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All-wheel-drive variants of the popular Mazda CX-5 will get a much-needed boost early next year when the mid-sized SUV’s underpowered 2.0-litre petrol engine is replaced by a more powerful 2.5-litre unit.

Mazda Australia today confirmed expectations that the 2.5-litre would become available locally after Mazda Europe’s vice-president of R&D, Ichiro Hirose, revealed to media in September that the company was introducing the engine to the CX-5 range.

Revealed for the first time in the third-generation Mazda6 in August, the 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine is one of the newest additions to the Japanese manufacturer’s ‘SkyActiv’ suite of fuel-saving technologies.

From the first quarter of 2013, AWD variants of the Mazda CX-5 Maxx, Maxx Sport and GT will adopt the new engine, while front-wheel-drive variants of the Maxx (manual and automatic) and the Maxx Sport will retain the existing 2.0-litre.

Generating a targeted 138kW and 250Nm (Mazda says the CX-5’s output is yet to be finalised), the 2.5-litre unit will deliver around 25kW and 52Nm more than the smaller 2.0-litre.

The larger, more powerful engine will be less fuel efficient than the one it replaces, however. Existing AWD petrol models consume a claimed 6.9 litres per 100km on the combined cycle, while at this stage Mazda has promised only an average consumption figure of “better than 8.0 litres per 100km” for the 2.5-litre-powered models.

Mazda Australia public relations manager Steve Maciver admitted there would also be a “small” price rise attached to the introduction of the larger engine, but would not reveal the exact damage to future customers’ bank accounts.

While the Mazda CX-5’s 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine has earned praise across the industry and proved a strong seller, the 2.0-litre petrol has been criticised for its lack of torque – particularly in the AWD models, which weigh just shy of 1600kg.

Maciver said Mazda Australia was wasting no time in adding the brand-new 2.5-litre petrol engine as it seeks to broaden the CX-5’s powertrain line-up, but denied its impending launch was motivated by negative feedback from customers and journalists.

“It’s to give our customers more choice,” he said. “We have a history of offering the largest engines available to us, so this is no different to what we have done in the past.”

The Mazda CX-5 launched in Australia in February and has since gone on to become one of the country’s top-selling SUVs.

To the end of October, Mazda has sold 12,718 CX-5s in Australia, trailing only the well-established Toyota Prado (14,496) and the Nissan X-Trail (13,681) for total sales.

  • Sumpguard

    No surprises there. The base petrol model is dangerous for any sort of overtaking. At least Mazda are listening to the market. Kudos for that. There will be plenty of trade ins no doubt!

    • Zaccy16

      Yeah very good on mazdas part, brands barely ever listen to what motoring journos and the public say. This is now a fantastic SUV with a petrol engine as well as a diesel!

    • Amlohac

      0-100 times of the petrol 2.0l and the 2.2 diesel are almost identical, with in a tenth of a second.

      • Sumpguard

        I tested a petrol auto FWD . It was pretty ordinary to be honest and felt slower than your quoted times. The overtaking made me nervous It needed a heavy foot. It didn’t feel particularly quick off the line either but was positively sluggish (ahem) above the speed limit. 

               I didn’t drive the diesel  but if it’s like most modern diesels it would be effortless once spooled up. Diesel 0-100km/h  times are a tad misleading as there is a hesitation off the line. Once spooled up they are quite strong so provided the gearing is there it would be an effortless highway vehicle with strong overtaking ability. In other words once up and running they feel quicker than the 0-100 time would indicate and aren’t marred by the auto transmission so much.

              At the end of the day I wasn’t fussed on the styling and the rest of it failed to overcome that annoyance so it was discounted as a purchase possibility. A stronger petrol engine will definately help sales. Some reviews seem to reflect my view on the petrol model.

        • Sumpguard

          *Iggy’s quoted times*

        • Zaccy16

          Its already selling very well and deservedly so because it handles very well and has a great interior and very good value, the new engine will make even more sales!

