Freshened Mazda CX-5 Launched in Japan on freshened Mazda CX-5

The last one I drove – a couple of years back – had crisp handling, the badly named “SKYACTIV” technologies, decent all-around performance and build quality. Above all, a good presence in a world over-populated with cookie cutter crossovers.

Mazda Motor Corporation has begun accepting pre-orders for the updated Mazda CX-5 at dealerships throughout Japan. The freshened crossover SUV (their words here and following) has what’s called a distinctive design coupled with the pleasure of Jinba-ittai driving – responsive control over driving, turning and braking – in everyday driving situations.

Pre-orders have also begun for the CX-5 Exclusive Mode special edition. This range-topping special edition money maker (Mazda is financially challenged since the Ford Motor divorce that demonstrably hurt both parties) has selected materials that create a look of “warmth and modernity.” Sales of the updated CX-5 and CX-5 Exclusive Mode special edition start on November 22. and the crossover will, maybe, eventually find its way to the U.S.

Sold in 120 different countries and accounting for a full quarter of the brand’s global sales volume, the CX-5 is  preeminent model in the Mazda lineup. The last one I drove – a couple of years back – had crisp handling, the badly named “SKYACTIV technologies, decent all-around performance, and build quality and a good presence in a world now over-populated with cookie cutter crossovers.  The CX-5 has received more than 100 awards (Mazda’s count), including the Japan Car of the Year award, since the launch of the first-generation model in 2012.

This time around the block, the SKYACTIV-G 2.5T is added to powertrain offerings, making the CX-5 the first model in Japan available with this 2.5-liter inline-four direct-injection turbocharged gasoline engine. The soon to be extinct diesel – thank  Volkswagen and emissions regulators – has torque and therefore is good for long-distance cruising. My likely pick, awaiting real testing, will be the North American version of  the SKYACTIV-G 2.5T. It should be fast, smooth and flexible – if it gets here given NAFTA LIGHT woes. (See on NAFTA Light – US-Mexico-Canada Agreement Hurts US Workers) on Japanes Mazda CX5 CrossoverG-Vectoring Control Plus (semi-marketing babble alert – GVC Plus) in theory enhances handling stability on slippery road surfaces and when changing lanes. This is an updated version of G-Vectoring Control so it now directs/tames vehicle motion when returning the steering wheel to center, as well as during turn in. Simply put it is a yaw axis damper from the artwork, with who knows what-  if any control – in the pitch axis and roll axis.

Models in Japan powered by the SKYACTIV-D 2.2 diesel engine are available for the first time with a six-speed manual transmission. The updated CX-5 diesel becomes the only model in its class2to offer a manual option, providing SUV drivers with the pleasure of greater control over the car.

As the highest-grade CX-5 available, the Exclusive Mode special edition combines a finely-crafted interior with high-quality materials such as Nappa leather and real woodgrain decorative panels to create a refined cabin space that blends warmth and modernity. Such high-quality materials and fine craftsmanship bring new joy to the experience of owning a CX-5.

Updates to the Mazda CX-5

Powertrain, handling stability and ride comfort

  • The first model in Japan available with the SKYACTIV-G 2.5T, a 2.5-liter inline-four direct-injection gasoline turbo engine. Burning regular unleaded gasoline, it outputs up to 169 kW (230PS) at 4,250 rpm and produces up to 420 N・m (42.8kgf・m) of torque at 2,000 rpm.
  • GVC Plus, a new technology that improves handling stability at high speeds and during emergency maneuvers while suppressing sudden, unintended movements t comes as standard equipment on all model grades.
  • The SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual transmission is now available with the SKYACTIV-D 2.2 diesel engine in both FWD and AWD configurations.

Safety and Convenience

  • Nighttime pedestrian detection is added to Advanced Smart City Braking Support (Advanced SCBS).
  • A 360° View Monitor is standard equipment on the Exclusive Mode special edition and is available as a factory-installed option for all model grades.
  • Mazda Connect car-connectivity system supports Apple CarPlay for the first time on a Mazda model in Japan.
  • Mazda Connect car-connectivity system supports Android Auto ™6 for the first time on a Mazda model in Japan.

Improvements in design and quality

  • – The 17-inch aluminum wheels are painted Gray Metallic instead of Dark Silver. (The design is unchanged.)
  • – The climate control panel, switches and dials are redesigned for better feel and operability.
  • – For models with normal speakers, the surface material of the A-pillar trim has been changed from resin to fabric. In addition, tweeters have been added at the base of the A-pillar, increasing the number of speakers from four to six.7

Exclusive Mode with SKYACTIV-G 2.5T or SKYACTIV-D 2.2
The Exclusive Mode special edition offers what in Mazda’s view the highest-grade interior, using selected materials such as Nappa leather upholstery and real wood-grain trim. In addition, features and functions that improve comfort and safety enhance the joy of ownership.

  • Seats are upholstered in soft, smooth Nappa leather and the exclusive interior color coordination uses black on the pillars and ceiling and Deep Red in the lower areas.
  • Real woodgrain is used in decorative trim panels for a look of refinement and warmth.
  • -The frameless rear-view mirror provides a wider field of vision and a cleaner look.
  • 19-inch aluminum wheels with exclusive dark gloss paint accentuate a look of composure and toughness.
  • Both front seats feature a ventilation system that extracts hot air trapped between the occupant and the seat surface.
  • The smallish  seven-inch TFT LCD display mounted in the center of the meter cluster shows essential driving information is allegedly well-organized and easy-to-read.
  • White LEDs are used throughout the cabin for consistent interior lighting, and foot lamps come as standard equipment for both front and rear seats.

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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