Mazda CX-5 hybrid coming later this year with new, in-house powertrain

The Mazda CX-5 continues to sell in substantial numbers. U.S. dealers have sold more than 100,000 units annually since 2015 — after missing the mark by under 1,000 units in 2014 — and haven’t sold less than 145,000 units per year since 2018. So, even though many of us suspected the CX-5 would leave the picture once Mazda’s new CX-50 star took the stage, Mazda rightly has other plans. Page 19 of the automaker’s financial results for Q1 2024, which is also details the end of Mazda’s 2023 financial year, includes the line, “Plan to equip next CX-5 with a Mazda-developed hybrid engine.” This comes in a bullet point about electrifying the lineup, just after a line about “the hybrid and PHEV lineup of Large products, [and adding a] CX-50 hybrid version in the second half.”

Mazda already has PHEVs in the lineup, the CX-90 and CX-70 PHEV. We already knew a CX-50 hybrid was inbound; that powertrain will come from Toyota and be the one used in the RAV4 hybrid. Car and Driver reported we should expect more details on that in June, but Mazda debuted a CX-50 HEV in China a year ago, the basic setup being is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder with two electric motors and a 219-horsepower combined output, just like in the Toyota. Mazda builds our CX-50 in the Alabama plant it jointly owns with Toyota, where Toyota builds the Corolla Cross and Corolla Cross Hybrid. Mazda’s distinguishing “PHEV” and “hybrid” in the report suggests the CX-5 won’t be a plug-in, a move that would maintain a kind of technology parity with the CX-50 and that would keep a lid on pricing. 

The CX-5 hybrid is an in-house production expected to be based around Mazda’s SkyActiv four-cylinder. CEO Masahiro Moro called the design “original” and the internal combustion portion an “enhanced SkyActiv engine.” The company makes the SkyActiv gas mill in five displacements, 1.3 liters, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, and 3.3. The CX-5 only fits the 2.5-liter in our market; it’s thought the new hybrid will stick with that displacement. The naturally aspirated version starts at just over $30,000 and makes 187 hp and 186 pound-feet of torque, the turbocharged flavor makes 256 hp and 320 lb-ft, the hybrid’s combined numbers could come in somewhere between the two while delivering more than the 26 city and 31 highway miles per gallon in the NA trim achieved only when cylinder deactivation and auto stop/start are enabled. In comparison, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid starts at about $33,000 and is rated at 41 city and 38 highway mpg, while the Honda CR-V Hybrid starts just over $35,000 and is rated at 43 mpg city and 36 mpg highway. 

A CX-5 hybrid reveal could come late this year or early next. After that, the financial results also refer to a new all-electric Mazda on a dedicated new platform in 2027. 

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