Mazda’s best-selling model globally will not be a casualty of the company’s new range of more expensive, six-cylinder SUVs – but the next-generation model is more than 18 months away.
There will be another generation of the top-selling Mazda CX-5 family SUV – but it is not due in showrooms until 2025 at the earliest.
It will be the third generation of the CX-5 nameplate, which was Australia’s best-selling SUV for seven years straight (2012 to 2019) – and remains Mazda’s top-selling model in Australia and overseas.
Showroom arrival timing is yet to be locked in, though Mazda has indicated it is not due this year or next year. Come 2025, the current CX-5 will be eight years old.
It will sit in showrooms alongside Mazda’s new six-cylinder or plug-in hybrid SUV range – including the similarly-sized CX-60 – which cost more than $65,000 drive-away, or $25,000 more than the cheapest CX-5.
While yet to be confirmed, it is expected the new Mazda CX-5 will retain a familiar layout to the current model, with four-cylinder engines and a choice of front- or all-wheel drive.
But it remains to be seen if it adds the option of hybrid power, and if it is a system designed in-house by Mazda – or purchased from Toyota.
The Mazda CX-50 – a CX-5-sized family SUV available in the US and China, on underpinnings shared with the smaller CX-30 – is set to introduce a hybrid version using Toyota technology.
Toyota owns five per cent of Mazda – and the two companies have previously worked together on shared models and hybrid technology.
This includes a Toyota-powered hybrid version of the previous Mazda 3, which was sold exclusively in Japan – and a factory owned by the two companies in the US, which produces the CX-50, and North American versions of the Toyota Corolla Cross small SUV.
Whereas Toyota’s petrol-electric hybrid technology cuts fuel consumption in half in real-world testing, Drive has found the hybrid technology in the Mazda CX-30 – which is a ‘mild-hybrid’ system – delivers negligible fuel savings.
Mild-hybrid systems use the electric motor to assist the engine, but cannot drive the wheels on electric power alone – unlike a traditional Toyota-style hybrid.
The new CX-5 is expected to resist the shift to the CX-60’s rear- and all-wheel drive underpinnings – and dearer mild-hybrid or plug-in hybrid versions – to keep the price down.
“Senior management have confirmed there will be a next-generation CX-5, that’s coming. It’s a top selling model globally, so it makes sense,” Mazda Australia marketing director Alastair Doak told Drive.
When asked if Mazda will introduce a hybrid version of the CX-5, Mr Doak told Drive: “That would be telling, wouldn’t it? But as I said before, there’s a new-generation car eventually coming. But it’s not next year, it’s [further away].”
Mazda has previously announced plans for three electric vehicles, five plug-in hybrids and five traditional hybrids by 2025, but it has not stated which models will offer which technologies.
The current, second-generation CX-5 will be eight years old by the time it is replaced – compared to the five-year lifespan of the original CX-5 introduced in 2012.