BIT OF BOOST

One of Aus­tralia’s favourite SUVS gets the petrol engine it needs – at a price

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News - STU­ART MARTIN stu­art.martin@cars­guide.com.au

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

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