China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology let slip a few photos of a refreshed Mazda CX-5 that’s expected to make it to international markets, Korean outlet Autospy found them and ran with them. Japanese publications have said the tweaked people hauler will launch in Japan at the end of this year. Overseas regions would see it sometime in 2022 model year, where it would hold down Mazda’s midsize crossover fort until it’s either supplanted by a new midsize crossover or sold alongside the new CUV.
At the front end, a thicker piece of chrome trim frames the grille, between headlights featuring new headlight fixtures and L-shaped DRLs. Those lights have been upgraded with adaptive high beams using 20 LED elements instead of the current 12. Beneath that, the bumper area’s been smoothed compared to the current CX-5, framing a wider intake that omits the current center strake. In back, the taillights adopt the L-shaped signature mirroring the forward lenses, and the bumper’s shape has been massaged. Looks like there will be at least one new wheel design, and two new colors called Platinum Quartz and Zircon Sand Metallic. You can compare the changes against the blue 2021 in the photo pairing below.
Other small changes we can’t see are said to include reshaped seats for better comfort, the addition of a Cruising & Traffic Support driver assistance system seen on the Mazda 3 and CX-30, and a retuned suspension. Rumor has it that the Japanese market will lose the 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G turbocharged engine, and add all-wheel drive to a 2.0-liter option that we don’t get in the U.S.; we make do with a non-turbo 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G and the boosted version.
If Mazda treats its 5 range the same way its done the smaller 3 lineup, a CX-50 will show up next year on the automaker’s new rear-wheel-drive Large Architecture, sold alongside the CX-5. The new range of inline-six engines in 3.0- or 3.3-liter variants will slide under the hood, potentially with some four-pots in certain markets, and the CX-50 will place a larger bullseye on the premium feel inside and out that Mazda’s been working toward. Word around the web is that the coming Mazda6 will introduce us to the new platform and inline engines next March, before the new-generation CX-5 or brand new CX-50 appears later in the year.