Next Mazda CX-5 to move upmarket, with RWD platform

It might have seemed a little strange, perhaps even audacious, that the new Mazda CX-30 was launched with the same starting price as its slightly larger CX-5 sibling, but this is likely to make more sense when the next-generation CX-5 hits the scene.

The CX-30 will, for all intents and purposes, fill the shoes of the current CX-5, because the latter’s replacement is going to move significantly upmarket. And although there have been rumours to this effect, a Mazda exec has now confirmed that the next CX-5 will be built around the company’s new rear-wheel drive platform for premium vehicles.

According to CarSales, Mazda Australia boss Vinesh Bhindi confirmed this during a presentation recently. “Mazda continues to invest in high-efficiency combustion engines, with SKYACTIV-X, and the new generation straight-six engine family that will power our new-generation large-platform products, which is CX-5 and above,” Bhindi told Australian media.

We’ve known about this new rear-wheel drive platform since 2019, when Mazda snuck in the mention of a longitudinal engine layout during a fiscal presentation, but this is the first time the company has confirmed that the CX-5 will move over to this architecture.

This would effectively turn the Japanese SUV into something of a BMW X3 competitor, which means it’ll be somewhat more expensive than the current Mazda CX-5. The Mazda6 sedan’s replacement is also expected to shift to the new rear-wheel drive platform, which will be a derivative of the company’s new Multi-Solution Scalable Architecture that was announced as part of the company’s electrification drive earlier this year. To that end, the new premium products will surely be hybridised to some extent.

The aforementioned platform will also underpin three fully-electric vehicles, and you can expect even more on that front once the new electric-focused Skyactiv Scalable EV Architecture comes on stream around 2025.

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