        • Golfmother

          So slumguards testing the alternatives to his beloved 2004  sportage .

          • Sumpguard

            Ahhh Goofmother. You must be the slowest VeeDud lover on the planet. You commented on my great buy when I bought my Sportage brand new in 2011. 

                Nothing wrong with testing the market Gronkmother! I have an interest in cars. You have an interest in gurdles and false teeth. Each to their own! 

          • Golfmother

            Yer the serial test driver , never buys just dreams , maybe you can trade the clunky kia on a terry can and save the ford factory .

          • Sumpguard

            Clunky? Haha Goofmutha that’s gold given the clunks in VW’s DSGs. 

                Das Clunk!  

        • AOK

          What a load of rubbish…help sales..Mazda can not keep up with demand…Just goes to show how much you don’t know…the 2.5 is OLD news.

      • Zaccy16

        in gear performance of the diesel is much better

      • Sydlocal

         0-100 is not the “be-all and end-all” when it comes to real world performance indications. The diesel absolutley slaughters the petrol with “in-gear/overtaking” acceleration.

        • Sumpguard

          Absolutely. At least someone gets it. 

  • yuck

     I actually didnt find the base petrol too base, sure it was fast by any means but hardly dangerous. Although i drove the base FWD petrol with a manual transmission – very slick manual gearchange made it enjoyable.

    • yuck

       *too bad & *wasnt fast – damn iPhone!

  • Hehe

    “While the Mazda CX-5’s 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine has earned praise across the industry and proved a strong seller” –> you did not mention the issues with the disel engine!

    • Unidexter Hopping

      Of course not, this site needs the advertising revenue… Can’t afford to be brutally honest.

      • Amlohac

        This site has open comments sections where people who arent on the payrol can flame and praise as much as they want, so I dont think thats got a lot to do with it.

        The biggest issue would be Mazda have not pin pointed the exact issue, wether it be driver or car or a bit of both. The fine line between a “news” site and a “tabloid” is being able to present both sides of the story. Its a bit hard to do that when one side doesnt have a story to tell yet.

    • Amlohac

      What issues?

      I’ve heard of engine oil dilution issues. Which would directly relate to the diesel being driven for short spurts round town rather than open road etc?

      • AOK

        OLDS news AGAIN!…….reloacted dip stick fixes the NON 2.2 diesel issue.

  • Iggy

    interesting take on “underpowered cx-5″ which takes 0-100km/h in 10sec AWD but Captiva 5’s “performance is surprisingly enthusiastic” in 11.4 sec . I must be mad…

    • Amlohac

      I keep bringing this up also, the 2.0L petrol isn’t gutless, its directly related to the gearbox thats in it. Torque lock up occurs much earlier from the tech specs I have read, which would mean power delivery would be much more linear. Theres bugger all difference between the diesel and the petrol in terms of 0-100 times, its just that the diesel feels much better to drive as there is nearly 3 times a much torque.

      • Tony

        absolutely agree.  Nothing wrong with the 2L engine as such (as much as a NA 2L can offer), but the gearbox only uses two gears unless you stomp on the throttle, 2nd & 6th…

        Makes it feel completely gutless.

        I want the 2.5L, but in a 2WD version – oh well sure it will eventually happen

  • problems?

    what are the issues with the diesel engine? My mate just bought one and would like to relay this info…if its genuine and not just trolling behaviour that is…

    • Notaclue

      IIRC, something to do dilution of the oil which causes its level to rise. Apparently something that can happen with diesels but in the case of the Mazda, owners are reporting it as soon as 1000Kms after a service and hence needing to get the engine serviced again.

      • Amlohac

        It has been noted also that it has a lot to do wit the way the vehicles are driven. Diesels need to be driven long distances to allow the DPF to go through its cleaning cycle. I’ve heard that perhaps this issue is mostly from customers who only drive short stints?

  • Tim

    Search whirlpool cx-5 for diesel problems. There’s pages of info.

