Though it's been a huge success, there was a sticking point with the good looking Mazda CX-5 - the underperforming 2.0-litre petrol engine. It struggled under the CX-5's bonnet detracting from what is unquestionably a good vehicle.
That has been addressed with the arrival of a new 2.5-litre petrol four cylinder complete with an array of efficiency-boosting Skyactiv technology. It's the same engine as in the new Mazda6 sedan and wagon and forms the basis of a cracking good powertrain in that car and in the CX-5.
Prices for the CX-5 Maxx 2.5-litre start at $32,880 with the range-topping petrol Akera priced at $45,770.
Explore the 2013 Mazda CX-5 range
Bluetooth has now been upgraded across all models. The new mail function enables SMS, MMS and email to show up on the large 5.8 inch touchscreen monitor with messages read out by an automated voice via Bluetooth connected smartphones.
The address book now also holds up to 1000 contacts enabling calls to be made instantly by voice command. The ability to replay, shuffle and switch folders via Bluetooth continues.
Skyactiv has been adopted throughout CX-5 with new petrol and diesel engines, new manual and automatic transmissions, a new body and chassis all contributing to a high level of dynamics, fuel efficiency and safety.
The compact SUV is now available with a choice of three engines, all with i-stop: the new Skyactiv-G 2.5-litre petrol and the Skyactiv-D 2.2-litre diesel mated to all wheel drive, while, the (improved) Skyactiv-G 2.0-litre petrol is retained in the front wheel drive.
These engines deliver impressive fuel economy and outputs are commensurate with or better than other brands. The 2.5-litre engine makes its debut in a new range-topping CX-5 Akera variant which includes blind spot monitoring (BSM), high beam control (HBC) and lane departure warning system (LDW) as standard features.
The 2.5 litre petrol engine achieves 138kW/250Nm of torque making it one of the better performing cars in the competitive medium SUV category.
Improved performance is also matched by fuel economy gains with 2.5-litre CX-5 models returning 7.4 litres/100km, a figure other medium SUVs struggle to get near.
The front-wheel drive (FWD) models benefit from performance improvements with the updated 2.0-litre petrol engine now delivering increased acceleration.
On the road, the new 2.5 offers sporty performance and a willingness to spin out to redline freely. It actually feels a lot like the Mazda6 2.5 wagon in terms of acceleration and sound and is close to that car in fuel efficiency terms.
Diesel CX-5 had been the preferred option with its strident performance and excellent fuel economy but that's now not as clear cut as the 2.5 is an impressive thing to drive and it won't make your hands stink at the bowser. New exterior colours have also been added to the CX-5 palette.