By on August 15, 2014

2013 Mazda CX-5. Picture courtesy motortrend.com

The Mazda CX-5 is doing well for itself among critics and customers alike, but like anyone else, the automaker has some ideas on how the crossover can keep its edge.

Autoblog reports spy cameras caught a lightly camo’d CX-5 testing somewhere in Europe with tape covering parts of its face and backside. The head and rear lamps have been revised, along with the grill, and the side mirrors boast integrated turn signals.

Expect to see everything unmasked around the Los Angeles Auto Show this November prior to going on sale the following autumn for the 2016 model year.

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58 Comments on “Lightly Revised Mazda CX-5 Caught By Spy Cameras...”


  • avatar
    mike978

    I would expect it to be available for sale in early 2015, since a) it is ready and b) Mazda has the bad habit of launching cars very , very early in the model year. Recall the new Mazda 6 that came out in early January 2013 as a 2014 model. Or the CX5 which has always been released in Q1 of each year with the following year model designation. I would like to see them get back to the more traditional September/fall timings.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Sept/fall timing for new model years hasn’t been the norm in over a generation.

      By law, the model year is the version for sale on January 1. If any company releases a car during the year, it must be the next model year, and it’s bad business to let a new product sit around not being sold because it isn’t September.

      For the 6, it was supposed to be released at the end of 2012 as a 2013 MY, but it wasn’t ready. They had already shut down manufacturing of the prior 6 during early summer of 2012.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        The 2015 Camry will be out in September, there is currently no 2015 Accord, that too will be in the fall. The 2015 Charger is also in the fall so it is still fairly typical for a model year change on an existing car to be in the second half of the year. Mazda have unfortunately got into the habit of having their model years front loaded. Take the 6 for example, it was launched in January 2013 (for the reasons you describe), but instead of having an 18 month model year to try and align it back to second half of the year, they go with 12 months and have the 2015 in very early 2014.

        The CX5 is also caught in this trap of having an early model change and Mazda not wanting to go much above 12 months between model years.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          There are just as many Fords released in Apr/May as Toyotas/Hondas released in the fall.

          And again, if you have an improvement to make to a car (like they did with the second MY of the CX-5), it’s just plain dumb to sit on them for an extra 6 months so it aligns with a schedule that few really care about anymore.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            I agree other companies are sometimes just as bad as Mazda at this – doesn`t make it right.

            Also agreed that if there is a key improvement, like adding the 2.5L engine then they should do it.
            But this change which is very minor and won`t supercharge sales (unless they have upgraded the nav screen) could wait until middle of next year- but I won`t hold my breath come January.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            There is no right/wrong on this. Just because you don’t like it doesn’t make it wrong.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            Agreed, just strikes me as odd to have a 2015 Camry/Accord etc just released and within 3 months there is a 2016 Mazda x,y,z. In the end probably makes no difference to sales.

    • 0 avatar
      metadrew

      Completely agree.. Mazda does 99% of its launches in the Spring.- At least in Canada.

  • avatar
    alsorl

    Has anyone heard anything about when the diesel will show in the USA ?

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Two facts I’ve heard that seem credible:

      1. The delay is due to US emission requirements sucking too much performance. They will release it, even if they have to add a urea treatment system.
      2. One auto mag got a 6 for a long-term tester, but in an odd twist, each quarter it’s being swapped with a different trim. For their last quarter they were promised a diesel.

      That would put it around the end of the year or early next year. But at this point, I’ll believe it when I see it.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      The Japanese, unlike, say, VW, just can’t seem to get diesel consumer commuter vehicles “right,” for whatever reason(s).

      Honda & Toyota haven’t bothered thus far, and Subaru & Mazda (as well as some other Japanese manufacturers) have fielded less than impressive competitors to vehicles such as the VW/Audi TDI vehicles.

      • 0 avatar
        wmba

        Time to visit the UK websites. Honda had a 2.2l turbo diesel for a decade, which has been replaced by a really good 1.6 two years ago – these go in CRVs. Nissan has a great diesel for the Qashqai (small Rogue), Toyota has a decent unit for the Rav4, Mazda’s skyactiv diesel has suffered from oil level problems (diesel leaks into the oil pan overfilling it – they can’t fix it and this is why it isn’t being sold in the US), and the Subau engine has a very limited powerband, needs updating.

        Hardly a lack of diesels. Three decent ones out of five. Really, the diesel state of mind is not unlike the brown 6MT diesel wagon fantasy so many have. Why bother supporting a very low likely take rate?

