Crossover & Midsize

The Mazda CX-5 Is About to Get Some Major Upgrades

The Mazda CX-5 is one of the most widely loved and accepted crossovers currently on sale. There is quite a lot to like from its stylish cabin, powerful engines, and variety of available tech. However, it seems the Japanese crossover may be leaping into a more premium market. According to Motor1, a report from BestCarWeb.jp suggests that the next-gen CX-5 aims to fight alongside German luxury SUVs. Additionally, there may be a brand-new six-cylinder engine under the hood.

The Mazda CX-5 is set to compete with BMW and Mercedes

The BestCarWeb.jp report translated by Motor1 suggests that the next-gen CX-5 will arrive to battle with the Mercedes GLC and the BMW X5. Given the size difference between those SUVs and the smaller crossover, the next-gen CX-5 may increase in size to become more of a direct competitor. The current-gen model is available with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. However, Motor1 reports that this new generation will ride on Mazda’s brand-new rear-wheel-drive platform, just like the upcoming Mazda6 sedan.

While the Mazda CX-5 currently offers a selection of two four-cylinder engines. According to BestCarWeb.jp, the next generation of the popular crossover will be powered by either a 3.0-liter or 3.3-liter six-cylinder engine. Given the larger engine, expect power figures comparable to those of its intended competitors.

However, Motor1 brings up a great point about price. While the current-gen Mazda CX-5 starts at $25,270, a push upmarket could see that price quickly increase. While this will likely bring it closer to the larger CX-9, it also opens up the doors for more entry-level crossovers.

The CX-5 name could be left behind

2020 Mazda CX-5 from the front
2020 Mazda CX-5 | Mazda

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The next-gen Mazda CX-5 may abandon its name entirely. According to Motor1, there are conflicting reports about what the next-generation will actually be called. Although various reports have claimed that the new Mazda will be called the CX-50, BestCarWeb.jp reportedly claims the CX-50 will actually be a coupe-style version of the CX-5, says Motor1.

Given the recent unveiling of the CX-30 right above the CX-3, it makes sense that there would be two separate variants rather than one. However, this poses an interesting question. If the Mazda CX-5 and CX-50 will be more upmarket models, what will happen to the CX-9? As of writing, there are no updates for the CX-9 range, however with new engines and architecture on the way, expect massive changes there too.

It won’t arrive for quite some time

A Mazda CX-5 on display in a showroom
Mazda CX-5 on display | Photo by Robert Hradil/Getty Images

While all of these changes to the Mazda CX-5 and the lineup overall seem quite exciting, they won’t arrive for quite some time. That’s because Motor1 reports that Mazda will not reveal any new models through March 2022. For now, all we know is that the Mazda6 and CX-5 are currently going through the early stages of development.

This delayed timeline makes more sense for the CX-5 than the Mazda6 Sedan. While the second generation of the crossover has been on sale since 2016, the sedan dates all the way back to 2012. While we assume the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly caused delays, the sedan desperately needs an update. Thankfully it seems that what Mazda is preparing is set to be far more significant than minor tweaks. Now we’ll just have to wait.