Is the Mazda CX-5 About to Go Turbocharged?

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
is the mazda cx 5 about to go turbocharged

Where would Mazda be without the hot-selling CX-5? Of the 29,980 vehicles Mazda sold in the U.S. last month, 47.3 percent of them were CX-5s. Suffice it to say the stylish compact crossover is the brand’s most important model, regardless of what MX-5 fans would have you believe.

Parents everywhere applauded when a crisper, better-handling CX-5 appeared for 2017, content in knowing a family vehicle existed that wouldn’t relegate them to a world of bland conformity. Our own Chris Tonn was enraptured by the sight of his Grand Touring tester as it sat in an Ohio parking lot. Still, despite its on-road prowess, the zoom-zoom brand’s most popular offering isn’t exactly a pavement scorcher. That might not be the case for long.

According to a certification document from the California Air Resources Board (CARB), Mazda might offer the 2019 CX-5 with the turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder found in its larger CX-9 sibling. The doc shows emissions results from a 2.5-liter four boasting direct injection and forced induction, with its applications listed as the 2019 CX-5 and CX-9.

In the 2018 CX-9, this engine generates 227 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. Currently, CX-5 buyers choose from a 2.0-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder making 156 hp and 150 lb-ft, or a naturally aspirated 2.5-liter with 187 hp and 186 lb-ft. A delayed diesel’s on the way. Should Mazda grace us with a hot rod variant of its compact ute, buyers can expect a two-thirds increase in twist compared to the existing top-line powerplant.

Maybe it’s too much to ask that it come with a stick shift.

Of course, Mazda doesn’t make a habit of commenting on future products, and this case is no exception. We’re left to wait and see if our crossover dreams come true.

Sales of the CX-5 in America haven’t waned once during its time on the market. Each year since its 2012 debut saw more and more buyers line up at their local dealer, ready to fill Mazda’s coffers. This May saw the crossover’s sales rise 19.9 percent, year over year, with volume over the first five months of 2018 up a generous 43.7 percent.

H/T to Bozi Tatarevic!

[Images: Mazda, CARB]

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6 of 52 comments
  • Sportyaccordy Sportyaccordy on Jun 19, 2018

    Would love to see this engine in a new MS3, but it seems Mazda has batten down the hatches to run a skeleton fleet. Still a little bummed nobody in the mainstream realm seems to be using hybrid tech to boost performance. Slap a 1kWh battery + 100kW motor in pretty much anything and you will have something interesting.

    • See 1 previous
    • AK AK on Jun 19, 2018

      @LeMansteve I would arge that a hybrid Brz/86 makes absolutely zero sense.

  • Igve2shtz Igve2shtz on Jun 19, 2018

    I said it a year ago. The 2.5T was not a good choice for the Mazda6 due to it's torque rich nature and lack of top end. Performance sedan owners want to wind out gears, have linear power delivery, and this engine was never designed for that application. I applaud Mazda for making this engine available in the 6, but it was never intended to be a Speed6 equivalent (no matter what journalists/forum members/car people said). But it will prove beneficial for golf foursomes who have had a few too many burgers at the local club, not for owners looking for a cheaper M3. Having driven it, the 2.5T is superb in the CX-9 because it operates where 90% of all drivers will play... below 5000 RPM. The power delivery of the 2.5T is superior to the 3.5 V6's of the competitor cars because it will help get the beast rolling when loaded down with the 6 passengers, or all the gear. The driver won't need to wind out the motor to make sufficient power when burdened down. As far as the CX-5? Yee-HAW!! For the same reasons of the CX-9 above, this will be a great motor in a great little car. Although sporty, I never got the desire to drive the CX-5/9 like I do my Mazdaspeed6. The power is there for passing, and when loaded down, and under normal circumstances, the engine will fade into the background like it should. In typical TTAC fashion, I can't wait to snag one of these up off lease in 2 years after a heck of a depreciation.

    • See 1 previous
    • Arach Arach on Jun 19, 2018

      @SixspeedSi I think for most buyers the "winding up" preference is dead. They want torque from a stop sign. They don't understand winding up and complain that the cars have too little power, just because they have to hit RPMs to enjoy them. My wife and I both love our 2.0t because it has MASSIVE power where you use it. We like it a lot more than our more powerful V6, because the V6 required winding up, and who has the opportunity to wind up a car in DD situations? not us. High torque at low RPMs is a winning combination for 99% of buyers IMHO.

  • MaintenanceCosts This is a Volvo EX90 with swoopier styling and less interior room. I'm really not sure I understand the target audience.
  • Stuki Moi If government officials, and voters, could, like, read and, like, count and, like, stuff: They'd take the opportunity to replace fixed license numbers, with random publicly available keys derived from a non-public private key known only to them and the vehicle's owner. The plate's displayed number would be undecipherable to every slimeball out there with a plate reader who is selling people's whereabouts and movements, since it would change every day/hour/minute. Yet any cop with a proper warrant and a plate scanner, could decipher it just as easily as today.
  • Dukeisduke Is this the one that doesn't have a back window? Like a commercial van?
  • MaintenanceCosts My rant seems to have disappeared, but suffice it to say I agree with 28 that this is a vehicle about which EVERYTHING is wrong.
  • SCE to AUX Welcome to the most complicated vehicle you can buy, with shocking depreciation built into every one.And that tail - oh, my.