        • 0 avatar

          Right. Honda, Nissan and Toyota all sell in ample volume without diesels. They’re not stupid. If and when diesels become popular, they’ll start offering them, and they *do* have a solid track record in Europe with diesels. But right now, what are they losing by skipping that tiny market here? Mazda, OTOH, just needs an engine-upgrade option here in the States. At this point it could just be a V6 or a turbo-4, and they can do the diesel when it’s ready.

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            Agree…even if the car I dream about is the 6 wagon w/diesel. The fact is I would settle for a turbo 4 in any of their cars/cuvs.
            but PLEASE let us have the 6 wagon!!!!!!

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          Don’t forget the US & European standards are different, so they typically can’t just pick up those diesels and sell them here. It makes sense that they wouldn’t invest that effort without a solid business case that they would sell in the US, and despite the history of VW, I don’t think it’s a gimme–Americans still form their opinions based on those lousy car diesels from way back when.

          The Mazda diesel issue is from reinjecting fuel caught in the particulate filter. If the engine is turned off at the right (wrong?) time, it drains into the oil. It’s generally only a problem for those who don’t run the engine long enough. I decided not to wait for the Mazda diesel because I realized my driving habits don’t fit the ‘proper’ driving style needed for a diesel, i.e., my trips are too short.

          Actually, their diesel problem could be a great fix for their rotaries. Those engines produce too much particulate emissions, so the filter would fix that problem, and they require injecting oil into the combustion area to lubricate the apex seals. That oil gets burned off anyway, so it doesn’t matter if it’s contaminated with fuel. It’s a win-win: less emissions and lower oil consumption.

        • 0 avatar
          stephenjmcn

          We have a Civic with the new 1.6 diesel, it’s smooth, powerful, and sounds like a petrol Honda 4. Also nearly 80 mpg (Euro, official figures – we get around 65 in reality)

    • 0 avatar
      alsorl

      Thanks for the info. My local Mazda dealer is telling me spring 2015 for the diesel CX5. But, I think they are just blowing smoke to keep me interested. But, if Mazda does not manage to get the diesel going I’ll have to go non diesel. And it likely be the Forester. Can’t beat it for engineering, size, and mpg.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        I would be shocked to see the diesel in the CX-5 that soon. The CX-5 already has an upgrade engine. I instead expect it to go into the 6, which needs a second engine option, and then see how it sells. If it bombs, they could replace it with the V6 they’ll need to develop anyway for the next CX-9. But if it’s successful, they’ll expand its use into their other vehicles

        • 0 avatar
          mike978

          That is a key question, what engine does the CX9 get since as you say the 6 needs an upgrade engine and the Speed3 also needs an engine. I would assume for minimising changes they would have the same engine do service in all three vehicles.

  • avatar

    To be fair, the CX-5, along with all of the other recent Mazda models, already has integrated mirror indicators. It’s just that the turn indicators are sized and aimed so that they are only directly visible from the sides of the car. Unconventional as it is, this arrangement aligns itself almost perfectly with Europe’s side-mounted indicator mandate, and so the Euro-market CX-5 is probably the same right now. See the below picture:

    http://image.motortrend.com/f/wot/mazda6-design-301509/59318587/2014-mazda6-side-mirror.jpg

    And as for the CX-5 itself, I think it is easily the most handsome car in the segment (second place goes to the Forester, which I also really like). My only complaint with the CX-5 is the underbaked, worst-in-class infotainment system. If Mazda is going to upgrade it with the unit from the new 3, that’ll be a *really* good thing…

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      However…the best engine in the class is the Ford 2.0 ecoboost. That engine is fabulous. Powerful enough for the Edge, it does wonders in the Escape.
      Not to mention the Escape drives better, much better, than the Forester.
      Besides…I can do without forced AWD and oil issues.

      • 0 avatar

        I don’t particularly like the way the Escape is proportioned or styled, so I’ve never test-driven it. However I have sampled the 2.0T EcoBoost engine in the Fusion and MKZ, and I really liked it in both cars. I can’t imagine it’s *worse* in the Escape.

        • 0 avatar
          Wscott97

          The rear tail lights of the Ford Escape looks like an Evil Japanese Anime Rabbit trying to kill you. Especially when you’re driving behind a white one and they tap on their breaks. The California licence plate doesn’t help either. They look like giant buck teeth.

      • 0 avatar
        alsorl

        Yeah, if Mazda cannot get the diesel going soon it will be the Forester. But, the 2.0 ecoboost in the Escape is a great combo. Ford is also taking $4500 to $5000 off sticker right now. But, for longevity I think the Subaru cannot be beat. But, on the other hand after 5-6 years I’ll probably be ready for another auto.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        The 2.0 Ecoboost isn’t competing against much, though, as there are only a small handful of “upscale” engine options left in the class. I’ve read good things about the performance of the Subaru turbo as well, and rarely anything good about the mileage of the Ford. The V6 Rav4 may be dead, but it still sounds like the standard.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    I truly cannot understand people’s fascination with SUV’s that have had half their cargo area chopped off, the so-called CUV’s.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      I’m…not sure what you mean by this? Provide, if you will, the cargo capacities for a CUV with a comparable SUV.

