

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2013 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring

2013 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring

Yesterday we announced the Mazda CX-5 Active Driver for the upcoming 2013 Tokyo Auto Salon. Today it’s time to announce another specially prepared CX-5 set to be unveiled in January 2013 in Japan. This time we are talking about the CX-5 Grand Touring — a concept featuring an aerodynamic body kit, a set of high-performance Brembo brakes and a set of 20-inch alloy wheels.

The concept combines a "Soul Red Premium Metallic" exterior paint with numerous piano-black elements, including the exterior mirrors, front and rear spoiler, side skirts, and doors handles. The same black and red combination has been used on the interior where black leather has been combined with red stitching.

No other details have been provided just yet, but we do know the model will feature Mazda’s "SKYACTIV-D" technology. Full details will be unveiled during the car’s official debut at the 2013 Tokyo Auto Salon.

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2013 Mazda CX-5 Active Driver

2013 Mazda CX-5 Active Driver

One of the models to be displayed by Mazda at the upcoming 2013 Tokyo Auto Salon is based on the CX-5 SUV. This concept is called Active Driver and has been specially designed for those active families that need plenty of luggage space, but also the strong torque delivered by the CX-5’s "SKYACTIV-D" technology.

The new CX-5 Active Driver is painted in white with carbon fiber inserts on the hood and numerous gloss-black accents. The car is also offered with a set of unique alloy wheels. For the interior, Mazda has added new sports seats, a new steering wheel wrapped in Alcantara and alloy pedals to go along with color combo of black and red.

We cannot tell for sure what engine is under the hood, but we do know that it will feature SKYACTIV-D technology, like 14-to-1 compression, two-stage turbocharger and weight reduction. Will learn full details in January 2013 when the model makes its world debut.

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2013 Mazda CX-5 180

2013 Mazda CX-5 180

There’s something to be said about the Mazda CX-5 if its parent company decides to bring three customized vehicles of the model to the 2012 SEMA Auto Show. Apparently, it’s tune-worthy and, judging by the models that are being presented, we’re not about to disagree with that notion.

One of these models is the CX-5 180, a project vehicle that pays homage to the carefree lifestyle of Southern California. The look itself feels like a fresh of breath air, particularly the stylized topographical maps of the iconic SoCal destinations, Big Bear Lake and Point Dume. The front doors are likewise adorned by seasonal statistics for the snow and surf hot spots, including temperatures and even GPS coordinates. Can’t say we’ve seen that displayed on a body of a vehicle before.

The colors, all of which are shades of blue, add a kind of depth to the vehicle’s looks. Dark hues of Midnight and Denim mixes well with lighter shades of Tidal Blue and Bay Blue, creating a vivid look that certainly catches people’s attention. Add dashes of Luminous Red spread across the entire vehicle to indicate roads and it makes up the entire unique characteristic of the CX-5 180. Even the custom matte red finish on the five-point grille adds a touch of aggressiveness while the satin chrome dual exhaust by Racing Beat finishes off the exterior program. And don’t forget the set of 20" black chrome alloy wheels wrapped Goodyear Eagle F1 Asymmetric tires.

Inside, the CX-5 180 was dressed with an Aqua interior leather fitted onto the front and rear seats, the steering wheel, door panels, armrests, and the brake boot. That is combined with contrasting Bright White leather inserts on the door panels, steering wheel, and seats. The steering wheel even has a customized trapezoidal stitching pattern for added flair while french seam accents in red and white stitching appear on the armrests and seats finish off an interior that looks as good as the SUV’s exterior detailing.

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2013 Mazda CX-5 Dempsey

2013 Mazda CX-5 Dempsey

With seemingly every automaker outside of Europe getting into the groove at the 2012 SEMA Auto Show, Mazda isn’t going to be left in the sidelines on this one.

The Japanese automaker is on hand in Las Vegas with a steady diet of customized CX-5 SUV’s, beginning with the CX-5 Dempsey.

In case there’s any confusion with what the name is alluding to, it apparently points to one Patrick Dempsey, the hotshot Hollywood actor who also moonlights as a Mazda driver in the Grand-Am series.

