The Mazda CX-5 has been updated for 2021 with a new range-topping petrol engine, upgraded infotainment and driveability improvements.
The headline change to the SUV is the introduction of a new 191bhp 2.5-litre Skyactiv-G unit for top-rung GT Sport models. Unlike the existing 2.0-litre petrol option, this sends its reserves to both axles through an automatic gearbox.
Like the 2.0-litre engine, however, the new 2.5-litre unit uses Mazda’s recently introduced cylinder-deactivation technology for improved efficiency at cruising speeds with “no cost to performance”. It’s capable of 35.3mpg on the WLTP cycle while emitting 182g/km of CO2.
The smaller 163bhp petrol engine remains available for front-wheel-drive cars specified in SE-L, Sport and GT Sport trims. It can also be paired to a six-speed manual gearbox to take advantage of the cylinder-shutdown function.
Unlike the Mazda 6, the CX-5 can still be specified with a choice of diesel engines: a 148bhp front-wheel-drive option for SE-L and GT Sport trims and a 181bhp option for GT Sport trim, now available with front-wheel-drive for the first time.
The diesel models will arrive in dealerships in April, having now been made compliant with the latest RDE2 emissions regulations.
Mazda claims that all versions of the CX-5 benefit from “optimised throttle pedal calibration for better response and control with improved engine response to throttle inputs” and that its automatic gearbox has been made more responsive.
An updated infotainment system has been rolled out across the CX-5 range for 2021, with a larger and thinner 10.25in touchscreen and access to more connectivity functions.
A limited-run Kuro Edition will mark the updated CX-5’s arrival in dealerships, sporting either Soul Red or Polymetal Grey paint with 19in black alloy wheels and matching wing mirror caps. It also gains a raft of extras as standard, including an electrically adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, half-leatherette upholstery and red stitching throughout.
Just 750 examples will be produced, priced from £31,230.
Prices for the refreshed CX-5 range begin at £28,830 for entry-level SE-L trim and top out at £32,730 for GT Sport, with the first examples arriving alongside the MX-30 electric crossover in March.
This is the most substantial round of updates for Mazda’s Volkswagen Tiguan rival since it launched in its current form in 2017.
Subtle revisions last year included the introduction of cylinder-deactivation technology in the name of improved efficiency, technology tweaks and measures to improve refinement.