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

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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.


2017 Mazda CX-5 High Resolution Exterior
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The new CX-5 is actually a bit wider in the front and rear, but not by much, with just 0.39 inches added to the overall width. Notice how the roof is just a little more bubbly in the front? That’s because Mazda moved the A-pillars back by 1.38 inches, making the front clip look inherently longer. As you can see, the layout of the windows hasn’t changed at all, with the only notable difference being the chrome trim that gets much wider as it curves along the lower edge of the rear quarter window. As far as the rest of the side profile goes, it took a few changes as well. For instance, there’s a small concave area just behind the rear stationary glass. The body lines just below the waistline carry over, but the concave section on the lower portion of the doors has been leveled out and lowered. As such, the garnishing on the side skirts is now shorter.

2017 Mazda CX-5 High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Mazda CX-5
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Up front, the grille is now a little bit larger and now features a black mesh as opposed to the horizontal slats of the outgoing model. It also has a floating look thanks to the slight overhang above it and the chrome trim insert that encompasses the bottom and sides, effectively leading into the headlights. Those headlights, by the way, are now smaller and sleeker and feature an all-new lens layout. Down below, the air dam is about the same size but is accented by the body cladding that covers the bottom of the fascia. This cladding enhances the sporty appearance of the CX-5, giving it the appearance of having a front spoiler of sorts. And, rounding off the front, are the new thinner and wider fog lights that you quite simply can’t miss when comparing the new and outgoing model.

2017 Mazda CX-5 High Resolution Exterior
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2016 Mazda CX-5 High Resolution Exterior
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In the rear, you’ll notice that the new model has a much smaller overhang above the rear glass while the side flares at the top corners are now more extended than before. It should also be noted that the rear glass has been angled just slightly forward, giving the rear hatch an all new look. Down below, the taillights now have sharper corners and feature a new lens layout while the license plate recess is now wider and takes a different shape. Down at the bottom of the fascia, the body cladding has actually been sized down a little but looks more sculpted than before with a much larger reflector in each corner. A chrome exhaust tip rounds off the exterior in the rear.

The Competition

When it comes to comparing the new CX-5 to the competition, there are a few things to take into consideration. Two of the CX-5’s competitors, the Honda CR-V and the Ford Escape, both went through a generational shift for the 2017 model year. But, the evolution of every model isn’t equal. The fifth-gen CR-V brings a very sporty presence to go with aggressive styling. It also has more rearward-sitting A-Pillars, a feature that helps make I stand out just like the CX-5. If you’re looking for something sporty and aggressive, you’re going to have a hard time choosing between the CR-V and the CX-5, as they both bring a lot to the table in that regard. The CR-V even has pretty muscular rear haunches, which is a bit of an oddity in this segment.

2015 - 2016 Honda CR-V
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2017 Ford Escape
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2017 Mazda CX-5 High Resolution Exterior
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But, if you like to take a minimalist standpoint on your mobile affairs, you may appreciate the simplistic nature of the new Ford Escape’s body. Sporting a much shorter front clip, a rather uneventful front grille, bulky fog lights, and a side profile that emphasizes the lack of width above the waist line, the Escape is certainly aimed at those wanting something more utilitarian and nature. To put it simply, it’s something you’re more likely to find in your grandparent’s garage. The kind of look you’re going for is up to you, but before you set yourself on one of these models, there’s a whole lot more to talk about.

Ford Escape Honda CR-V Chevvrolet Equinox Kia Sportage Toyota Rav 4 Mazda CX-5
Wheelbase (inches) 105.9 103.1 112.5 105.1 104.7 106.3 (est.)
Length (inches) 178.1 179.4 187.8 176.4 183.5 178.7 (est.)
Height (inches) 66.3 64.7 66.3 64.4 67.1 67.3 (est.)
Width (inches) 81.8 71.6 72.5 73.0 72.6 72.49 (est.)