      It helps if you think of a CUV as less a jacked-up wagon or hatchback and more of an SUV with FWD/unibody construction to save weight and increase MPGS. Like the original RAV4, CR-V, Escape, etc. I know that my squarely-styled Mazda Tribute holds a little more cargo than the compact Explorer it replaced, mostly because it doesn’t sacrifice space for a full frame.

    • 0 avatar
      alsorl

      Some people don’t want to drive a school bus. But, like the feeling of not sitting on the ground, like a sedan or wagon. Oh, and there is also the 30mpg of the smaller suv.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Come on, this has been well established for some time now.

      Some of these have 30-35 cubic feet behind the rear seats. As much legroom as a midsize sedan. Safe and innocuous driving dynamics and fuel economy that is far closer to a sedan that the old Explorers & Pathfinders that used to be the rave. AWD for winter. Easy loading height. Nice elevated view for drivers.

      Even if the segment isn’t your cup of tea, there should be no confusion as to why they are very popular with consumers who value practicality. If they were about $3000 cheaper across the board, I could see them making midsize sedans essentially disappear.

      • 0 avatar
        rudiger

        Indeed, the perspective of a CUV being a small SUV is completely wrong and just marketing to sell more of them. A CUV is, in reality, nothing more than a small station wagon with a higher center of gravity to improve visibility (‘command view’) for shorter drivers. Throw in the option of AWD (‘not’ 4WD) and, voila, you have a sporty vehicle with more cargo capacity than a sedan (you know, like a station wagon) that people will buy.

        But calling a CUV a station wagon would be the death knell. So, the term ‘CUV’ was coined, and they sell like hotcakes.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          There’s really nothing small about some of them. The Traverse/Acadia/Enclave dwarf GM’s fullsize Tahoe/Yukon/Escalade, excepting the XL/Suburban models, of course.

          And what’s wrong with them selling like hotcakes under a different name?

          • 0 avatar
            dtremit

            Dwarf them? A Traverse is smaller than a Tahoe in every dimension. Granted, not a *lot* in width or length, but fully 5″ shorter.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            They dwarf them on the inside, not on the outside. The Lambdas are a bit smaller than the SWB Tahoe outside, and almost as big as the LWB Burban inside.

            BOF packaging is just not good for family vehicles. Sure people can work around it if they need to tow or go off road, but unless it’s being used for those purposes the BOF SUV wastes a lot of space for no benefit.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          Their increased cabin height also permit more upright seating which makes packaging more efficient. That’s how you get the good legroom AND good cargo area in a compact footprint.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            And it makes them friendlier to the most important buyer demo there is: boomers.

            Arthritis becomes as important in your life as economics.

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          There is nothing remotely sporty about most of these cars. To make a tall car handled decently, you spoil the ride. Make it ride decently, and it handles poorly. No free lunch. For an excellent example, drive a BMW x3 back to back with a 3-series wagon.

          But the sheeple have spoken. Or at least repeated what the marketers have told them.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Very few non-automotive enthusiasts care about a “sporty” ride. Myself included–I just care that the ride is more comfortable than the 40-year-old tractor or 35-year-old truck seat in which I just spent 8 hours. If “firm but isolated” (think a modern F-150 or other half-ton truck) is the best they can do, it’s good enough for me…not to mention the millions of arthritic Boomers and older who remember when the only two ride settings on American vehicles were “floaty” or “washboard,” and are just happy now to have something in between.

            And they’re not sheeple. They have just as much intelligence as you and me, just in different areas. I’ve got an above-average knowledge of agriculture, marginal education in civil engineering, and a dabbling of liberal arts (whoop-de-doo), but ask me what I know of running a business, being a CPA, or any other of a myriad of jobs out there in the great wide open, and I’ll just look at you like a cow looks at oncoming train. I’m sure the same could be said for yourself in other fields.

            But those sheeple…! God forbid anyone ever have an interest in how a car looks and rides and not how it runs or that a wagon would oh-so-obviously be a superior alternative in every way to those terrible, terrible bloatmobiles they have the gall to call “utility vehicles.”
            In fact, how dare they even consider purchasing an automobile without having a comprehensive and complete knowledge of everything that makes it tick, plus the complete history of their chosen brand! Why, you’d almost think manufacturers were building cars not just for the automotive enthusiast, but also for the common worker! The absurdity of it all!

