Mazda has enhanced the CX-5 compact SUV crossover for the 2018 model year, taking what was already one of the most attractive and sporty models in its class and setting a new benchmark for rivals to aim at. The Mazda may not be a true luxury model, but with the latest enhancements, especially the engine upgrades, it’s definitely a vehicle that’s worth considering even if your first thoughts are to go for something from a prestigious luxury brand. If you’ve not checked out the 2018 Mazda CX-5 yet and you’re in the market for a new compact crossover, here’s a little of what to expect.


Engine upgrades

Overall this year, the base 2.0-litre and 2.5-litre engines benefit from enhanced levels of dynamic performance, fuel economy, and environmental friendliness. Cylinder-deactivation technology has been introduced to improve fuel economy, and this now makes Mazda the only manufacturer in North America to offer the technology with a four-cylinder powerplant.

The standard engine in the CX-5 GX base model is a Skyactiv-G 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit developing 156 horsepower and 150 lb.-ft. of torque. But if you choose to go for the GS or GT trim levels, you’re then getting a 2.5-litre four-cylinder that this time develops 187 horsepower and 186 lb.-ft. of torque. The 2.0-litre base engine is available with a manual transmission, but the automatic unit that’s available as an option for that engine is the standard transmission with the 2.5.

With the cylinder-deactivation technology engine upgrade, the 2.5 introduces the ability to shut down the two outside cylinders at cruising speeds to maximize efficiency, but without an obvious perceptible difference to the way the Mazda CX-5 rides and drives. Running a four-cylinder engine on just two cylinders reduces pumping loss and mechanical resistance, and is designed to assist with improving real-world fuel-efficiency. Cylinder deactivation technology is especially effective at lower speeds, where it can be expected to improve fuel economy by around 20 percent when travelling at a constant 40 km/h, and by around 5 percent when driving at a constant 80 km/h.


Other enhancements

Apart from the engine enhancements, additional equipment that now becomes standard includes automatic on/off headlights, rain-sensing wipers, and illuminated power windows with driver’s one-touch up/down feature. As far as safety features are concerned, Smart City Brake Support (SCBS), Advanced Blind Spot Monitoring (ABSM), and Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) are now standard across the whole CX-5 family. Prior to this year, all these features were only available by choosing the mid-level CX-5 GS and above.

Every CX-5 sold here in Canada is now available with Mazda’s predictive i-ACTIV all-wheel drive, which utilizes the information gathered from 27 sensors in the CX-5 to predict road conditions. It then sends power to wherever it’s needed most without any worrying drivetrain reactions or slipping you can experience in some rivals during inclement weather conditions.

The CX-5 has also achieved the coveted “Top Safety Pick+” designation from the IIHS for a fifth-consecutive year in 2017, which meant it joining the rest of the Mazda SUVs and cars that were tested in earning the nonprofit organization’s highest award when equipped with the correct headlights and certain specific technologies.

The 2018 Mazda CX-5 is available now, so get in touch with us here at Moffatt’s Mazda for more information and to schedule a test drive to try this outstanding compact crossover for yourself.

Mazda CX-5