2017 Mazda CX-5 High Resolution Interior
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Looking at the interior of the new CX-5 is actually a little refreshing. Mazda finally got the hint that its dash design was dated and ugly, and did something about it. The dash is much flatter than before and features redesigned HVAC vents, revised HVAC controls, and that ugly little infotainment display is gone. The infotainment display has been replaced by a new, seven-inch unit that now sits atop the dash instead of being recessed into the dash like an old, miniature, tube TV. The spokes on the steering wheel now have a new look while the instrument cluster ahead hasn’t changed much. There is a new 4.6-linch LCD display that acts as a driver information center. There’s also something Mazda calls “Active Driving Display” which is basically a HUD that displays navigation information

2017 Mazda CX-5 High Resolution Interior
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2016 Mazda CX-5
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As you can see from the images above, the new CX-5 (left) has seen some extensive modification from the waist down. The arm rests on the door trim now sit flat and angle downward in the front as opposed to upward. As such, the window and mirror controls have been moved back a little and also sit flat. The old model features chrome trim that was surrounding the window and mirror controls, but for the new model, Mazda decided to go with giving the armrests a contrasting color, in this case white. The center console has also changed a little bit. The base of the console now sits a little higher, which means the sides up front are much shorter. The console is also a little bit wider, allowing the buttons and control knob to be spaced farther apart.

The seat design has also changed, but still offers a contrast to most of the interior as they are done up in white as well. The seats now feature slightly larger bolsters including a little bit of bolstering up front. There is a large storage compartment between the front seats that is also wrapped in white leather. The seatbacks of the front seats are black, helping to offset the dark/white ambiance of the interior. In the rear, the seats take styling with less bolstering, but it should be noted that Mazda took the time to throw in a headrest for the center seat – something you don’t always see in SUV’s, let alone in the compact SUV segment. The seatbelts are also black, which really stands out against the white seats.

Looking at the interior of the new CX-5 is actually a little refreshing. The dash is much flatter than before and features redesigned HVAC vents, revised HVAC controls, and that ugly little infotainment display is gone.

As far as other technology goes, the CX-5 gets Mazda Connect, an advanced connectivity system that allows a stable connection between smartphones and other mobile devices. This connection allows control of some auto functions, hands-free phone operation, and navigation. It should be noted that this system is called MZD Connect in markets outside of North America and Japan. On the audio front, the CX-5 comes with a 10-speaker Bose audio system that includes a tweeter in each A-pillar that helps to emphasize the sound quality provided by Bose’s AudioPilot 2 noise compensation and Centerpoint2 surround sound.

The Competition

When Honda ushered in the fifth-gen CR-V, it did so with a sexy cabin that featured a flatter dashboard that is wrapped in soft leather to go with a revised infotainment display that appears to hover within the center stack. The biggest different between the CR-v is the organization of the center console, which features an elevated plateau in the front that houses the shifter mechanism. The rest of the console sits much lower. The CR-V’s interior is quite sporty and competes well with the CX-5, so if it comes between the two, focus on overall seat comfort and whether or not you want to have an elevated and forward-sitting gear shifter. If you want the latter, the CR-V is for you.

2017 Ford Escape
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2015 - 2016 Honda CR-V High Resolution Interior
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2017 Mazda CX-5 High Resolution Interior
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The dullness of the Escape’s exterior may have misled you to believe the interior would be dull as well. Well, if you look at the images above (the Escape is positioned top left,) you’ll see that the Escape has quite a bit going on for it inside. It’s a huge difference compared to the exterior, but sometimes that’s exactly what we’re looking for – something that blends in on the outside, but feels very upscale and modern on the inside. The Escape does this well. The instrument cluster is sleek and sexy with a dark blue backlighting that is somewhat relaxing, to say the least. The door trim panels remind me of something you would find in a sports car, with lots of dramatic styling, recessed areas, and a little bit of contrasting color. You’ll find that the seating of the Escape is just as comfortable as the competition, but if you’re not a fan of Ford’s Sync system, you’ll probably look elsewhere, as this model has Sync 3. While that system has been revised to be smooth, it’s bulky and looks rather ugly with the surrounding trim in the escape. One could even argue that it sits a little too high in the center stack than it should. As they say, you can’t have your cake and eat it too, right?

