A new Mazda compact SUV is arriving to the global marketplace in 2012. Mazda has confirmed the model will be called the CX-5. Mazda currently sells three SUV models: the full-size CX-9, the midsize CX-7, and the compact Tribute. The CX-5 is not expected to arrive in the U.S. until the 2012 calendar year.
According to Mazda’s press release, the CX-5 is a “next-generation” model that will blend SKYACTIV technology and KODO design. The CX-5 is based off the MINAGI concept model, which was shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March of this year. The compact SUV will be Mazda’s first model to incorporate the company’s ‘KODO – Soul of Motion’ design theme. It is a stylish, aerodynamic look, as can be seen in photos.
The compact SUV class will be very competitive in 2012 with new generation models from the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Volkswagen Tiguan. The Subaru Forester and Nissan Rogue are also soon due for a refresh. Toyota will release a new generation RAV4 for the 2013 model year. Other competitors include the Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, and Chevy Equinox. The CX-5 certainly steps into a strong and crowded field.
It will be interested to see what type of engine Mazda uses for the CX-5. Currently the Tribute and CX-7 base trim offers a 2.5 liter 161 horsepower four-cylinder engine. The CX-7 offers a more powerful 2.3-liter 244 horsepower turbo-charged four-cylinder engine in other trim lines. Mazda will likely need a normally aspirated four-cylinder gas engine close to 200 horsepower to stand out in the compact SUV class. However, the new model does have a striking, next-generation design, which should help sales, so long as it does not too adversely compromise cargo room.
It remains to be seen whether Mazda will discontinue the Tribute, which is built on the same platform as the current generation Ford Escape. Ford has decreased its ownership share significantly in Mazda in recent years. It is likely the Tribute will be discontinued with the CX-5 arriving. The Tribute has received some notoriety as according to Insure.com, it was the cheapest car to insure among 2010 car models.
The CX-5 will makes its international debut at the Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung Motor Show in Frankfurt, Germany in September this year. This new Mazda compact SUV is a very important model for the company as it expands its product line.