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Bigger 2.5-litre engine for Mazda CX-5

Power up: Mazda’s popular CX-5 will get the same 2.5-litre SkyActiv engine as the Mazda6 in the first quarter of next year.

Mazda set to return fire on SUV rivals with new 2.5-litre engine for CX-5 next year

Mazda logo19 Nov 2012

MAZDA Australia has responded to an imminent rush of new compact SUVs from rivals by confirming a bigger 2.5-litre SkyActiv-G engine for its CX-5 petrol all-wheel-drive models from early next year.

The 138kW/250Nm engine, which will be shared with the all-new Mazda6 due out next month, will deliver 25kW more power and 52Nm more torque than the current 113kW/198Nm 2.0-litre SkyActiv-G engine, which will continue in front-wheel drive CX-5 variants.

The engine is expected to be mated exclusively with the new-generation six-speed automatic transmission already available in the CX-5 range.

The heart transplant in the first quarter of 2013 will give the CX-5 a boost just as a multitude of rival compact SUVs arrive on the market.

These include the new Honda CR-V that is being launched this week, the new Forester that is being progressively rolled out over the next few months, all-new Mitsubishi Outlander that is due for its media launch next month and the next-generation Toyota RAV4 that lands in local showrooms in February.

As GoAuto has reported, the new RAV4 – to be revealed at this month’s Los Angeles motor show – will get the Camry’s 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine delivering about 133kW and 231Nm.

While pricing for 2.5-litre CX-5 models will not be confirmed until closer to launch, Mazda Australia public relations manager Steve Maciver told GoAuto the bigger engine would incur a “slight price adjustment” over the 2.0-litre engine.

The AWD CX-5 petrol range currently starts at $32,300 (plus on-road costs) for the Maxx, rising to $36,040 for the Maxx Sport and topping out at $43,200 for the Grand Touring.

On paper, the 2.5-litre engine looks to be about 14 per cent thirstier than the 2.0-litre SkyActiv engine in CX-5. The official combined fuel consumption figure for the 2.0-litre AWD CX-5 is 6.9 litres per 100km, while Mazda is promising “better than 8.0L/100km” for the 2.5-litre models – a difference of about 1.0L/100km.

However, in real-world driving, the difference might not be so great, as the 2.0-litre engine needs to be revved harder to achieve the same result – a fact not lost on some prospective customers.

The CX-5’s fuel economy leader will continue to be the acclaimed 2.2-litre SkyActiv-D variants that achieve a thrifty 5.7L/100km on the combined cycle test.

The 129kW/420Nm diesel engine is sold in two CX-5 AWD upper levels, the Maxx Sport and Grand Tourer.

The CX-5 has been a sell-out sales success for Mazda since its launch in Australia in March, outselling the previous CX-7 by almost four to one. To the end of October, Mazda sold 12,718 CX-5s, compared with 3897 CX-7s in the first 10 months of 2011.

For several months this year, the CX-5 was the best-selling SUV in its class.

Year to date, the CX-5 is now the second-best-selling SUV in the VFACTS medium segment, trailing only Nissan’s X-Trail (13,681).

The advent of the 2.5-litre CX-5 comes as no surprise, having been confirmed for the international CX-5 line-up last month at the Paris motor show by Mazda vice-president of European research and development, Ichiro Hirose.

At the time, Mazda Australia said it would “look at it”.

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