Speaking to AutoExpress, Mazda’s UK managing director confirmed the interior, including upholstery, design and equipment, would be a step up in quality and class as it looked towards the more premium end of the market.
Expected to arrive towards the middle of 2012, the new Mazda CX-5 will also challenge its rivals in terms of environmental performance.
Using Mazda’s much-publicised ‘SkyActiv’ technology to reduce weight and drag more efficiency from its engines and transmission, the CX-5 will be one of the greenest 4x4s on the market.
For example, its 2.2-litre, 173bhp diesel engine will deliver CO2 emissions below 120g/km. This will be on par with the two-wheel drive Freelander despite offering 4×4 ability.
However, Mazda also hopes the CX-5 will top the class in terms of performance after designing the SkyActiv engine range to supply as much performance as a larger engine without sacrificing driving costs.
The Mazda CX-5 has been designed to sit below the larger Mazda CX-7 SUV in the range. Unveiled as the Minagi concept in March this year, it has been muted as a potential rival to the Ford Kuga and Vauxhall Antara.
Mazda has been missing a more compact SUV in its line up and the new Mazda CX-5 has been designed to take advantage of the popularity of 4x4s in the UK.
Prices for the new Mazda CX-5 have not been announced, but a starting price of around £22,000 is expected when it goes on sale in the UK.
The production version of the Mazda CX-5 will make its world debut at the Frankfurk Motor Show in September before an expected UK launch date in 2012.