From the outside it's obvious the design is all new. The front of the SUV looks nearly identical to that of the CX-9's. Gone is the cutesy, roundish face in favor of a more angular theme. The headlights are slimmer, while the grille ditches the horizontal bars for a mesh pattern. Mazda calls the design theme Kodo - soul of motion, and the original 2013 CX-5 was the first production model under this mantra.
The changes at the back are less drastic than on the CX-5's new beak. The black trim that underlines the rear fascia is less prominent and the taillights looks leaner, but it's harder to tell the differences between the old and new model.
Mazda says the CX-5 will be available with two engines here: the Skyactiv 2.5-liter gasoline engine and the Skyactiv-D 2.2-liter diesel (the Skyactive-D 2.0-liter, currently only used on Sport models, has been dropped for our market). We don't have specifics on power and torque yet, but in the old CX-5 (and current Mazda 3) the 2.5-liter four-cylinder generates 184 horsepower, while the diesel makes 173 hp and 310 pound-feet of torque. We expect front- and all-wheel-drive options, and of course we're hoping that the six-speed manual (previously on the base, front-drive model only) stays around as an alternative to the six-speed automatic.
The interior follows the template of recent Mazdas, with the infotainment screen sitting on top of the dashboard with a control knob located aft of the shift lever. We'll have more information on the 2017 CX-5 at the vehicle's debut later today at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show.