Ford Escape Chevvrolet Equinox Honda CR-V Kia Sportage Toyota Rav 4 Mazda CX-5
Head Room - Front 39.9 40.9 39.9 39.3 39.8 40.1
Head Room - Rear 39 39.2 38.6 39.1 38.9 39.0
Leg Room - Front 43.1 41.2 41.3 41.5 42.6 41.0
Leg Room - Rear 37.3 39.9 38.3 38.2 37.2 39.3
Shoulder Room - Front 55.9 55.8 58.6 57.1 57.3 57.5
Shoulder Room - Rear 55.2 55.3 56.4 55.1 55.4 55.5

Note: For Mazda CX-5 all figures are est.


2017 Mazda CX-5 High Resolution Exterior
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Mazda has made very little progress in the way of developing or bettering its current engine lineup. Even models like the 2017 Mazda 6 have carried on with that 2.5-liter SkyActiv engine. With that said, we were all hoping that Mazda would come up with something new, but sadly, the new CX-5 comes with the same 2.0-liter and 2.5-liter Skyactiv engines found in the outgoing model. Mazda has said nothing about power output, so chances are they carry over unchanged. That means you get 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque from the 2.0-liter or 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet with the 2.5-liter. Mazda has, however, announced a 2.2-liter “clean” diesel for the U.S. market. No power or torque figures are available, but a fair estimate would be somewhere around 170 horsepower and maybe 290 pound-feet of torque. Remember, that’s just an estimate, so we’ll be updating that figure when Mazda finally spills the beans.

On a side note, I highly doubt that the two gasoline engines are maxed out as far as output performance goes, so – with any luck – Mazda has massaged them to deliver a little something extra for this generation and has yet to reveal they juicy details quite yet. Then again, Mazda has been known to slack on things here and there (take the use of an unmodified SR turbo engine in the new Sentra Nismo, for example) plus the engines do provide fair power for this segment any. So, don’t hold your breath too much for any real change in output. Shifting duties of all engines can be handed by Mazda’s Skyactiv-Drive, six-speed automatic or the six-speed manual (at least you can opt to row your own if you want, right?)

2016 Mazda CX-5 Drivetrain
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Note: Outgoing CX-5 drivetrain shown here.

The new CX-5 comes with the same 2.0-liter and 2.5-liter Skyactiv engines found in the outgoing model.

As expected, the new CX-5 gets Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control that debuted for the first time in the Mazda 6. It is able to adjust torque based on steering wheel action and is said to “deliver unified control of lateral and longitudinal acceleration forces” In other words, it helps control G-force during extreme maneuvers. Being put to use on an SUV is actually a pretty big deal since they are generally top heavy and tend to lean during more spirited driving. On the suspension and chassis front, you’ll find MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link system in the rear. The shocks in the front and rear are no larger in size and feature liquid-filled bushings up front. The front brake rotors are ventilated while the rears are solid, but both feature Mazda’s new Auto-hold function that keeps the vehicle sitting in position even after your foot is removed from the brake – a feature that could be helpful in those dreaded traffic jams.

Performance figures for the CX-5 have never been released, but the current model achieves 26 mpg in the city, 35 mph on the highway, and 29 mpg combined with the 2.0-liter, while those figures change to 26, 33, and 29, respectively with the FWD 2.5-liter. Going with all-wheel drive will drop fuel economy to 25 mpg in the city, 30 mpg on the highway, and 26 mpg combined. There’s no word as to what the new diesel will produce, so stay tuned for updates on that front as we move closer to the CX-5’s official launch for 2018.

The Competition

Considering the CR-V comes standard across all ranges with 185 ponies and 181 pound-feet, it’s pretty easy to see why customers would consider the Honda over the Mazda. Furthermore, the Honda also gets similar fuel economy, matching the CX-5 at 27 mpg in the city and 29 mpg combined, but gets an extra mpg for highway driving, garnering 35 mpg to the CX-5’s 34. The 2.5-liter CX-5 gets the same ratings in the city and on the highway in FWD form but only gets 33 mpg on the highway while the AWD variant suffers by two mpg in the city, five mpg on the highway, and three mpg combined.

