2017 Mazda CX-5 video preview: 2016 LA Auto Show

November 18, 2016

Was it just four years ago that the Mazda CX-5 showed up to the crossover party? It was, in fact, and in crossover SUV terms, that's old news.

Time for some new news. There's a new Mazda CX-5 for the 2017 model year, and it's here at the Los Angeles auto show.

The CX-5 is new, we promise. You might just have to look for the things that make it look different from before. It sits on the same wheelbase, isn't more than an inch longer, and still has a lot of the same curvy sheet metal that won us over the first time.

MUST SEE: Read hits, misses, and hold from the 2016 LA Auto Show

By the numbers, the new CX-5 is 179.1 inches long, 72.5 inches wide, and 66.2 inches high. It rides on a 106.3-inch wheelbase.

Take a look in the cockpit, and nothing's been moved too far, but it's all wrapped in a better grade of trim, with some more metallic fringe and sequins here and there. The console's higher, the seats have been reshaped, and Mazda says the back seats feel nicer thanks to a lower seat cushion, better shaping, and a new reclining function.

2017 Mazda CX-5

2017 Mazda CX-5

The rest of the world will see a turbodiesel and smaller-displacement 4-cylinder. Here in the U.S., Mazda is committing just to one powertrain. It's a 2.5-liter, direct-injected inline-4 coupled to a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Like before, front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available. Mazda will also program the CX-5's drivetrain to modulate power in relation to steering-wheel angle, which they say optimizes traction at individual wheels.

READ: Mazda diesel to arrive fall 2017, it says, in new CX-5 crossover

Mazda promises handling improvements thanks to a more rigid steering rack, liquid front suspension bushings, and better shocks. We say fine, handling was never the CX-5's big issue anyway.

Safety should keep Mazda's hitting streak alive. There's more high-strength steel in this new CX-5, and Mazda has updated its adaptive cruise control, with a stop-and-go function that can follow the car ahead in low-speed traffic. The CX-5 can also detect traffic signs and warn the driver of speed limits. Mazda says the driver has a better view thanks to roof pillars moved back, a lower beltline, and smaller mirrors.

There's no word on pricing, but the new CX-5 is expected to go on sale by spring of 2017.

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