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New Mazda CX-5 hybrid is coming: Brand confirms next generation of mid-size SUV will be electrified, and it won't use tech from the Toyota RAV4 to battle Kia Sportage and incoming Hyundai Tucson hybrids

The CX-50 and CX-5 will exist in parallel.

Mazda’s global financial results have been published along with the brand’s future plans, and they’ve revealed two things quite pertinent to Australia - there will be a next-gen Mazda CX-5 and it’ll be a hybrid.

Yep, despite rumours the CX-5 mid-size SUV would be replaced by the CX-50 currently available in markets like North America and China, the brand’s success story SUV will live on.

Not only that, but it’ll arrive with a hybrid system developed in-house by Mazda rather than borrowing tech from the Toyota RAV4 - its biggest rival in Australia. Mazda will use the RAV4's hybrid tech in the CX-50, though.

The CX-50, while not currently available in Australia, doesn’t seem to be entirely off the cards either - Mazda Australia’s Managing Director Vinesh Bhindi told CarsGuide last year the brand would continue to attempt to secure the CX-50 as an option for the Australian market, hoping to leverage its success compared to other global markets.

"Don't get me wrong, we're still lobbying for it," Bhindi said in mid-2023. "We're still going to talk about it every chance we get, but we haven't got a nod yet.”

A Mazda Australia spokesperson confirmed that there are still no plans for the CX-50 to be built in right-hand drive, but that Mazda Australia remains interested in the model if the company’s global HQ changes its decision to keep the CX-50 LHD-only.

US-market Mazda CX-50

Interestingly, the two lines in the Mazda financial results presentation that stand out within the section relating to advancing the brand’s progress towards electrification refer to the CX-50 and CX-5, though they present potentially different approaches to electrification.

“In addition to the hybrid and PHEV lineup of Large products, add CX-50 hybrid version in the second half,” says the line relating to the newer of the two mid-size SUVs, suggesting Mazda will go ahead with plans to introduce it using Toyota’s hybrid tech.

Though China’s market often sees different versions of products available elsewhere, Mazda has already launched a CX-50 using hybrid tech from the Toyota RAV4 there, a possible pointer to what can be expected for North America when it launches in the second half of 2024.

There will be a next-gen CX-5 and it’ll be a hybrid.

But for Australia, the CX-5 going hybrid with a Mazda-developed hybrid drivetrain means the potential for the mid-size SUV to take the fight to the ever-dominant RAV4 is on the cards.

In 2023, Toyota sold 29,627 RAV4s, boosted by the popularity of its hybrid variants, while the ageing CX-5 slipped to third (23,083) behind the Mitsubishi Outlander with 24,263 sales.

Before that, the CX-5 was decisively second-place, with clear air to the rest of the segment behind it. A hybrid option for the next generation, if executed well, could see it return and even battle with The Big T for the top spot.

Chris Thompson
Racing video games, car-spotting on road trips, and helping wash the family VL Calais Turbo as a kid were all early indicators that an interest in cars would stay present in Chris’ life, but loading up his 1990 VW Golf GTI Mk2 and moving from hometown Brisbane to work in automotive publishing in Melbourne ensured cars would be a constant. With a few years as MOTOR Magazine’s first digital journalist under his belt, followed by a stint as a staff journalist for Wheels Magazine, Chris’ career already speaks to a passion for anything with four wheels, especially the 1989 Mazda MX-5 he currently owns. From spending entire weeks dissecting the dynamic abilities of sports cars to weighing up the practical options for car buyers from all walks of life, Chris’ love for writing and talking about cars means if you’ve got a motoring question, he can give you an answer.
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