When it comes to the Ford Escape, customers are able to choose between a 1.6-liter, 2.0-liter, and 2.5-liter. Output for the 1.6 comes it at 178 horsepower and 184 pound-feet while the 2.5 offers 168 ponies and 170 pound-feet of twist. The 2.0-liter comes with an awesome 240 horsepower and 270 pound-feet blowing the Honda and the Mazda out of the water on the power front. Fuel economy of the Ford isn’t the greatest with an average of 22-to-23 mpg in the city and 28-to-32 mpg on the highway depending on how it is equipped.

Ford Escape 2.5 Ford Escape 1.5 Ford Escape 2.0 Honda CR-V Chevvrolet Equinox 2.4 Chevvrolet Equinox 3.6 Kia Sportage 2.4 Toyota Rav 4 Mazda CX-5 Mazda CX-5 diesel
Engine 2.5L iVCT 1.5L EcoBoost® with Auto Start-Stop 2.0L Twin-Scroll EcoBoost® with Auto Start-Stop 2.4L In-Line 4-Cylinder 2.4L DOHC 4-cylinder SIDI 3.6L V6 SIDI 2.4L I4 2.5-Liter 4-Cylinder DOHC 16-Valve with Dual VVT-i SKYACTIV®24-G 2.0L DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder with VVT 2.2-liter diesel engine
Horsepower 168 HP @ 6,000 RPM 179 HP @ 6,000 RPM 245 HP @ 5,500 RPM 185 HP @ 6,400 RPM 182 HP @ 6,700 RPM 301 HP @ 6,500 RPM 181 HP @ 6,000 RPM 176 HP @ 6000 RPM 155 Hp @ 6,000 RPM TBA
Torque 170 LB-FT @ 4,500 RPM 177 LB-FT @ 2,500 RPM 275 LB-FT @ 3,000 RPM 181 LB-FT @ 3,900 RPM 172 LB-FT @ 4,900 RPM 272 LB-FT @ 4,800 RPM 175 LB-FT @ 4,000 RPM 172 LB-FT @ 4,100 RPM 150 Lb-FT @ 4,000 RPM TBA
EPA city/hwy/combined 21/29/24 23/30/26 22/29/25 26/22/29 21/31 21/31 23/30/26 23/30/26 26/35/29 TBA
Towing 1,500 Lbs 2,000 Lbs 3,500 Lbs 1,500 Lbs 1,500 Lbs 1,500 Lbs 2,000 Lbs 1,500 Lbs 2,000 Lbs TBA
Weight 3,552 Lbs 3,526 Lbs 3,613 Lbs 3,358 Lbs 3,926 Lbs 3,926 Lbs 3,305 Lbs 4,525 Lbs 3,212 Lbs TBA


2017 Mazda CX-5 High Resolution Exterior
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Pricing is a complete mystery right now, but knowing Mazda, it will want to be compensated for the work it put into the CX-5. The current model, which Mazda is marketing as a “2016.5” model, starts out at $21,795 for the entry-level model. The mid-range, Touring trim comes in at $25,215, while the Grand Touring model starts out at $28,570. Pricing will likely increase to $22,500, $26,000, and $29,300, respectively.

Competitive Pricing

Mazda actually has a little bit of an advantage on the pricing front depending on where you look. But that could all change if pricing increases with the next-gen model. Right now, the CX-5 is $200 cheaper than the Ford Escape in entry-level form, but significantly more expensing in mid- and range-topping forms. The CR-V is priced a little more across the board, but with five different trim levels, you can step up a level and pay less than going with the mid-range CX-5. Same thing for the near-range topping CR-V EX-L for a few hundred less with similar equipment to the range-topping CX-5.

Entry-level Mid-range Range-topper
2016 Mazda CX-5 $22,500 $26,000 $29,300
2017 Ford Escape $21,995 $23,495 $27,495
2016 Honda CR-V $23,845 $24,645 $26,095 $28,545 $32,195
Chevrolet Equinox $23,100 $25,510 $26,750 $30,040 $31,790
Kia Sportage $22,990 $25,500 $24,490 $27,000 $34,000
Toyota Rav4 $24,910 $26,830 $29,985 $29,985 $34,750

Note: Prices for the Mazda CX-5 are est.


