September debut for new Mazda CX-5

The compact SUV will appear in production form after the concept it is based on, the Minagi, was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show in March this year.

Designed to sit below the Mazda CX-7 in the range, the CX-5 is designed with typical SUV styling, including the raised drive position, roof bars and practical boot space.

However, it will also feature a low, coupe-like roofline and a reworked front end with ‘gaping’ grille. The design is based on the ‘Kodo’ design language, first seen on the flowing Shinari supercar concept unveiled last year.

The new CX-5 is notable for its use of Mazda’s SKYACTIV technology, which includes more lightweight materials, more efficient engines and a revamped transmission to improve the green credentials of its cars.

Mazda hopes to cut weight by up to 15 per cent in the new CX-5 and this in turn will reduce CO2 emissions and running costs.

The ultra-efficient SKYACTIV engines will debut in the Mazda2 supermini and Mazda3 hatchback in both petrol and diesel form this year.

The Mazda CX-5 will be the first model to be built based on the SKYACTIV principles however, and Mazda promises an upmarket interior to match the efficient powertrains.

This would put the CX-5 up against the likes of BMW and Audi and indicates the premium ambitions of the manufacturer, which is more known for fun-to-drive sporty models such as the two-seat Mazda MX-5 roadster, the best-selling two-seat sports car in the world.

However, the popularity of small, compact SUVs – labelled crossovers because of their roofline styled on a coupe and hatchback-like practicality in the rear – has encouraged Mazda to introduce the CX-5 to sit beneath the larger Mazda CX-7 in its range.

It follows concept cars such as the Seat IBX and Renault Captur which both hint at a future entrant into the SUV crossover market in future.