NVH: the dreaded noise, vibration, and harshness. According to current Mazda CX-5 owners, as well as those who decided against becoming owners, NVH was its biggest area of need. Traveling in the CX-5 was just too loud, so Mazda's engineers made sure that the redesigned, second-generation model would offer its occupants a more serene environment in keeping with quieter competitors. To reduce wind noise, more aerodynamic parts were strategically placed about the exterior, while extra efforts were made to reduce low-frequency noises on coarse surfaces.

According to Mazda engineer Dave Coleman, the new CX-5 is nearly as quiet as its platform-mate, the 2016 CX-9. Actually, to be very accurate, all Mazdas apart from the CX-3 and 2 (aka Toyota iA) now share that platform.

Another reason compact SUV buyers opted to skip the CX-5 was its comparatively firm ride. So, while the CX-5 remains "head and shoulders above the segment for handling," according to Coleman, the ride was improved. One of the primary ways of achieving that was the adoption of rigid steering mounts, which allowed for the suspension to be less stiff without a loss in handling precision.

  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips


Of course, handling remains a key reason to buy the CX-5, and it's improved for 2017 courtesy of an increase in body rigidity, the adoption of liquid-filled front suspension bushings, and Mazda's G-Vectoring Control.

Under the hood, every CX-5 now comes standard with the 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G four-cylinder, with output figures to be announced at a later date. The 2.0-liter, previously standard on the Sport trim, has been exiled to other markets. However, finally making its appearance on these shores is Mazda's 2.2-liter Skyactiv-D diesel engine. Although Mazda did its darndest to make it certifiable in the United States without a urea injection system, it was ultimately unable to do so without resorting to an ultra-sluggish throttle response that engineers deemed was anathema to what was expected of a Mazda. Therefore, the diesel-powered CX-5 will indeed have a DEF tank that will need to be periodically topped off to not run afoul of emissions regulations.

Otherwise, the 2017 CX-5 is very much an evolution of the SUV it replaces. Customers thought its size was just right, so its passenger and cargo area remain in the same ballpark. Like the CX-9, though, its cabin has been moved decidedly upscale with more visually compelling design and higher-quality materials – especially in the Grand Touring trim on display at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Plenty of info is still to come, including pricing and final engine specs, but expect that to start trickling out as we approach the new CX-5's on-sale date in the second half of 2017. The diesel model will arrive a bit later, which may result in it debuting for the 2018 model year.

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