Ford Escape

2017 Ford Escape
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The Ford Escape has some experience under its belt. It’s been around since about mid-2000 when it was introduced as a 2001 model. It has since evolved twice, with the most current generation coming into play for the 2014 model year. With that said, we’re expecting the Escape to get a facelift sometime in 2017 for the 2018 model year, but with this kind of time frame, we won’t see a fourth-gen model until 2020 or later. Offered in three trim levels, the Escape is just a touch more expensive than the CX-5 in entry-level form, while the mid- and range-topping models are cheaper.

Read more about the Ford Escape here.

Honda CR-V

2015 - 2016 Honda CR-V Exterior
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The CR-V might be a little more expensive compared to the CX-5 and Ford Escape, but it has the advantage because there are five trim levels to choose from. This means that there’s literally a flavor for just about anyone. With Pricing ranges from $23,845 up to $32,195, which could be considered a bit much for a compact SUV. On the positive side, however, that Touring is equipped from the factory with just about anything you could want in a modern SUV or Crossover.

Find out more about the Honda CR-V here.


2017 Mazda CX-5 High Resolution Exterior
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Mazda’s initial problem with slow sales of the CX-5 can undoubtedly be attributed, at least in part, to the overcrowding for the compact SUV segment. In all honesty, the CX-5 never really looked bad, but when you have such a large number of competitors out there, it’s really hard to stand out and garner a big chunk of the pie. Now that we’ve seen the next-gen model in the metal, we can comfortably say that Mazda is working hard to make the CX-5 stand out, and this new design helps it to do just that. The CX-5 is sexy, the cabin is fresh, and there’s a new diesel for those of you who like oil burners. But, with so many different models to choose from in this segment, making a final choice between them will be difficult. The CX-5 certainly won’t disappoint if you’re looking for aggressive and sporty styling inside and out with superb comfort and great technology.

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Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert -
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
About the author

Press Release

The Mazda CX-5 was launched in 2012 as our first new-generation model featuring KODO design and SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY, and has been acclaimed worldwide for its dynamic design, responsive driving feel and excellent environmental and safety performance. It has grown into a core model accounting for approximately 25 percent of Mazda’s annual sales, and to date 1.4 million units have been sold in around 120 different countries. I am very grateful to all our customers who chose the CX-5.

At Mazda, our dream is to create an emotional connection with customers and become an essential part of their lives. To this end we have worked to strengthen the feeling of connection between car and driver, creating human-centered cars that operate in harmony with human sensibilities. Moving forward, we aim to create cars that provide driving pleasure, not only for the driver, but for everybody riding in the car. We want to invigorate both body and spirit through the joy of driving and the various pleasures of car ownership. And we chose this path in the belief that it will lead to the realization of our dream.

2017 Mazda CX-5 High Resolution Exterior
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The all-new CX-5, which refines every aspect of Mazda’s current technology and design, is the first step in this journey. In developing the model, I was determined to find a way to break through the traditional trade-off between driving pleasure and passenger comfort. The joy and pleasure that grow as car and driver communicate and respond to each other should not sacrifice the comfort of family or friends also riding in the car. The goal became to add a new dimension of driving pleasure to the CX-5 by making it an SUV that all customers would enjoy and form an attachment with.

For the design, we settled on ‘refined toughness’ as our keyword and challenged ourselves to elevate the KODO concept to a new level. Inspired by traditional Japanese crafts, we pursued a minimalist aesthetic free of all non-essential elements. The result is a bold and premium-looking exterior, and an interior that gives all occupants a pleasant feeling. Our new body color, Soul Red Crystal, combines vivid highlights and crystalline depths and further accentuates the design of the new CX-5.

The all-new CX-5 adopts G-Vectoring Control, the first of the SKYACTIV-VEHICLE DYNAMICS technologies. Driving performance has been polished in line with human sensibilities, realizing dynamic behavior that corresponds with driver expectations and a comfortable ride with minimal torso-sway for all vehicles occupants. The cabin is quieter, allowing for more comfortable conversation, and the rear seats provide greater levels of comfort and usability.

To help provide driving pleasure for everyone in the car, we have incorporated Mazda’s latest technologies, including i-ACTIVSENSE advanced safety features to help keep occupants safer, an Active Driving Display that promotes safer driving by projecting information onto the windshield, and the Mazda Connect car connectivity system.