  • Dave W

    That’s great… Now give me some news on the Mazda 3!! And please tell me the leaked image design is signed off for production.

  • Sydlocal

    Even though the 2.5L may have a higher quoted fuel economy figure I bet in the real world the difference would be less considering the 2.5L wouldn’t have to be pushed as hard to get the performance out of it. Especially when the higher maximum torque peak rpm of the 2.5L is nearly 1000rpm less than the 2L.

  • Luke Brinsmead

    This is good news, but the diesel is the best choice by far. I think the diesel CX-5 is a far more refined car than a diesel X-Trail or Forester.

    • Golfmother

      Yes a much better choice than a Kia  sportage with its sloppy handling , still not resolved .

      • Don Quay

        It’s not so much the actual handling that is unresolved, but more the ride and steering. It is just that your not sure were the front wheels are pointing and the bump steer keeps it jumping around when it tries to change lanes mid corner. But then that would make the handling “interesting” though.

    • Zaccy16

      agreed, the x trail is crying out for a update as every new compact SUV comes out it gets even more behind in the times

      • Hung Low

        The technology behind the X-trail is just the same as most of the current crew. If you are talking styling then its more traditional 4wd than outdated.

  • Thom

    138kw from 2.5L….had a gutful of your gutless engines.
    Would buy a Mazda if only they had more power.As it stands their cars are for women and retirees.

    • Sydlocal

       What about the 250Nm of torque at just over 3000rpm? Much more important and accessible in “real world driving” than peak power. You also have to remember something called power to weight. For example the new 6 in top of the range petrol is only 1430kg for a car that is almost as big as a Commodore. Most of the other 2.5L medium sized cars in the same class as the 6 are at least 1500kg plus with something like the i45 with only a handful of kw more is 1600kg plus. Then there is gearing……
      If you haven’t already worked it out there is more to performance than just the peak power figure….

      • Thom

        I know all about that stuff Syd and stand by my original comment.
        I used the word ‘Power’ in a general sense.
        I could have specifically criticised the torque output too.
        ..250NM at over 3000rpm is also  poor for a vehicle approaching 1600kg & this reflects in the relatively poor acceleration times & the probable high fuel use in achieving it.
        If VW can produce 132kw/280nm & 155kw/280nm from a 2.0L turbo for the Tiguan then clearly that’s the way to go.
        Any way we look at it, Mazdas current crop of engines are under powered & under engineered, especially compared to some competitors.
        It’s a shame because  Mazda have some very good qualities but let down time and again by gutless engines.

        • Zaccy16

          250 nm at 3000 is a great figure for a naturally aspirated engine, mazda want to stay clear from the downsizing and turbo charging because of extra cost and more servicing costs. Also have you driven the new mazda 3 sp20 skyactiv? its no where near gutless and has plenty of get up and go but uses bearly any fuel and sounds good too

        • Sydlocal

          The 250nm peak of the Skyactiv 2.5 is at the pointy end of normally aspirated engines in its class (and way above the “new” Subaru 2.5 as mentioned as well as a few others) however the rpm where that torque is produced is around 1000rpm+ LOWER than the others ie the Honda/Hyundai/Subaru/Holden (Captiva petrol engine is only 123kw/230nm at 4600rpm with the Captiva being around 200kg heavier than a CX5, why aren’t you bagging it?). This would indicate that a CX5 with the 2.5 would be MORE than competitive in real world performance against other normally aspirated petrol SUVs in its size range. In fact looking at all the other NA petrols in its class it should be well and truly at the pointy end. Even now the 2L CX5 petrol is no worse than class average when compared to any other 2L NA petrol compact SUV.

          Also I didn’t realise that we could treat the power/torque/capacity characteristics of turbo and normally aspirated engines equally. I would be disappointed if a turbo engine didn’t make more power/torque than a similar capacity NA engine! 

