Top-selling Mazda CX-5 SUV gets turbo boost
AUSTRALIA'S best-selling SUV is about to receive a turbo boost.
Mazda will fit more expensive versions of its CX-5 with the turbocharged engine from the larger CX-9, tempting buyers seek a bit more mumbo under the bonnet of their softroader.
The CX-5 turbo has 170kW of power and 420Nm of torque, compared with Volkswagen's 162TSI Tiguan 162kW/350Nm and Holden's Equinox 2.0-litre turbo, which puts out 188kW and 353Nm.
The engine, which will cost an extra $2500 over the standard 2.5-litre petrol, will be available only on the all-wheel-drive GT and Akera models.
Mazda marketing boss Alastair Doak says the brand had earmarked the turbo engine for the CX-5 since the launch of the CX-9.
"It's been in the pipeline for a while now. It gives an extra dimension to CX-5 by adding a premium performance version," he says.
The new turbo engine headlines a host of running changes to the CX-5, which had a mid-life update in only May last year.
Across the range, there has been a significant safety upgrade. Every model in the range will have lane departure warning, lane keep assist, radar cruise control, auto high-beam dipping and driver attention alert. Auto wipers and headlights are now standard as well.
Mazda says there have been further tweaks to the suspension and steering aimed at improving feedback and soaking up bumps better.
On the tech front, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are finally standard fitment across the range.
Prices have risen with the new levels of equipment. The entry level Maxx auto with the 2.0-litre engine now starts at $31,770, a $1080 increase, while the Maxx Sport and GT increase by $888, although Mazda says the extra equipment is worth $2000.
The Akera model at the top of the range has come in for more treatment as the brand continues its push into prestige territory. Nappa leather, real wood inlays and LED ambient lighting lift the appearance, while the front seats are now ventilated and heated and the rear seats are heated.
There's also a new wheel design and a new digital readout in the centre of the instrument cluster.
Doak says the local operation is benefiting from the fact that Mazda is trying to establish itself in overseas markets and continually tweaking its products to get an edge on the opposition.
He says the arrival of a new turbo engine doesn't spell the end of the CX-5 diesel.
"The typical diesel buyer is more interested in touring range while the turbo petrol engine has a different character," he says.
The diesel is also important given the uncertainty about fuel prices.
"If we get a big increase in the fuel price again, we can dial up and dial down diesel supply as required," he says.
Mazda expects the new turbo variant to make up about 12 per cent of the total engine mix, about the same as the diesel. The existing 2.5-litre petrol engine will continue to be the most popular choice, with almost half the sales.