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Power boost for Mazda CX-5 and CX-8: More grunt, more tech for Toyota RAV4 and Hyundai Santa Fe rivals

Mazda rolling SUV updates have continued Japan.

Mazda's philosophy of "continuous improvement" has continued in Japan, with the brand announcing a series of small but important updates for its CX-5 and CX-8 SUVs to better equip them for war against the dominant Toyota RAV4 and the new Hyundai Santa Fe.

The changes focus largely on Mazda's 2.2-litre diesel engine, which has received a power boost designed to deliver more grunt lower in the rev range for easier acceleration.

The raw numbers? Mazda’s current diesel engine produces 140kW from around 4500rpm. This change, however, sees that same engine deliver some 147kW from a lower 4000rpm, meaning you’re now making more power more quickly.

On the tech front, Mazda Japan has fitted its mainstay SUVs with the same multimedia equipment - a new-generation Mazda Connect system - as the Mazda3, pairing with a choice of 8.8-inch or 10.25-inch screen.

The Mazda CX-8 also welcomes a powered hands-free boot and wireless charging, as well as a new colour - Platinum Quartz Metallic, as well as a new look mesh grille.

The timing is perfect for CX-5 updates, with the brand’s SUV locked in second place against a dominant Toyota RAV4 Hybrid, with the Mazda’s sales falling to 13.9 per cent to 21979 units in 2020, while the Toyota’s numbers soared by nearly 60 per cent.

Mazda in Australia is yet to confirm the timing of the updates in Australia.