Fresh from its debut at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show last month, the new 2017 Mazda CX-5 has already gone on sale in Japan. The order books for the second-generation crossover have opened in the Land of the Rising Sun, with deliveries slated to begin on February 2.

The first of Mazda’s new-generation models to get a redesign, the CX-5 gets a redefined version of the company’s trademark Kodo design language, with the theme “refined toughness” being applied to the car. The large five-point grille may look familiar, but it features a new three-dimensional pattern for a deeper and sportier look, and the headlights emanating from it are slimmer than before.

Meanwhile, the wing that goes under the grille is wider and now slots under instead of over the headlights, giving a sense of breadth and power, while the bumper features a trapezoidal shape to express a more powerful stance. This is further emphasised by the wider front and rear track, both increased by over 10 mm.

Along the sides, the character line that goes above the front fenders now sweeps gradually downwards across the doors as on newer Mazdas, while the current car’s characteristic swoosh low down has been replaced by a more conventional horizontal highlight. There’s also now a thick chrome highlight on the beltline that sweeps upwards, following the window line.

The rear features slimmer tail lights and a redesigned tailgate reminiscent of the new CX-9. In total, there are eight colour choices, including Machine Grey Metallic and the new Soul Red Crystal, a redevelopment of the signature Soul Red Metallic that emphasises depth and highlights for a more vibrant look.

Inside, the new CX-5 takes after the CX-9, with a low dashboard, a high transmission tunnel and air vents that sit in line with the decorative dash trim. Flowing from the centre of the steering wheel, this gives the car a sense of breadth that encourages drivers to focus on the road. A newly-developed uses twelve layers of prints and a final coat to create a sense of depth unachievable with either metal or wood.

The Active Driving Display head-up display projects directly on the windscreen, the first for a Mazda in Japan (the CX-9, the first car to offer such a system, is not on sale in Japan). The seven-inch MZD Connect display is now a freestanding unit, while the instrument cluster has been redesigned for improved legibility, and adds a new 4.6-inch colour LCD multi-info display.

Elsewhere, demisters and tweeters now mounted in the A-pillar give a cleaner look, while the seats have been redesigned for improved comfort. The front chairs have suspension mats that disperse pressure evenly, while different parts of the backrests have optimised rigidity for maximum support; high-damping urethane foam in the cushions transmits feedback but cuts out uncomfortable vibrations.

At the rear, the seat recline angle has been increased by two degrees, and a two-step reclining mechanism has been adopted for the first time. The boot now measures 505 litres, two litres up from before, and an optional power tailgate uses a simple, lightweight and compact spider damper that will open the gate to any height using a button on the key fob.

The existing engine lineup has been retained, and includes the 172 PS/420 Nm 2.2 litre SkyActiv-D twin-turbo clean diesel mill and the 155 PS/196 Nm 2.0 and 184 PS/245 Nm 2.5 litre SkyActiv-G naturally-aspirated petrol four-pots, mated to a standard six-speed SkyActiv-Drive automatic transmission and either two-wheel drive or Mazda’s i-Activ all-wheel drive.

Upgrades to the diesel mill improve the engine’s refinement, including High-Precision DE Boost Control for a more direct throttle response, a Natural Sound Smoother to reduce the knocking sound prominent in diesel engines, and Natural Sound Frequency Control to further suppress knock sounds at the source.

Under the skin, there are rigid steering mounts to enhance response and agility, while the SkyActiv-Body uses ultra-high-tensile steel in more areas, such as the A-pillars and side sills, to improve torsional rigidity by 15.5% over its predecessor. This is said to reduce flex that would otherwise slow steering response. Lastly, the CX-5 comes as standard with G-Vectoring Control which modulates engine torque to optimise vertical load on each wheel, improving steering response and stability.

In terms of safety, the CX-5 is now available with adaptive LED headlights (a monocular system with 12 blocks of high-beam LEDs that can turn on and off to avoid blinding opposing traffic), Traffic Sign Recognition, pedestrian detection for the Advanced Smart City Brake Support (SCBS) system and a Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC) system which now can follow the car in front from a standstill up to 100 km/h.

Prices start at 2,462,400 yen (RM93,600) for the CX-5 20S 2WD petrol, rising up to 2,689,200 yen (RM102,200) for the 20S Proactive 2WD that adds the full i-ActivSense suite of safety features and 19-inch alloy wheels. The larger-engined 25S AWD and 25S Proactive AWD retail at 2,689,200 yen and 2,916,000 yen (RM110,800) respectively, and the range-topping 25S L Package that adds leather and LED fog lights is priced at 2,986,200 yen (RM113,500) for the 2WD model and 3,213,000 yen (RM122,100) for AWD.

On the diesel side, the base XD costs 2,775,600 yen (RM105,500) for 2WD and 3,002,400 yen (RM114,100) for AWD, the XD Proactive is priced at 3,002,400 yen for 2WD and 3,229,200 yen (RM122,800) for AWD, and the XD L Package retails at 3,299,400 yen (RM125,400) for 2WD and 3,526,200 yen (RM134,000) for AWD.