          I also don’t know how you can say a mass produced car petrol engine with 13/14-1 compression ratio (a world first), the 4-2-1 exhaust manifold and using a combustion event along with the starter motor to reduce starter motor stress to start the engine as a method in their “stop/start” system as being “under-engineered”. Plus how many mass produced car diesel engines do you see with a 14-1 compression ratio and an all alloy block? We also must remember that Mazda is a very small company and has WAY less money available to spend on R&D compared an Uber Giant like VAG. What would you call VW’s 1.2L turbo in the Polo etc? It still only has SOHC and 8 valves?

          • Zaccy16

            Exactly, mazda are a great car company and deserve all the sales of their cars and this is a great engine and is more than enough for the cx5

          • Thom

            What’s the point of certain tech if the end result is inferior driving performance?
            I don’t care if a car has 2 or 4 valves per cylinder, turbo or aspirated or extra high compression. The bottom line is the performance/ economy equation, driveability & reliability. 
            Yes,250nm is good for a 2.5L non turbo but not nearly enough in a 1600kg car..That’s my point..add another 200- 300kg for fuel, family of four & luggage/ groceries & that car’s going for a drive up struggle street.

          • Popper

            Thom, actually, no. I’ve driven the current model 6 under those conditions in the country and it goes superbly.

            With that car what Mazda have done is to create a superbly driveable car by achieving an impressive harmony between the parts: between the engine, gearbox, steering, and suspension, etc. What they haven’t done it seems is to try to be spec sheet heroes with, for example, the engine, which actually provides plenty of torque just when you need it.

            An underappreciated vehicle, I would say.

          • Scout392

            Really out put is also a guide.

            Dyno number are more use full.

      • Zaccy16

        Exactly, whats on paper doesn’t always equal how it drives on the road, hyundai 4 cyl always look decent on paper but in real life a torque less and unrefined 

    • Sydlocal

       Also while you are at it have a go at Subaru who are only getting 128kw/229nm out of their 2.5 or Honda only managing to get 234Nm at a high 4300rpm out of their Accord Euro engine. Don’t forget the Hyundai engine having their peak torque over 1000rpm higher up the rev range than the Mazda engine.
      I am NOT saying the Mazda engine is better than the others, more the fact that a peak power number doesn’t mean a lot when it comes to how an engine performs without taking into consideration things like torque, the rpm where that peak torque and power occurs, weight of the vehicle, gearing etc etc etc. When you finally get to have a drive of a car fitted with that engine then you can make a comment. Something only a small number of press have been able to do as it hasn’t even been released in the country yet so is an unknown quantity!

    • DanielD

      Taking on board waht Sydlocal said, the truth is most Mazdas including the CX-5 are purchased by city bound Australians, who are lucky to average 40km/h in any given day and do a once a year trip to the Gold Cost or nan’s. 

      This car and that engine is perfectly adequate for that style of driving and no, you don’t need to be a retiree or a woman, although why sex has anything to do with it is anyones guess as the days of women being more cautious drivers are well behind us.

      Of course if Mazda did make a fire breathing supercharged, turbo charged 2.5 litre hand grenade engine, there is a few thousand speed cameras on our roads that will soon make you regret buying it and all he while you’ll be complaining about how much it costs to run it.

      So no don’t buy a Mazda or any modern urban car really. Maybe a Holden 6 litre or a FPV supercharged 5.0 litre might suit, although I somehow suspect they are a little to high for your price range. 

      • Thom

        …and why would they be too high for my price range Daniel ?

      • Igor

        Assumptions, assumptions DanielD.
        What a silly & immature argument you present.
        Most car models are purchased by your so called city bound Aussies because that’s where the bulk of the population is. 
        More powerful car = more speeding fines….huh ? 
        It’s the cars fault not mine?
        …& somehow from Thom’s post you’ve figured out he can’t afford a FPV…hahaha.
        Are you for real?

