Mazda is giving its CX-5 crossover a slew of updates in Japan, two years after the second-generation model made its debut in the Land of the Rising Sun. Although there aren’t many visual changes, there’s quite a bit more to be found under the skin – especially under the bonnet.

That’s because the car is finally being offered with the turbocharged version of the 2.5 litre SkyActiv-G four-cylinder petrol engine. With this, the CX-5 becomes the first model in Japan to be offered with this mill, which produces 230 PS at 4,250 rpm and 420 Nm of torque at 2,000 rpm, and delivers a fuel economy figure of up to 12.6 km per litre on the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP).

As with all models, this engine is paired to a six-speed automatic transmission and a choice of either front- or all-wheel drive. Somewhat curiously, Mazda has also added a six-speed manual option to models fitted with the 172 PS/420 Nm 2.2 SkyActiv-D turbodiesel, making it the only SUV in its segment that allows you to row your own gears, Hiroshima says.

Elsewhere, the G-Vectoring Control (GVC) system has been enhanced and now applies light braking force to the outside wheels coming out of a corner, providing extra stability as the driver straightens the steering wheel. This smoothens transitions between roll, yaw and pitch even with high cornering forces, enabling the car to better respond to sudden steering inputs and exit corners more crisply.

As such, the new GVC Plus system is claimed to improve handling in collision avoidance manoeuvres and providing a “reassuring feeling of control” when changing lanes and when driving on snow or other slippery surfaces. It comes as standard on all CX-5s and will be rolled out to other Mazda models.

Other changes are more minor and include a new nighttime pedestrian detection function for the Advanced Smart City Braking Support (SCBS) system, a 360-degree camera option, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility and new tweeters for the standard sound system to bring the total number of speakers up to six. There’s also a new Grey Metallic finish for the base 17-inch alloy wheel and redesigned climate controls.

Last but not least is a Exclusive Mode special edition model, available with the turbo petrol and diesel engines. This top-of-the-range variant adds 19-inch alloys in a new dark gloss finish, Deep Red Nappa leather upholstery, real woodgrain interior trim, a frameless rear-view mirror, ventilated front seats, a seven-inch TFT LCD instrument display and white LED lighting throughout the cabin for a more consistent look.