MONTEREY, Calif. -- The Mazda CX-5 compact crossover will try to fill the void when the larger CX-7 crossover disappears from Mazda's U.S. lineup this year.
Mazda developed the CX-5 to launch the company's next-generation engine, transmission, chassis and frame technologies, which Mazda refers to collectively as Skyactiv.
The basics: The CX-5's powertrain combines a direct injection, 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine with a six-speed automatic or manual transmission.
On the manual transmission, Mazda engineers say they wanted to emulate the short throws and crisp, tight feel of the MX-5 Miata's shifter.
Also debuting on the CX-5 is a new look that Mazda calls kodo, Japanese for "soul of motion."
Inside, Mazda dropped hard plastics cabins in favor of soft-touch dashboard materials. The center stack is accented by black and brushed aluminum trim pieces. Overall, the interior looks more refined than previous Mazda cabins.
The CX-5 is built in Hiroshima, Japan. Sales began in February.