  • JamesB

    The government is making zero effort in popularising diesel technology in Australia. It costs an extra 5 grand in the CX-5’s case, which means it will pretty much take forever for the customer to break even in fuel savings over the petrol. There should be tax cuts in choosing more economical engines.

    • Dfghdfgh

      There is around 38c of tax in every litre of fuel. By choosing a more economical engine, you’ll be paying less fuel tax.

      • Don Quay

        Perhaps, but you are still paying more per litre for diesel than petrol and your payback period is measured in decades, particularly when you take into account the higher purchase and service costs for most diesels.

    • yuck

       They’re economical but emit a heap more pollutants and carcinogens per litle of fuel burned than Petrol engines. So although petrol cars burn more fuel, they burn it much cleaner, so probably better for the environment in the long run.

      • Amlohac

        Thats why they generally have to fit those DPF’s. You’ll find that with those fitted the exhaust is probably much cleaner. But with that comes the extra cost associated with Diesel engines when the DPF craps itself.

    • Sydlocal

       In the case of the CX5 JamesB, people are buying the diesel for the performance increase, not just fuel economy as the diesel is considerably quicker in real world driving!!!!

    • Don Quay

      I don’t see why it is the government’s problem that Mazda (and most other manufacturers) charge a such a premium for a diesel. The price of the fuel is a big factor too. At the moment in Sydney, diesel is around 30c/L more than ULP E10. They could change the tax on diesel I suppoese, but really, the number of private diesel powered cars is still very small.I have always maintained that anyone who buys a diesel to save money is innumerate.

  • Danangme69

     You can’t have both good gas mileage and plenty of power.I drive a AWD 2.0 up and down the mountains of Pennsylvania every day.I slap it down to 4TH gear going up and and use 3RD or 4TH going down.Works just fine.
    I had a 2.5 in my Mazda 3 and the gas mileage was just awful.22-23 MPG driving those same mountains.Now I get 28-29MPG.

    • Don Quay

      28MPG? I assume you’re talking in those funny US gallons. What’s 28MPG in real measurments?

  • Car Fanatic

    Mazda are still having issues with the Diesel? That’s a shame. Thought by now they’d have fixed the problem.

    Great car, had a3 MaxxSport, drove nicely, decent acceleration but thirsty for a 2.0.

    Still got my Diesel Golf though, going strong, no issues. Euro Diesels, strong as

    • Amlohac

      According to some people on here its only a matter of time before your VW eats itself alive and spews gearbox parts all over the road. But im with you, I have a VW and have not had one single issue with it. Maybe we are the exception to the rule.

      • Golfmother

        Agreed,  iam yet to meet someone with all these issues the grave robbber keeps grinding on about , had three with no problems .

        Every brand has some issues , comes down to correct servicing , which some people believe can be ignored and generally following factory advice regarding fuel etc .

        • Zaccy16

          exactly golfmother, was at the servo the other day filling up my polo with 98 ron and the woman in front of me had a golf 90 tsi and she was filling it up with 91 ron! i neally ran over there and gave her what for!

          • Golfmother

            Classic mistake , why should i  pay 15 cents more per litre , well goose head it will be more economical , will last longer and have more power , and a polo would just sip tiny amounts of fuel anyway .

            My lady is getting 8.2l with her swift sport with 90% city driving , better than my 8.8l .

  • Campbell

    Hi Guys Im thinking if buying the CX-5 2012 edition. I’m thinking I can get a good deal out of them  if the 2013 is coming out. Or should I wait and pay extra for the 2.5 petrol AWD ??

  • Bmcd

    Hopefully they add these small needed elements like, beeping door locks, to ensure you have actually locked the car,  rather than having to pull the door to be sure to be sure….as well as audio warning of when doors are still open ,  and colour coded key door open / Lock on the actuak keys… 

  • Bmcd

    The current m odesl hav eno oomphhhhh, great car heaps of space, but try to climb a very very steep hill, and forget it, better to walk seriously needs that power behind it, driving on flat, very economical, but see a hill coming…step on it, otherwise forget it !