While little brother CX-3 hogs the limelight, Mazda’s 2016 CX-5 arrives with minor changes

While the 2016 Mazda CX-3 gets its moment in the spotlight at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show, its big brother, the CX-5, makes do with a few minor changes.

For 2016, Mazda’s compact crossover gets some styling tweaks and tech options, but mostly remains the same, which is probably just as well for a design that’s only about two years old.

Styling updates include the same grille, LED lighting, and 19-inch alloy wheels that were added to the 2016 Mazda6, but unless you put a 2015 and 2016 model side-by-side, you’re unlikely to notice the difference.

The interior remains pretty much the same as well, although Mazda says it’s made an effort to improve fit and finish, and added some new decorative elements. There’s also an electronic parking brake and a few more storage cubbies.

Unlike the Mazda6, the CX-5’s available central display screen still sits within the dashboard rather than on top of it, but both models now feature the Mazda Connect infotainment system.

Things are unchanged are unchanged under the hood. The base CX-5 still comes with a 2.0-liter “Skyactiv” four-cylinder engine that produces 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. It drives the front-wheels through six-speed manual or automatic transmissions.

There’s also an optional 2.5-liter four-banger, with 184 hp and 185 lb-ft. It’s only available with the automatic, but does come with the option of all-wheel drive.

Mazda did add its Drive Select feature with programmable driving modes for automatic-transmission models, though, and it’s expecting improved fuel economy for both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive models.

It may no longer be “new,” but the Mazda CX-5 has been well-received so far, and this mid-cycle refresh doesn’t appear to have dampened any of its good qualities.


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