There is something unique about the way Mazda makes cars, with an abiding thirst for challenge and uncompromising convictions about how vehicles should be engineered and why. I believe that this is the path we were destined to follow. I also believe that the all-new CX-5 – born of a desire to provide every driver and their passengers with driving pleasure and a deeper relationship with the car – will delight customers and enrich their lives. I sincerely hope that people will feel Mazda’s ongoing spirit of challenge and evolution through this car.

2017 Mazda CX-5 High Resolution Exterior
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Finely honed beauty that conveys refined toughness

Development of the new CX-5 aimed to take the emotional appeal and powerful vitality Mazda has pursued with KODO—Soul of Motion design to a yet higher level by creating a fresh expression of beauty that appeals to mature sensibilities. Aiming for a unique design only Mazda could produce, the development team focused on a Japanese aesthetic. Starting with a simple yet honed form free of non-essential elements, as is common in traditional Japanese crafts, the development team adopted ‘Refined Toughness’ as the keyword upon which “mature physique”, “elegant form”, and “fine fit and finish” serve as the three pillars of the exterior and interior design.
Exterior Design

Efforts focused on creating a bold, tough look that further enhances the distinct personality and dynamic air of the previous model. An expression of one pure motion running from the front to the rear of the body helps convey a sense of agile acceleration and speed. With a physique that emphasizes its stance and look of forward momentum, a simple form that beautifully reflects shadows and highlights, and deeply chiseled design details throughout, the new CX-5 realizes a bold exterior design with a seductive charm.

A lower center of gravity and 10mm wider front and rear tread give the new CX-5 proportions that convey a more powerful stance, as if the car is firmly gripping the road. The A-pillars were repositioned approximately 35mm rearward compared to the previous model, and the relative positions of the front axle and A-pillars optimized. A single expression of powerful motion runs the length of the body’s side and culminates at the rear with a trapezoidal shape that extends from the liftgate out toward each rear tire. The result is a powerful physique that appears from any angle to be firmly planted over the tires.
Strengthening the low, wide expression of the evolved Mazda family face are thinner, lower-placed headlamps and a signature wing that emphasizes the breadth by spreading across the face with tips that extend below the headlamps. The mesh section of the front grille adopts a detailed three-dimensional pattern. This combines with the sculpted signature wing to add depth and a bolder expression that heightens the sporty look of the front face.
Beautiful reflections appear where the body surface changes shape as it sweeps from the front to the rear. Concerted efforts to adjust every detail of the positioning and characteristics of the peaks, as well as the changes and motion in the highlights and reflections, create an elegant expression of transitioning light.
Mazda’s new Soul Red Crystal body color heightens the appeal of this effect. Further evolving the characteristics of Soul Red, a vivid body color that already combined bright highlights and pure depth to instill a strong impression of emotionally charged energy, Soul Red Crystal realizes a fresher, even more stunning level of transparency.

2017 Mazda CX-5 High Resolution Interior
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Interior Design

In keeping with the ‘Refined Toughness’ keyword, efforts for the interior focused on the areas of ‘ambience’, ‘form’, and ‘texture’. Aiming for a human-centered ambience, Mazda carefully considered the form of every component surrounding the occupants to create a basic layout that provides a pleasing sense of exhilaration and reassuring comfort for all on board. Next, the design team worked to perfect the interior design with forms representing both SUV toughness and quality, and attention to the fit and finish of every detail.

All elements in front of the driver flow outward from the center of the steering wheel, creating a pleasing sense of exhilarating tension as well as an ambience of roomy width across the cabin.
A seat design with voluminous depth combines with deeply chiseled air conditioning louvers to express SUV toughness with fine quality.
The film on the decorative panel blends the warmth of natural wood with the strength and toughness of metal to create a fresh expression of depth.
Customers can select from one of three interior packages, including pure white or black leather, or black fabric*. Different colors are used above and below the instrument panel to emphasize the sense of physical unity with the car and roominess of the interior.

Human-centered design provides all cabin occupants with greater comfort

Mazda applied every aspect of human-centered design on the new CX-5 to further polish the acclaimed packaging of the current model. The result is cabin comfort that makes drives a delight for all cabin occupants.

