Mazda Goes SkyActiv in L.A.
New technology maximizes efficiency without sacrificing driving dynamics.
2013 Mazda CX-5
Over the past 15 to 20 years, Mazda has, without much fanfare, positioned itself as a brand associated with reliable, affordable cars that are well-built and fun to drive. Recently, Hyundai and Kia have begun to encroach on this territory. But Mazda isn't backing down, showing a great deal of thought in its newest offerings.
Using a combination of innovative new SkyActiv technology to maximize efficiency without losing driving dynamics, cutting weight wherever possible and wrapping the new models in bodies influenced by its new Kodo ("soul of motion") aesthetic, Mazda is reaffirming its place as a builder of fun, economical, quality automobiles.
2013 Mazda CX-5
What is it? The all-new CX-5 is a compact SUV based on the Minagi concept from last year's auto-show circuit. Front- or all-wheel drive will be available in the CX-5, and the 2.0-liter SkyActiv engine is said to turn out mileage of up to 33 mpg highway.
What's hot? The new CX-5 has some fascinating lines in its body work. Some initially strike the unprepared as odd, but a moment of observation reveals the beauty of the Kodo philosophy. The 2013 CX-5 has a flow to it, even sitting still. Also, in a subset of vehicles that too often make little sense visually, the CX-5 makes sense as a crossover or compact SUV.
What's not? The new CX-5 may be fun to throttle here and there, but many American drivers may still complain of a lack of low-end torque. Look for our upcoming full review to get our drive impressions.
How much and when? The CX-5 will be priced in the mid-$20K's, competing with the likes of Honda's CRV. Expect to see it in showrooms in February 2012.
MSN Autos' verdict: The new CX-5 will arrive as the expected leader in the crossover market, and potentially deservedly so. Continuing a tradition of Mazda technological advances and great interiors at all price points, the 2013 CX-5 is an exciting peek at what's to come for Mazda's new direction.
James Tate cut his teeth in the business as a race team crew member before moving to the editorial side as Senior Editor of Sport Compact Car, and his work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Automobile, Motor Trendand European Car. When not writing, Tate is usually fantasizing about a vintage Porsche 911.
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