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The all-new Mazda CX-5 has been officially unveiled at the Los Angeles Auto Show, featuring the latest expression of the company’s Kodo Soul of Motion design philosophy, and heralds the next age of Mazda car design, according to Julien Montousse, Mazda North America’s design director.

We start with the looks, where there’s a new grille at the front finished in gunmetal grey, which differs from the multi-slat arrangement seen on the current CX-3 and CX-9. The curious-looking badge seen plays hosts to the car’s sensors, used for a range of active safety systems that are part of the i-Activsense suite.

This includes the latest version of Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC), which can follow the vehicle ahead from a standing stop, and Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR). Other safety-related bits a 15.5% increase in torsional rigidity over the previous model, and additional use of ultra-high-tensile steel – 1,180 MPa steel on the A-pillars and 980 MPa steel on the side sills and B-pillars.

Elsewhere, there are slimmer LED headlamps than before, and the lower apron features an off-coloured lip section, a variation of the design seen on the CX-3’s front fascia. On the mention of colour, the shade of red here is also new, an evolution of Mazda’s Soul Red Metallic called Soul Red Crystal. Mazda says it provides a “fresher, even more stunning level of transparency.”

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Moving further back, the CX-5’s A-pillars have been moved back approximately 35 mm, while the relative positions of the front axle and A-pillars have been optimised as well. The new car now measures 4,550 mm in length (-5 mm without a license plate holder), 1,840 mm in width (unchanged) and 1,690 mm in height (+20 mm), with a wheelbase of 2,700 mm (unchanged). All these help to give the SUV a more “powerful physique,” the company says.

In other areas, the changes are less dramatic, with redesigned crease lines running across the front and rear doors, while the rear gets a new taillight arrangement inspired by the CX-9, with a line linking the two lighting units. If you feel a “baby CX-9” vibe to the whole package, we won’t blame you.

As for the cabin, the dashboard has been totally redesigned to offer a better sense of symmetry than before, the centre console has been raised for better ergonomics, and there’s better visibility thanks to the revised A-pillars. Furthermore, the angular air-con vents are unlike any found on current Mazdas, and the MZD infotainment display is no longer encased as before. Buyers also get to choose from three interior packages – pure white or black leather, or black fabric.

Elsewhere, there’s the new three-spoke steering wheel from the CX-9, accompanied by other items such as the air-con switchgear, Commander Control dial, gear selector, engine start/stop button, full-colour Active Driving Display, 10-speaker Bose sound system and 4.6-inch colour TFT LCD display instrument cluster, some of which are as per current Mazda models.

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Mazda also boasts improved NVH performance, citing 10% clearer conversation levels within the cabin when travelling at a cruising speed of 100 km/h, and a reduction of noise by approximately 1.3 dB when traveling on rough road surfaces. For those conscious of practicality, there’s now 505 litres of boot space, five more than before.

Under the hood, the new CX-5 retains the same engine line-up as before (no 2.5 litre turbo like on the CX-9) – two SkyActiv-G petrol units in 2.0 litre and 2.5 litre guises, as well as a sole 2.2 litre SkyActiv-D diesel powerplant. The engines are paired with a six-speed automatic or manual transmission, with the i-Activ AWD system available as an option.

The SUV also gains the SkyActiv-Vehicle Dynamics vehicle motion control technologies, which includes brand’s G-Vectoring Control (GVC) system, which we have detailed for you, here.

According to Mazda, the SUV will be launched in Japan in February next year before it begins its roll out to other global markets. Malaysia is bound to be one of its target destinations. It is an important nameplate for the brand, sold in more than 120 countries and represents around one-quarter of Mazda’s global unit sales. What do you think of the all-new CX-5?