2017 Mazda CX-5 High Resolution Exterior
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Driving environment and cabin comfort

The cockpit zone is designed to provide an ideal driving position, with all controls and switches laid out where the driver can naturally extend a hand or foot to operate them. The floor console has been raised and the shift knob positioned 60mm (automatic) or 40mm (manual) higher than on the current model to improve operability.
Rearward positioning of the A-pillars expands the driver’s field of vision to the right and left, while smaller new door mirrors enhance diagonal visibility toward the corners. Measures to ensure excellent visibility out the rear include a slightly lower beltline than on the current model and the adoption of a single pane of glass for the rear window.
The front seat seatbacks incorporate suspension mats and the rigidity of each part is optimized to firmly support the occupant’s waist and minimize lateral swaying of the upper body and motion of the head. High-damping urethane foam used on the seat cushion provides greater comfort.
The new CX-5 is the first Mazda product to adopt a two-step reclining mechanism on the rear seats. Significant improvements to comfort in the rear seats also include a lower hip point, seat cushions with a three-dimensional shape that follows the shape of the occupant’s lower body, and the availability of seat heaters and air-conditioning vents mounted on the rear of the floor console.
To provide greater convenience, the front of the taller floor console is fitted with a pair of adjustable cup holders that sit side by side.
With a capacity of 505L (DIN, with subtrunk), the cargo area secures the same practicality as the current model’s 500L (DIN, with subtrunk) capacity.

Human Machine Interface (HMI)*

The Multi-Information Display (MID) to the right of the instrument cluster newly adopts a high-resolution 4.6-inch color TFT liquid crystal display (LCD).
The CX-5 newly adopts an Active Driving Display that projects information from the navigation system on the windshield.
Moving the mounting position of the 7-inch center display to the top of the dashboard contributes greatly to reducing the amount of eye movement required of the driver. This independently mounted display is the first on a Mazda to use optical bonding to join the LCD to the touch panel, which results in a clearer image.

*Availability depends on the market and specification.


The new CX-5 adopts Mazda Connect*, the advanced car connectivity system that works in conjunction with smartphones and other mobile devices to make it easier to connect to the internet, access to social networking services and use other communications functions.
Mazda Connect offers audio functions, hands-free phone operation, Aha™ by HARMAN for communications functions, as well as navigation that uses data from SD cards.

*The name Mazda Connect is used in Japan, US, Canada and Mexico. The system is referred to as MZD Connect in other markets.

Audio System*

The system is optimally tuned to match the characteristics of an SUV, delivering clearer high-end sound along with a tighter bass sound. The new system also adds tweeters mounted in the A-pillars. Placing sound output close to the ears of the cabin occupants realizes a clearer, more natural sound.
The new CX-5 features a 10-speaker Bose® premium sound system co-developed by Mazda and Bose that includes Bose’s own AudioPilot™2 ambient noise compensation and Centerpoint®2 surround sound system.

2017 Mazda CX-5 High Resolution Exterior
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Driving Dynamics
Driving pleasure everyone in the car can enjoy

Based on the human-centered philosophy, which aims to vitalize and stimulate the body and soul through a driving experience matched to human sensibilities, Mazda strives to build cars that further heighten the sense of unity between car and driver. For the new CX-5, every aspect of performance was further polished to provide not only the driver but also all who ride in the car with a truly pleasing experience. The efforts, including refinements to the powertrain and handling, ride comfort, and quietness, achieve lively and pleasant-feeling performance, as well as comfort for all cabin occupants.


The engine lineup offers selections appropriate to each market. This includes Mazda’s SKYACTIV-D 2.2 clean diesel engine, along with the SKYACTIV-G 2.0 and SKYACTIV-G 2.5 direct-injection gasoline engines. The engines are paired with either the six-speed SKYACTIV-DRIVE automatic or six-speed SKYACTIV-MT manual transmission. These powertrains provide powerful acceleration with linear characteristics along with excellent fuel economy and environmental performance.
Also available is Mazda’s predictive i-ACTIV AWD system, which helps prevent the front wheels from slipping. The system employs synthetic oil that reduces energy losses throughout its operating temperature range by maintaining its low viscosity, even in extremely cold temperatures. It also reduces resistance by adopting ball bearings for all its power take-off and rear differential unit bearings.


