Nope, this isn’t a mid-life refresh or fancy new trim level, this is the second-generation Mazda CX-5. As in, it’s all-new, inside and out. We know, evolutionary seems like a bit of an understatement here.
But then who are we to question Mazda, a company with one of the freshest and universally excellent ranges currently on the market? Given one in four of all its sales are now CX-5s (it’s shifted 1.4m of them in the last four years), sticking to its guns seems entirely reasonable.
The previous-generation CX-5 was the first Mazda to shepherd in the ‘Kodo’ design language and SKYACTIV powertrains, and this new model very much continues that theme. At the front skinnier headlights are propped up by chrome strips running across the bottom of the wider grille, while the profile and rear are refreshingly simple and clutter free – a design language Mazda calls “refined toughness.”
There are some important tweaks to the dimensions, though, such as wider front and rear tracks and a centre of gravity 10mm lower than before. The A-pillar has been shoved back by 35mm, too, throwing the visual mass more towards the rear, Jaguar F-Pace style, and improving forward visibility for the driver.
On the inside, Mazda has resisted the temptation to inflate cabin space, so you get the same 505-litre boot as its predecessor, and perfectly adequate rear passenger room. Where Mazda’s spent its money is on improving comfort with 10 per cent less wind, road and engine noise at a steady 60mph, two-stage reclining rear seats and a new G-Vectoring Control system that divvies up torque based on steering angle to reduce body roll. A 16 per cent improvement in torsional rigidity should make it a smidge sharper to drive, too.
Naturally, digital displays play a central role on the redesigned interior. A new head-up display, 4.6-inch screen on the right hand side of the instrument cluster and a central satnav and infotainment screen now placed higher on the dash are all designed to deliver maximum information, with minimum eye movements.
Exact UK specs are yet to be finalised, but engine choices will include the SKYACTIV-D 2.2-litre diesel and the defiantly naturally-aspirated SKYACTIV 2.0-litre petrol, both available with either a six-speed manual or six-speed auto, and the option of four-wheel drive.
So what’s the verdict readers? A yawn-inducing update, or a case of Mazda listening closely to its customers? You decide.