2017 Mazda CX-4

2017 mazda cx-4 – DOC662611

Remember the Mazda Koeru concept that made its debut at the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show? The company described it as its “latest venture into the growing crossover SUV market” and confirmed there will be a production version of it before the show was over. Well, it turns out that the new model will hit the market sooner than expected.

The folks over at spotted an undisguised prototype that looks a lot like the Koeru concept somewhere in Asia and the photos suggest that the crossover is as production-ready as they get. It’s not yet clear what badge it will carry, but based on previous statements made by Masahiro Moro, Mazda’s global marketing chief, who said that the Koeru will spawn a car that will “bridge the gap between the Mazda3 and CX-5, ” we could be looking at the brand-new CX-4.

Based on the name alone, the CX-4 should be slightly smaller than the CX-5. In other words, a sportier, coupe version of the CX-3. However, the Koeru concept was larger than the CX-5, which could mean that this new crossover could be launched with the CX-6 moniker. The fact that we can’t get a precise idea about the prototype’s dimensions from the photos makes things that much more confusing, but until we find out more, we will refer to this new model as the CX-4, as suggested by Moro himself last year.

The good news is that it shouldn’t take too long to find out. Based on the fact that the CX-4 looks ready to hit the assembly line, a global debut should take place in a few months, at either the Geneva Motor Show or the New York Auto Show. Stay tuned for more info.

Exterior

Mazda CX-4

Mazda CX-4

Design-wise, the prototype bears a close resemblance to the Koeru concept. It features the same KODO-styled front end with the massive, shield-shaped grille and sculpted engine hood. It also has the concept’s fancy chrome frame, which extends into the headlamps, a design feature not available on other Mazda vehicle. The apron, on the other hand, is quite different than the Koeru’s, which had a slim air intake and sporty splitter-like element, and it appears to be unfinished.

The CX-4 received most of the Koeru’s features, but Mazda reworked them into more production-friendly designs.

Around back, the CX-4 received most of the Koeru’s features, but Mazda reworked them into more production-friendly designs. The taillights are larger, and the chrome strip between them is thicker, while the exhaust pipes are no longer integrated into the bumper and pop out closer to the ground. Likewise, the lower tailgate has a smoother design, the windscreen is taller, and the bumper has a more utilitarian appearance.

Surprisingly enough, the Koeru’s sporty profile was transferred nearly unaltered onto the CX-4. Sure, the roof sits higher, the door handles are mundane, and the wheels aren’t as fancy as the concept’s, but the coupe-like design and the blacked-out B- and C-pillars are still there. Nice work, Mazda!

Interior

Mazda CX-4

Although it rarely happens with test cars, the folks over at Popsuv managed to get a glimpse of the interior too. Not surprisingly, the CX-4’s cabin isn’t as fancy as the Koeru’s, but more in line with what we already saw in the CX-5. The center stack layout is pretty much the same, with an infotainment screen above the rectangular A/C vents and all the knobs and buttons below. The center console and the steering wheel seem to be identical to the CX-5. The photo suggests the CX-4 will come with plenty of premium features on the inside, including aluminum inserts, leather, contrast stitching, and a good overall fit-and-finish.

Naturally, the coupe configuration will make the CX-4 less roomier than the CX-5. However, the production model won’t be as cramped in the rear as the Koeru concept thanks to its taller glass house. Also, the bigger rear windscreen should provide improved visibility.

Drivetrain

There’s no word as to what might motivate the upcoming CX-4, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see this crossover hit dealerships with the exact same engines as the CX-5. The latter comes with a 2.0-liter SkyActiv unit rated at 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque in entry-level guise and a more powerful 2.5-liter SkyActiv with 184 horsepower and 185 pound-feet of twist in range-topping trim. Certain markets should also get the 2.2-liter diesel with 147 horsepower and 280 pound-feet or 173 horses and 310 pound-feet. Transmission choices should include a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic.

Prices

It’s difficult to estimate the crossover’s sticker since we don’t know yet whether it will slot between the CX-3 and CX-5 or the CX-5 and the CX-9, but assuming it will be launched as the CX-4, it could cost as much as the CX-5. For the 2016 model year, the CX-5 retails from $21,795 in the United States.

Competition

Nissan Qashqai

Nissan Qashqai

Although there are quite a few coupe-like crossovers on the market nowadays, nearly all of them come from luxury automakers such as BMW and Mercedes -Benz. And, while Mazda has upped the ante in the quality and equipment departments recently, its vehicles are still no match for premium German products. The CX-4 will probably be more suited to go against the Nissan Qashqai, a popular compact that’s both stylish and sporty looking in its second generation. However, the Qashqai can’t match the power offered by Mazda’s 2.5-liter unit, as the most powerful gasoline version comes with only 160 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque.

Conclusion

Mazda CX-4

Although we still don’t know its actual name and specifications, we can tell that this new crossover will be a hit for Mazda based on its sporty design and the fact that it will feature the company’s tried-and-true SkyActiv technology. Mazda has often been criticized for coming up with impressive concepts that were followed by dull production vehicles, but this is no longer the case, as the CX-4 borrows heavily from the exciting Koeru show car. What makes this crossover that much more important to the brand is that it signals a new expansion campaign that will soon include other nameplates. It doesn’t really matter whether this SUV will sell as the CX-4 or CX-6 because soon enough we’ll probably see both in showrooms.

LOVE IT

  • Sporty, coupe-like designed borrowed from the Koeru
  • The prettiest crossover Mazda has built so far
  • Proven SkyActiv technology
  • Stylish interior

LEAVE IT

  • We still don’t know its actual name
  • Could use a performance-oriented version

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