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        They’ve already almost made true full-size sedans disappear. The Impala and Avalon are really little more than widened, slightly lengthened midsize cars. And the Taurus/MKS suffers from poor interior space utilization by being on a CUV platform.

  • avatar
    lastwgn

    The biggest problem I have with the CX-5 is the lack of towing capacity. I am a definite Mazda fan/owner, and will be looking to replace a 2006 Tribute in the next 12 months. We pull a 2,200 pound pop up camper with the Tribute, which has a V6 and 3,500 pound tow rating. The best a CX-5 can do is 2,000, while the Escape with a 2.0L ecoboost is rated at 3,500. Last of three kids is a junior in high school, so an empty nest is not far off which means that a CX-9 is simply too much vehicle. The lack of towing capacity will really be the only thing holding me back from a new CX-5 in 2015.

    • 0 avatar
      alsorl

      That is also a great point for Mazda to get that diesel working. I think it will have that 3500 tow rating.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Thanks to the Great American Anti-Towing Conspiracy (see Curbside Classic’s article for more info), the CX-5, which can tow almost 4000 lbs. braked in other countries, is rather emasculated in the US.

      • 0 avatar
        mic

        I second that! My Versa HB has a tow rating of 2200 in the UK but a goose egg here! So the CX-5 isn’t emasculated over here, it is the same car with a different page in the owners manual to comply with the conspiracy! you can still tow 4000 lbs with it!!

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          Provided you keep it under 50 mph, like vehicles with trailers are required to in most European countries (the exceptions limit trailers to 62 mph). People like to tow at 75 and 80 here, which mostly explains the lower limits.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            And recall that I said “braked,” referring to having trailer brakes, which is a distinction that bears keeping in mind in the EU, Australia and elsewhere, and should really be a factor in US tow ratings as well. Unbraked tow ratings are significantly less.

    • 0 avatar
      Jacob

      Somehow, I doubt Mazda management is losing sleep over the five customers who didn’t buy a CX-5 because of the tow rating.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        If I were them, I would. But I’m not, so I don’t. I’m probably not cut out for the actual engineering, designing, building, and marketing of automobiles anyway. It’d be like going to a meatpacking plant, and then not wanting to eat sausage, bratwurst, kielbasa, and hot dogs anymore.

  • avatar
    Wscott97

    While I was car shopping 2 weeks ago, I took a serious look at the Mazda 3 and CX-5. I really liked the cars but I felt that Mazda kind of cheapened the look of the dashboards, especially the Mazda 3. I really wanted the CX-5 but it needed a bigger infotainment screen and I was afraid of the gas mileage going from a hybrid to an CUV commuting from Long Beach to OC. I still recommend the CX-5 to anyone looking for a new car in that segment. If it came in a diesel, I wouldn’t have hesitated to buy it.

    • 0 avatar
      RyleyinSTL

      I also looked seriously at the CX-5, when shopping this past spring. It was really rather brilliant overall…but the telematics/infotainment was complete rubbish. I wouldn’t generally let that kind of thing dictate my purchase but Mazda was clearly not even trying in that department. My guess is the refresh will also include an update in this area, perhaps the same system as in the new 3?

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    I’ll buy one about 2 years from now. Why? It’s about the only thing out there with a stick shift and a tow rating.

    Yes, the Forester does, too, but I don’t want/need AWD.

    The Tiguan as well, but dealers don’t actually sell stick Tiguans, and well because… VW.

    • 0 avatar
      rockets

      I’ve got a CX-5, Sport w/ manual (fwd); not real quick but I can’t complain on my mpg: 31mpg w/AC, 65%hwy, 35%city w/ a medium foot. I think it rides very well and has a composed ride…no sports car, of course, but handles decently. My wife just bought a Forester (surprised me) after driving a minivan for 13 years and loves it (happy wife…).

  • avatar
    carguy

    It’s undeniably a great CUV but I had rather hoped that the outdated infotainment system and the rear HVAC vents would have been addressed in this refresh.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      AFAIC, any CUV that *has* rear HVAC vents is “spiffy” and “neat” enough for me. I’m easily amused sometimes. My uncle got one of those fancy-dancy F-150s with the automatic running boards and now it’s like he drives a spaceship. Zoom zoom.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        @Drzhivago138, you are not alone, I was pretty impressed by vents for both the 2nd and 3rd rows in the Toyota Highlander. But then I care about my passengers too (ok mostly I don’t want to hear them whining about the lack of air.)

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Really, the best solution would be opening vent windows in the back, like in a minivan, or a 10th-gen Ford SuperCab, or…do any SUVs or CUVs have them?

  • avatar
    CarPerson

    If you believe that shot was taken by a “spy camera”, please call me. I have some great Atlantic ocean front property in Arizona just the ticket for someone like you.

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