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Mazda releases the new CX-5 compact SUV

Striking design and strong tech hope to take sales from Ford's Kuga...

Mazda has today released more images and specs for their forthcoming CX-5 compact SUV.

The CX-5 is Mazda's entry into the ever-expanding segment of smaller 'lifestyle' SUVs, occupied at the lower end by the Ford Kuga and Skoda Yeti, moving up through the VW Tiguan, BMW X1 and Audi Q3 to the top dog Range Rover Evoque.

Styling-wise, the CX-5 uses what Mazda calls their new 'Kodu' design language. This means a bold grille up front, with large sculpted sides and a complex surfaced rear aspect. In real terms, it means that the CX-5 is a very nice looking car, hiding the bulk usually found in these smaller SUVs yet still giving it a sense of style and purpose.

Based on the same versatile chassis as the smaller Mazda3 and larger CX-7 SUV, the CX-5 is initially only powered by a new 148 bhp, 243 lb ft 2.2 litre turbodiesel engine that, when mated to a new six-speed manual transmission, will have CO2 emissions of less than 120g/km, a remarkable achievement for a car with the same footprint as an Audi Q5.

Following on will be a more powerful version of this engine with 173 bhp and 310 lb/ft of torque, and a range of petrol engines using Mazda's new SkyActiv technology. SkyActiv encompasses a lightweight modular platform, new suspension set-ups, much more frugal engines and new transmissions that will give Mazda legislative future-proofing for a decade and allow it to thrive as an independent car maker away from its alliance with Ford. The high output diesel will only be available with 4WD whilst the others will have a choice of FWD as well. All models can choose from a six speed manual or automatic gearbox.

Inside the CX-5 is standard Mazda - tidy design with a little design flair thrown in to keep you interested. The kit count will be high, ensuring that it has a strong case against the premium brands.

Prices have yet to be announced, but expect the CX-5 to be priced closer to the Ford Kuga than the Audi Q3.

Images courtesy of Mazda

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About Tim Oldland

Contributing Editor - Long time petrolhead, automotive design engineer and journalist. Also Social Media Manager for the ecurie25 Group - Tim has worked in the automotive sector for many years, but has been a fan of anything with 2 or 4... read more