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Mazda has announced that it has started production of the all-new CX-5 at its second Ujina plant in Hiroshima. The CX-5 recently made its global debut at this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show earlier this month.

According to the automaker, the new model will first go on sale in Japan in February before it begins its roll out to other markets. So, if you’re waiting for the Honda CR-V rival to make its way to Malaysia, it’s going to be a while. Considering the current CX-5 sold here is locally-assembled, could the new model follow suit as well?

Visually, the CX-5’s design is influenced by the larger CX-9, where you’ll find among other things, slimmer headlamps and revised taillights to accompany the new look. In terms of dimensions, the car remains largely unchanged from before, save for a slight gain in height of about 20 mm to 1,690 mm.

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Inside, the SUV is almost unrecognisable from its predecessor, featuring a new dashboard layout, steering wheel and air-con vents. However, there are still familiar items such as the switchgear, MZD infotainment system, gear lever, Commander Control dial and coloured heads-up display.

Other improvements include better NVH, chassis rigidity (of 15.5%), as well as Mazda’s SkyActiv-Vehicle Dynamics vehicle motion control technologies, which includes brand’s G-Vectoring Control (GVC) system.

The engine line-up remains as before, with 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.

GALLERY: All-new Mazda CX-5