There is a lot riding on the new Mazda compact SUV. After Ford divested nearly all its stake in the company, Mazda is freshly independent and needs a hit to propel the company’s fortunes. The 2013 Mazda CX-5 may be that model.
Mazda has gone about the development of this model in an interesting manner. While all its competitors offer at least 170 horsepower, Mazda is going for fuel efficiency in the five passenger CX-5 and may later offer its clean diesel in the U.S., which would make it the first compact SUV in recent years to offer a diesel engine. The diesel will be available in overseas markets.
SkyActiv Engine Technology
The engine that Mazda is using in the CX-5 is the same engine currently seen in some trims of the Mazda3 – a 2.0-liter 155 horsepower four-cylinder engine. In the 2012 Mazda3, the engine returns fuel economy of 28-mpg city and 40-mpg highway.
While fuel economy figures have not been released, the CX-5 may be able to reach the 33-mpg highway with front-wheel drive, which would make it the most fuel efficient gas powered compact SUV on the market. Mazda projects the all-wheel drive (AWD) CX-5’s will get fuel economy ratings of 25-mpg city and 30-mpg highway.
According to Motor Trend, the CX-5 AWD models go from 0-60 in 9.3 seconds. This compares to an estimated 9.0 seconds for the CR-V.
Light on Its Feet
Mazda will use lightweight materials that help to keep the models weight between 3,208 and 3,426 pounds. A six-speed manual will be standard with an optional six-speed automatic. All-wheel drive models get the automatic.
To start, Mazda will only offer the 2.0-liter gas engine. While the engine has some pep. this is a bit risky as the median power for the class is about 180 horsepower. Mazda is betting fuel economy will win out. Mazda may also later offer its 2.2-liter 162 horsepower four-cylinder diesel engine with a stout 310 pound-feet of torque.
Big on Interior Space
Despite the model’s smaller engine, the CX-5 is big on interior room. The CX-5 is longer, taller, and wider than the 2012 Honda CR-V. However, the CR-V has 30 more horsepower.
The CX-5 has 34.1 cubic feet of cargo room behind the rear seats and 65.4 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. This is actually larger than the supposedly larger and much less efficient CX-7, which Mazda has offered since 2007. The CX-7 will also weigh more than 220 pounds more than the CX-5 as it lacks the SkyActiv technologies and new construction techniques.
On Sale in February
The 2013 Mazda CX-5 will be one of the first 2013 models to go on sale, beginning in February. Pricing is expected to start at about $22,000. The model is being assembled in Hiroshima, Japan.