Cars

2017 Mazda CX-5 Debuts, Proves Evolution Isn’t Just a Theory

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Mazda would like you to believe the 2017 CX-5 is all new. It isn’t. This latest version of the compact crossover SUV is, for the most part, mechanically identical to the vehicle that first arrived on our shores as a 2013 model.

Riding on an updated version of the same platform as before, the CX-5 sees the biggest changes in its exterior and interior styling. Outside, the crossover wears the latest evolution of Mazda’s Kodo design language, including a striking (and massive) grille up front. Chrome detailing surrounds the lower portion of the new maw and merges with the lower portion of the headlights.

Aside from its mug, the rest of the 2017 CX-5’s design is much tamer. The front fender lines flow into the doors in a way that’s reminiscent of the smaller Mazda CX-3, while a thick chrome piece defines the lower portion of the CX-5’s window line. At the rear, the changes are so minor as to be insignificant.

The exterior dimensions are much the same as well. Inside, an updated cabin shares design details with the larger Mazda CX-9, while the rear seats gain a new reclining function. Like the exterior, the CX-5’s insides are dimensionally similar to the previous model.

Power for the new CX-5 comes courtesy of Mazda’s familiar 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, which makes 184 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque in the current model. A six-speed automatic transmission is expected to be the sole gearbox offered, while Mazda’s trick G-Vectoring Control, a system that improves steering response by gently reducing torque to the drive wheels on initial turn-in, is added to the mix. In other areas of the world, Mazda will offer the CX-5 with two additional engine choices, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder and a 2.2-liter diesel; however, a company spokesperson couldn’t confirm the availability of those two engines for our market. We’re holding out hope that the 2.0-liter makes it back into the CX-5 lineup, as it’s paired exclusively with a rare-for-the-segment manual transmission in the current model.

While the 2017 Mazda CX-5 may not be completely new, that’s not a bad thing. Given our appreciation of the current CX-5’s smooth ride, lively dynamics, and comfortable and ergonomically friendly interior, the latest model’s fresh looks and revised technologies may be change enough for one of our favorite compact crossovers.

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