Innovative design and engineering are at the heart of Mazda’s SkyActiv strategy. It is an all-encompassing label applied to fuel and weight-saving improvements made to the chassis, body, engines and transmissions of not just the Mazda CX-5, but an entire range.
If that weren’t enough, the CX-5’s exterior has been shaped using Mazda’s latest ‘Kodo – soul of motion’ design language, which introduces a wide-mouth grille that will characterise the firm’s family face for some time to come.
Mazda claims the CX-5 is one of the most aerodynamic compact SUVs around, with a drag coefficient of 0.33.
Underpinning the CX-5 is a clean-sheet, scaleable platform which, thanks to the increased use of high-tensile steel, is stiffer and lighter than the brand’s previous architecture.
The suspension is divided between MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link arrangement at the back. The latter has been mounted higher than usual to improve damper efficiency. As is becoming the norm in this class and others, the steering rack is an electrically assisted system.
The real beneficiaries of the SkyActiv R&D budget are the powertrains. Along with two heavily revised transmissions (a smaller, lighter six-speed manual and a tweaked six-speed automatic), the engine line-up is refreshingly simple and fiendishly clever: there’s one 163bhp 2.0-litre petrol and one 2.2-litre diesel unit split into 148bhp and 173bhp variants.