Mazda Australia says the recently unveiled 2017 Mazda CX-5 will only strengthen what has been the best-selling SUV in Australia for the last two years, giving existing and potential new buyers a reason to pick the Japanese brand.
Asked what the company's expectations are of the new CX-5, Mazda Australia boss, Martin Benders, told the Australian media attending the Los Angeles motor show that he sees largely “more of the same” in regards to maintaining market share and the models appeal.
“The current CX-5 has been one of the most successful products we’ve had for a long time, it’s one of those products that has kept on growing [market] share, people love it, we have done a couple of minor facelifts in that time, the demand for that product has kept growing.
“Where we are getting to now, the car is 4-4.5 years old by the time this will launch next year, so I think those buyers will be looking for something new and I think we’ve stepped up with this one.”
With such a short lifecycle update (usual industry standard is around six to seven years), the second-generation Mazda CX-5 carries through the same platform as well as the powertrains from the current model, although Benders says it still has significant mechanical enhancements.
“Powertrains are very similar but the ride quality and handling have been stepped up, it has G vectoring it has some of the CX9 ride quality in terms of quietness and so forth so when you add those things in, it takes a good product and makes it a lot better.”
Being the best-selling SUV does have some drawbacks, with customers who now have their CX-5 coming out of three- or four-year leases looking for something fresh, which the Japanese brand may not have been able to offer before.
“I mean, you know it’s a case of 'don’t fix what isn’t broken', but we also have to give a reason for people to come back to Mazda if they are already CX-5 owners - and we think this car is good enough to do that and still attract some new people in, because the demand for the current one is still very strong," Benders said.
Benders added that Mazda is looking to offer some different variants of the CX-5 that haven’t been available before, while carrying the existing car’s high specification of active safety features across the new range.
Pricing and exact specifications haven’t yet been finalised for the Australian market, however Benders admitted that Mazda Australia would keep close to the existing model’s pricing structure now that the Australian dollar is stronger against the Japanese Yen.