What is the CX-5?
The Mazda CX-5 is a small crossover with seating for up to five passengers. Its current generation has practically lived near the top of our rankings, alongside rivals like the Honda CR-V, due to its premium interior trimmings and excellent driving dynamics for a compact SUV in this price range.
For 2023, there's a chance for big change. This will be about the time Mazda will be looking to replace its current second-generation CX-5 (which came out for the 2017 model year) with an all-new model. Mazda could use its best-selling model to launch a new platform with two major changes: a switch from front-wheel drive to rear-wheel drive and the introduction of a six-cylinder engine under the hood instead of its current four-cylinder options.
If implemented, these updates would make the CX-5 less of a competitor to the CR-V, and more closely aligned with the BMW X3 and other luxury-brand crossovers. Mazda would still offer all-wheel drive as an option, but the roots in RWD would indicate a commitment to sporty driving that separates the CX-5 from affordable small crossovers.
As for power, the automaker has outlined plans to introduce new straight-six engines that are traditionally known for both pleasing performance and comfort. We expect these engines to at least offer mild hybrid capability, with the potential for further electrification for reduced fuel consumption.