In dressing up the CX-5 Dempsey, Mazda opted for a glossy Grey Anatomy paint base with matching strips of Brilliant Black. Adding to the appeal of the SUV are Luminous Red graphic lines with Bright White borders and Black Mica matte finish details on the tailgate that run across the lower portion of the SUV. The CX-5 also carries a Thule Atlantis rooftop cargo box and a bike rack that carries a pretty sick performance called the Specialized Bicycle S-Work Tarmac racing cycle. Yep, that’s the same one used by Russian Olympian Alexander Vinokourov when he raced to the gold medal at the London Summer Games in July 2012. In addition, the specialized CX-5 sits on a set of 20" Mazda Design-customized black chrome alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin Latitude Sport all-season tires. Each wheel, in particular, displays a single double-spoke in glossy Luminous Red, a color that Mazda only uses in limited edition cars.

At the rear of the CX-5 Dempsey, you’ll find the S-Works Tarmac SL4 Red that comes with a Carbon Satin carbon fiber frame with Red Keyline highlights and secured by a Thule T2 carrier.

Inside, there’s plenty of modifications to go around, too. Black perforated leather inserts come with gray aniline leather bolsters and red accents. This three-way color scheme is an allusion to the SUV’s dynamic exterior body colors. The interior also received a leather overload with Luminous Red stitching while the full-length decorative panel was custom painted in glossy Brilliant Black with a matching single Luminous Red outline and a Bright White vehicle model imprint. 

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2012 Mazda CX-5 Urban

2012 Mazda CX-5 Urban

SUVs aren’t exactly the kind of cars that attract attention from tuners, but Mazda has shown up to the 2012 SEMA Show with a number of upgrade packages based on the CX-5, just to highlight the amazing customization possibilities for this model. One of these packages is called the CX-5 Urban - a concept car inspired by styles found in fashion and architecture.

The Mazda CX-5 Urban features two shades of Black Mica exterior paint, with the darker shade showing off multi-dimensional shadows in a triangular-like design shape. The dark night appearance of the CX-5 Urban is highlighted by Ore thin pinstripes on the matte black wheels, in the headlamps, and in the five-point front grille. The SUV sits on a new set of 22" Ace Alloy Scorpio matte black wheels wrapped in sticky Nitto Tire NT420s 295/30R20 all-season tires. The last piece of the package is a new Racing Beat dual exhaust.

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2012 Mazda’s Future Plans Revealed

With the debut of the new Takeri Concept, Mazda has revealed the design language for their future Mazda6 sedan, but that isn’t the only new model the Japanese company has in their future plans. In a recent interview with Automotive News, Robert Davis - Mazda’s Senior Vice President of U.S. operations has announced that the company plans to unveil four redesigned models by 2014.

The first to arrive will be a major update for the CX-5 in the spring of 2012. It will be followed by a redesigned Mazda6 and redesigns of the Mazda3,MX-5 Miata, and CX-9 in 2013.

The big news is that these redesigned models will not only receive exterior and interior updates, but new lightweight platforms and new gasoline and diesel powertrains that boost power and fuel economy. By 2016, Mazda also plans to add stop-start, regenerative braking, and hybrid technologies.

The new platform developed for the four new models will be the first one developed solely by Mazda. The company has been using platforms shared with Ford Motor Co. for most of its vehicles, but since Ford sold its stake in Mazda in 2006, the Japanese company has announced it has no plans to share its new platforms and powertrain technologies for U.S. vehicles with Ford.

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2012 Mazda CX-5

2012 Mazda CX-5

So soon after the Minagi concept was revealed at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, Mazda has come forth with details of the future production model. The Minagi was concocted as a preview version of the next CX model so the fact that the production model is called the CX-5 shouldn’t be too alarming to Mazda fans. The Mazda CX-5 will be the third model in the CX line-up, next to the CX-7 and CX-9, and will appropriately be the smallest one.

The CX-5 will be the first production vehicle to incorporate Mazda’s new design theme, ’KODO - Soul of Motion’ that was revealed with the Shinari concept. This new design theme includes a prominent new front view with a bolder family face and dynamic styling that conveys a strong sense of vitality and agility. The future SUV will also use the full range of breakthrough SKYACTIV technologies, including engines - both diesel and gasoline - transmissions, body, and chassis.

The future CX-5 will go on sale worldwide in 2012.

UPDATE 02/06/12: Mazda has finally unveiled the pricing details for the 2012 CX-5. Check out how much it costs after the jump!

Hit the jump to read more about the new Mazda CX-5.

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