At the Los Angeles Auto Show in November, Mazda debuted its all-new 2017 CX-5 compact crossover, supplanting its best-seller in the U.S. with a more refined, upscale people-mover that shares much of its aesthetics with the larger CX-9.
Outside of its luscious, brand-new Soul Red Crystal paint color, the biggest to-do with the vehicle came from the announcement of the SKYACTIV-D 2.2 diesel engine making its way to the U.S. But there’s plenty more to talk about, so we’ve gathered some of the most frequently asked questions concerning the 2017 CX-5 in one place.
So is it really all-new?
The 2017 Mazda CX-5 is dimensionally similar to the right-sized 2016 model, but it has an extensive number of changes, including its engine (the 2.2-liter SKYACTIV-D engine will be all-new for North America), transmission (quicker-shifting, more responsive) and new ball-bearing rear differential on all-wheel-drive models (redesigned for less friction, better efficiency and greater strength). It also has a 16-percent stiffer body than its predecessor, all-new suspension tuning, more acoustic tuning and a completely redesigned interior and exterior.
Yeah, for all intents and purposes, without a stone left unturned, it’s all-new.
What was the 2017 CX-5 benchmarked against?
In large part, the CX-5 was benchmarked against its award-winning bigger brother, the second-generation CX-9. The CX-5 adopted much of the CX-9’s lauded sound absorption technology to cosset drivers and passengers with little outside noise. But with its new G-Vectoring Control (the first all-wheel-drive application in the U.S.), customers can rest assured that it will handle as well as Mazdas always have.
That said, while its acoustic treatment was set against the CX-9, the CX-5 was put up against class-above rivals that compete in luxury categories rather than mainstream compact crossovers when it came time to look outside the company. That includes the CX-5’s upscale interior and BOSE® Premium audio system.
And, of course, engineers looked toward the dynamic benchmark in the compact crossover class—the previous-generation CX-5. When creating the 2017 CX-5, engineers and designers were inspired by the tagline “One class above” to create their ideal family crossover.
We listened to customers for what they wanted.
Standard LED headlights and tail lights—same as the MX-5 Miata roadster and CX-9 midsize crossover SUV: Check. Available power liftgate: Check. Full-speed active cruise control: Check. Available windshield-projected head-up display: Check. Wider-swinging rear doors: Check. Reclining rear seatbacks: Check. Second-row air conditioning and heating vents: Check. Available heated rear seats, heated steering wheel and USB charging ports in the back: Check.
These are but a few of the new equipment additions in the 2017 Mazda CX-5. We’ve got you covered.
But that red paint, though—
We’re going to let you finish, but we have to explain. Yes, it’s a real color that you’ll be able to buy.
Developed using processes learned during the development of Soul Red Metallic and Machine Gray Metallic, the all-new Soul Red Crystal paint color was created to highlight the more subtle, sophisticated curves of the next-generation KODO—Soul of Motion design language. Like Soul Red Metallic, Soul Red Crystal is still a three-coat paint process, but it’s approximately 20-percent brighter and has a 50-percent greater depth than its predecessor. Unlike Soul Red Metallic, all of the aluminum flakes in the paint are uniform size and are pointed in the same direction, giving Soul Red Crystal a look as though it were flowing magma.
It is the same color that was shown previously on the RX-VISION concept car, yet instead of the many, many stages in which that car was painted, it’s scalable for mass production. And after CX-5, it will eventually grace every Mazda model sold in the U.S. as a premium paint option.
Gimme! Gimme! When can I get one?
The first-generation Mazda CX-5 was no slouch, having won rival publications Car and Driver and Motor Trend’s 2016/2017 crossover SUV comparisons just months apart from one another. These publications are like the Capulets and Montegues—they don’t often agree with one another. Yet, they both came to the same conclusion that the 2016.5 CX-5 was the best of the bunch—even when compared with newer models. It speaks volumes about how strong the outgoing vehicle was.
And with the myriad of upgrades made to the all-new 2017 CX-5, Mazda will surely keep on its path of winning the hearts of consumers who care about loving what they drive.
The 2017 CX-5 is scheduled to go on sale in early spring, with SKYACTIV-D 2.2 models going on sale toward the end of the year. Prices will be announced closer to the CX-5’s on-sale date; expect them to start at a similar point to today’s automatic-equipped CX-5 Sport, powered by the SKYACTIV-G 2.5 gasoline engine.