The top-selling Mazda CX-5 is set to live on in Australia, but its replacement may bear a different name.
Speaking with CarExpert at the Australian media launch of the all-new CX-60 premium SUV, Mazda Australia’s local managing director Vinesh Bhindi confirmed a successor to the company’s top-seller in the near future, though stopped short of confirming whether it would carry on the decade-old nameplate.
“CX-5 – there will be a next-generation model that will replace it. What’s it called? Let’s not debate about it,” Mr Bhindi said cheekily.
“Last October, one of our [global] executives confirmed it, so that’s exciting.”
Mr Bhindi’s comments were prompted by questions around a potential expansion of the CX-60 line-up, which in the domestic Japanese market includes more affordable naturally aspirated four-cylinder petrol and a non-electrified inline six turbo-diesel, which are priced from around the same mark as a mid-spec CX-5 or low-grade CX-8.
“You have to remember CX-5 will co-exist, and it offers some of those powertrains [i.e. 2.5-litre petrol],” Mr Bhindi said.
“So our plan is: CX-5 will have its offering and its place, with CX-60 that step up. But all those options [for CX-60] are available for us to consider,” he added.
When asked if the open-ended response indicated an Australian debut for the CX-50 offered in overseas markets like China and the US, Mr Bhindi declined to comment further: “CX-50 already exists in the US” was the extent of his response.
Mazda’s top-selling model globally is the CX-5 by some margin, and in Australia it’s easily the brand’s golden child on the sales charts despite its advancing age.
In 2022 there were 27,062 Mazda CX-5s registered in Australia, making it the second best-selling SUV in the country behind its arch rival, the Toyota RAV4.
So far in 2023 (to June 30) there have been 11,607 units registered, putting the CX-5 neck-and-neck with the Toyota RAV4 (13,523 units) and Mitsubishi Outlander (11,342 units) in the mainstream medium SUV sales race.
The CX-50 shapes as a logical replacement given it’s based on the newer Small Architecture that underpins the Mazda 3 and CX-30, and will soon add a hybrid version featuring Toyota technology. However as it stands, the CX-50 is not produced in right-hand drive.
Mazda’s second-generation CX-5 first launched in the latter stages of 2016, and while billed as a new iteration it’s actually a heavily reskinned take of the original that dates back to 2012.
A gaping hole in the CX-5’s offering is the lack of electrification to take on the lacks of the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid. Globally, the extent of electrification available is a 24V mild-hybrid system fitted to naturally aspirated petrol versions of the CX-5 in Europe and the UK.
Mr Bhindi reiterated the company’s plans for an electrified onslaught around 2024-25, including a mix of hybrids (HEVs), plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs) across three key product architectures that also include the latest developments of the brand’s existing petrol, diesel and more recently rotary offerings.
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