2017 Mazda CX-5 Preview

Christian Wardlaw | Nov 16, 2016
  • Redesigned compact crossover SUV
  • Evolves Mazda design philosophy, inside and out
  • Quieter and more comfortable interior
  • 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with 6-speed automatic transmission
  • 2.2-liter diesel engine arriving later, perhaps for 2018
  • Optional all-wheel-drive system
  • Enhanced steering and suspension
  • Equipped with G-Vectoring Control technology
  • Upgraded safety and infotainment systems
  • On sale in the spring of 2017


2017 Mazda CX-5 front quarter left photo


In 2013, the Mazda CX-5 debuted a new path forward for the small but determined Japanese automaker. Led by what the company called a “Kodo” (Soul of Motion) design philosophy, Mazda decided to build light, efficient, dynamic vehicles focused on driver enjoyment.

It helped that this shift in the approach to product development was timed perfectly with increasingly insatiable demand for small crossover SUVs, but that alone is not what made the original CX-5 a hit now responsible for 25% of all Mazda sales.

Now, with the introduction of the redesigned 2017 Mazda CX-5 at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, the automaker is refining both its design theme and its emphasis on the driver, broadening the focus to include passengers who might be along for the ride.

Exterior Features

Keeping a goal of “refined toughness” in mind, Mazda says it is honing its styling approach, adopting what it characterizes as a minimalist aesthetic free of non-essential elements.

With the new 2017 CX-5, designers sought to visually lower the crossover SUV’s center of gravity to create a greater sense of stability, while hand-shaping the body to manage movement of reflections and coax bright highlights and deep shadows for maximum contrast.

To bring out the best in the CX-5’s new styling, Mazda has also created a new Soul Red Crystal paint color, which joins Machine Gray as the company’s two signature hues.


2017 Mazda CX-5 interior photo Interior FeaturesFor the new CX-5’s interior, Mazda wanted to promote a sense of well-being for the driver and occupants. Starting with a driver-focused control and display layout, Mazda uses linear forms, added interior quietness, upscale yet familiar choices of materials, and what it called “insanely precise build quality” to create the CX-5’s cabin. Seating is more comfortable, too, and outward visibility is improved, the company says. The cargo area is larger, but not by much.

Black cloth seats are standard, with perforated leather available as an option. Glossy trim and metallic accents provide an upscale look, and switching from Black leather to the Pure White option creates a rich-looking 2-tone, high-contrast ambience.

Optional Features

Still months away from arriving in Mazda showrooms, the new CX-5’s trim levels and equipment offerings were not detailed in Los Angeles. It would seem a fair bet that Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring trim levels will continue, perhaps with a new Signature trim or option package delivering true entry-luxury fittings.

In addition to features mentioned below, Mazda confirms that rear seat heaters are a new option, and rear park-assist sensors are also available for the new CX-5.

Under the Hood

In the U.S. market, the 2017 Mazda CX-5 comes with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, a 6-speed automatic transmission with Sport driving mode, and front-wheel drive. Horsepower and torque figures were not announced; the engine in the current, 2016 model generates 184 horsepower and 185 lb.-ft. of torque, respectively. A predictive all-wheel-drive system is available.

Mazda also announced that it would offer a 2.2-liter diesel engine for the U.S. market, a delayed offering that might headline changes for 2018. Mazda has been working on this diesel engine for a long time, ensuring it meets emissions standards and passes scrutiny on that front.


2017 Mazda CX-5 rear quarter right photo In addition to visually lowering the CX-5’s center of gravity, Mazda engineers actually lowered the SUV. Better than a 15% increase in torsional rigidity also helps to improve driving dynamics, as do an improved electric steering system and revised suspension tuning. Available 19-in. aluminum wheels provide plenty of grip, but somehow resemble cheap plastic hubcaps instead of upscale rims.

Mazda’s new G-Vectoring Control technology is also added to the new CX-5. To oversimplify, it uses the steering and braking systems to reduce the effects of cornering on the CX-5’s occupants, improving everyone’s enjoyment of the journey. Drivers will appreciate a new Auto Hold function, which automatically holds the brake when sitting at intersections or in traffic.


Mazda reports that the new CX-5 has strengthened windshield pillars and other structural improvements that are designed to maximize occupant protection in a collision.

Of course, avoiding a collision in the first place is a preferable scenario. To that end, Mazda offers its full suite of i-ActiveSense advanced driver-assistance features for the 2017 CX-5.


The new CX-5’s Mazda Connect infotainment system features an improved audio system and an available 10-speaker Bose Centerpoint premium sound system.

Mazda has also upgraded the driver information display to a 4.6-in. screen, offers an Active Driving Display, and installs the latest version of the company’s radar-based cruise control, which the automaker says will allow the CX-5 to follow traffic ahead after coming to a stop. Road sign recognition is also available for the new CX-5.

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