BIT OF BOOST
One of Australia’s favourite SUVS gets the petrol engine it needs – at a price
The CX-5 became Australia’s bestselling SUV despite its lustreless petrol engine. Well, that’s been sorted
THE best-selling SUV is getting a bigger and better petrol engine.
From the new year Mazda’s CX-5 will share the new Skyactiv-G 2.5-litre fourcylinder engine that arrives early next month in the Mazda6 sedan and wagon.
The naturally aspirated engine joins the 2.2 turbo diesel as an option in the all-wheel drive Maxx, Maxx Sport and GT variants. It replaces the hard-working but overloaded 2.0 petrol engine, which powers only the entry level frontwheel-drive car.
The Skyactiv-G 2.5 produces 138kW/250Nm— a significant boost from the 113kW/198Nm example that struggled to propel theAWDmodels.
The 2.5 is all new and not to be confused with the superseded 120kW/205Nm engine from the outgoing Mazda6 and CX-7 Classic. It uses about 15 per cent less 91 RON unleaded fuel.
‘‘ There will be a very small price rise. I’mnot in a position to say exactly what it is but it won’t be above the price of the diesel,’’ Mazda’s Steve Maciver says. ‘‘ You can go and speak to a Mazda dealer now for a delivery in the first quarter of next year. We have not given out any prices yet.’’
The new engine, teamed with a six-speed automatic transmission, may change the balance between petrol and diesel CX-5 sales.
The CX-5 helped push Mazda to a record September — the first full-line importer in Australian automotive history to break the 10,000 mark in a month. Mazda Australia sold 7738 new vehicles last month, taking its year-to-date total to 85,600— 2733 sales shy of its entire 2011 tally.
‘‘( A tally of) 100,000 is certainly within our sights this year, depending on the last two months, but certainly within reach,’’ Maciver says.
‘‘ In 2000 we were selling around 20,000 cars and now we’re up towards 100,000.’’
Mazda has sold 12,718 CX-5s since its March debut, making it the third best seller in the SUV segment, behind Nissan X-Trail and Toyota Prado.
More grunt: TheAWD
version gets a 2.5-litre engine