Within days of writing about the launch of Mazda’s latest CX-5 SUV in Australia, comes the opportunity to experience the car in the metal, and the latest version reveals impressive refinements in the cabin, as well as minor tweaks of the exterior styling.
Most of the hoo-haa about the facelift concerns new electronic driver aids, which you may or may not appreciate.
However, what will impress is the revised interior trim, the quality of the finishes, and the fit and finish margins. It’s hard to rationalize the extent to which Mazda has upgraded the interior at this price level.
I’m enough of a realist to recognize that a Mercedes-Benz SUV buyer would simply not consider choosing a lowly Mazda; however once inside the new CX-5, you could be forgiven for seeing it as a Benz-beater.
Mazda is on record saying that it is not chasing volume (despite the success of its market-leading Mazda 3), and that it is content with steady incremental volume growth allowing it to maintain profit margins.
That’s a sound business outlook, given the very competitive state of the overall market for compact hatchbacks and SUVs, which indicates that Mazda’s mojo is working for it.