The new CX-5 adopts G-Vectoring Control (GVC), the first technology in Mazda’s new SKYACTIV-VEHICLE DYNAMICS series. By adjusting engine torque in response to steering wheel action, it delivers unified control over lateral and longitudinal acceleration (G) forces and optimizes the vertical load on each wheel. GVC is particularly effective in SUVs, which can be prone to generating lateral forces due to their relatively high center of gravity. It achieves high levels of both vehicle responsiveness and stability, while also helping to reduce sideways sliding of the cabin occupants’ bodies and deliver a comfortable ride.


In addition to using a column type electric power steering system, the new CX-5 adopts rigid steering mounts that heighten its linearity and steering rigidity.
The new CX-5 suspension system uses MacPherson struts in the front and a multi-link system in the rear. Increasing the diameter of the front damper pistons and adopting liquid filled bushings for the front suspension suppresses the floating sensation experienced by the driver and the unpleasant vibrations all cabin occupants feel when the vehicle is subjected to roll.
The brake system employs ventilated discs in the front and solid discs in the rear. The new CX-5 also newly adopts Mazda’s Auto-hold function, which keeps the car stopped even after the driver lifts their foot off the brake pedal.


A 15.5% increase in torsional rigidity over the previous model reduces flexing that might otherwise slow response to the driver’s steering actions.
Increased application of ultra-high-tensile steel includes the adoption of 1,180MPa steel on the A-pillars and 980MPa steel on the side sills and B-pillars.

NVH performance and Aerodynamics

To realize a quiet cabin environment that enables occupants to enjoy stress-free conversation while driving, particular effort was devoted to reducing low-frequency road noise heard when traveling on roads with coarse surfaces, as well as high-frequency wind and tire noise heard when traveling at higher speeds. Compared to the previous model at a cruising speed of 100km/h (62mph), the new CX-5 achieves approximately 10% clearer conversation levels within the cabin and reduces noise by approximately 1.3dB when traveling on rough road surfaces.
Aerodynamic parts strategically positioned on the body where they will be most effective and duct-shaped openings within the front grille realize excellent aerodynamic performance.

Further evolved i-ACTIVSENSE provides world-class safety performance

Mazda Proactive Safety*1 is a comprehensive approach to maximizing the range of conditions in which the driver can operate the vehicle safely and with greater confidence. It aims to help support true driving pleasure for every customer.

Newly added active safety functions and features enable Mazda’s i-ACTIVSENSE*2 advanced safety technologies to lend yet greater assistance to the driver in identifying potential risks early on, and to reduce chances of damage or injury. This includes the introduction of new technologies for supporting awareness and safer driving. Enhancements to the passive safety features include improved efficiency of the multi-load path structure on Mazda’s high-strength SKYACTIV-BODY, and increased use of ultra-high-tensile steel. We aimed to develop a car that is fully capable of high-level ratings in collision tests around the world.

*1: Mazda Proactive Safety is Mazda’s safety philosophy that aims to maximize the range of conditions in which the driver can safely operate the vehicle while minimizing the risks that can lead to an accident.

*2: i-ACTIVSENSE is an umbrella term covering a series of advanced safety technologies that employ detection devices such as milliwave radar units and cameras.

Active Safety

The new CX-5 is equipped with the latest evolution of Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC), which can follow the vehicle ahead from a standing stop, and with Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR), which reads speed limit and other road signs and displays the sign’s message on the Active Driving Display*.

*Availability depends on the market and specification.

Passive Safety

The new CX-5 uses Mazda’s high-strength SKYACTIV-BODY, which effectively absorbs and disperses impact force to suppress cabin deformation. In addition, the strengthened A-pillar section and expanded use of high-strength materials reduces weight and achieves a higher level of collision safety.
A rich complement of safety equipment and features helps provide reassurance in the event of a collision. Adding polypropylene foam to the inside of the headrests and optimizing the mounting method for the seatback frame improves the head impact mitigating structure of the front seats.
Structures under the hood and in the front bumper help mitigate injury to a pedestrian’s head or legs.

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