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LA show: Mazda refreshes CX-5

High 5: Improvements to the Mazda CX-5 include the latest MZD Connect and Human Machine Interface connectivity systems.

Mild styling tweaks and NVH improvements for Mazda's top-selling CX-5

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Mazda logo20 Nov 2014

MAZDA has revealed a mid-life facelift for its top-selling CX-5 medium SUV at the Los Angeles Auto Show, with subtle styling tweaks to bring it into line with its Mazda2 and 3 stablemates.

Improvements to the suspension and insulation to cut cabin noise and improve ride comfort are included in the first update to the CX-5 range since its Australian debut in early 2012 when it became the first Mazda to showcase the company's latest 'Kodo: Soul of Motion' design language.

The CX-5 gains a refreshed grille with horizontal fins painted in metallic grey, while the redesigned eye-like headlights get a new LED signature enhance the SUV's “look of vitality”, according to Mazda.

The tail-lights have a re-jigged LED signature, while aluminium wheel designs are new.

Mazda has also boosted the colour pallette with nine on offer, including Sonic Silver Metallic and Titanium Flash Mica that were introduced with the new-gen Mazda3 earlier this year.

Changes in the cabin were done to enhance the quality of the interior and include an updated centre stack and console with an electrical parking brake replacing the regular version, a larger storage area in front of the gear-shift changer and increased capacity for storage in the door pockets and console box.

In terms of technology, the CX-5 brings the latest version of the MZD Connect connectivity system and the Human Machine Interface (HMI) concept that includes a centre console-mounted controller as seen in the Mazda3.

Elsewhere in the cabin there is updated aluminium look, metallic finish or piano black panels on the instrument panel, while a new pure white leather trim is available on some variants.

Under the skin, the CX-5’s front and rear dampers get revised bushing on lower arms, which Mazda says makes for a smooth, flat ride. The all-wheel drive system now has newly developed low-viscosity synthetic oil that lowers fuel consumption.

Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels have improved by about 10 per cent over the outgoing model, while petrol-powered CX-5s gain the Drive Selection system thta allows drivers to switch between modes, depending on their preference.

Mazda has changed the front and rear seating structures and lengthened the rear seat cushion, which the company says improves ride comfort.

Improvements to Mazda's i-Activsense safety technology suite include the introduction of adaptive LED headlights for improved visibility, a lane-keep assist system to prevent the SUV straying into the next lane and a driver fatigue monitoring system that recommends rest breaks.

It also gains adaptive cruise control and Smart Brake Support to help avoid frontal collisions when travelling at mid to high speeds.

Mazda Australia public relations specialist Tony Mee told GoAuto the refreshed CX-5 would arrive in Australian showrooms in the first quarter of next year with an unchanged line-up.

He said it was too early to discuss pricing.

The current CX-5 line-up in Australia kicks off from $27,880, plus on-road costs, for the two-wheel drive Maxx petrol manual and tops out at $49,420 for the diesel-powered all-wheel drive Akera auto.

It is the top-selling vehicle in its segment with year-to-date sales of 18,237 – an 8.2 per cent increase over the same period last year – and is ahead of rivals such as the Toyota RAV4 (14,917) and Subaru Forester (10,933).

Mazda's LA show stand is a busy one this year, with the CX-5 update revealed alongside the facelifted Mazda6 mid-sizer, the American debut of the next-gen MX-5 roadster as well as the unveiling of the Mazda2-based CX-3 crossover.

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