The all-important 2018 Mazda CX-5 is edging closer, with new clothes and massive strides forward in refinement.
BEHOLD the clearest shots yet of the second-generation Mazda CX-5, sprung in camouflaged prototype guise undergoing final testing near the company’s European headquarters in Germany.
Expected to hit the world stage at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, the redesigned medium-sized SUV from Japan is set to land in Australia around the middle of next year to take on a whole slew of equally fresh Euros like the Volkswagen Tiguan and Renault Koleos, as well as the upcoming next-gen Subaru Forester, Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, and Mitsubishi Outlander.
Not departing far at all from the 2012 original, Mazda isn’t messing around with the super-successful current model’s winning styling, but it is clear that the recently launched CX-9 Mk2 has helped shape the 2018 CX-5’s look.
Among the stand-out details are sharper headlights and grille treatments, deeper side windows for better vision, a more pronounced rear hip line, sleeker tail-lights, and a tailgate featuring a similar concave surface treatment to its big seven-seat SUV sibling. Inside, we’re hoping for a classier cabin with palpably higher quality materials.
While the new KF-series CX-5 will be a development of the existing KE model’s SkyActiv platform architecture that also underpins the latest Mazda CX-9, the latter will also donate much of its chassis advancements, including the thicker gauge steel and significantly increased sound-deadening measures, to help quell the noise/vibration/harshness issues afflicting the outgoing model.
On the engine front, improved versions of the current 2.0-litre and 2.5-litre SkyActiv-G four-cylinder petrol units are said to carryover, along with the somewhat quieter 2.2-litre SkyActiv-D turbo-diesel that’s just been announced for the MY17 Mazda6 midsize sedan and wagon.
We remain hopeful of seeing the CX-9’s strident 2.5 turbo in higher-end versions, though Mazda has refused to confirm or deny such a move. Did somebody say CX-5 MPS? Rumours also suggest that an eight-speed automatic may usurp the six-speeder, but that may occur later on in the SUV’s lifecycle. Of course, Mazda’s G-force Vectoring Control tech for more linear steering and handling is certain to be included.
Finally, the CX-9’s latest driver-assist technology (like AEB-R - Autonomous Emergency Braking in Reverse) is expected to migrate over, adding to the medium SUV’s more sophisticated aspirations.
Pricing will definitely start under the $30,000 mark for the base front-driver, streaking past the mid-$50,000 point in the diesel AWD flagship.
Stay tuned. We’ll keep you posted as more developments unfold.
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