Mazda is giving its CX-5 SUV a few updates for 2020, but don't go expecting major changes - that's not the Mazda way. Rather, as with the 6 saloon, this is all about small, incremental annual changes that add up to a better car.
New Polymetal Grey colour
Indeed, you won't spot any major exterior changes at all - then again, the CX-5 is good looking enough not to need any surgery. The only changes are minor updates to the badges, and a new colour option - Polymetal Grey Metallic.
Inside, there's a new, bigger, infotainment screen (it's now eight inches across) which also incorporates a new 360-degree parking camera system. Sadly, the CX-5 doesn't get the latest Mazda infotainment software, as seen in the new 3 and CX-30, but there is at least the addition of a new fuel efficiency monitor, which tells you when the engine is in cylinder shut-down mode.
More efficient petrol engine
Cylinder shut-down? Oh yes, if you go for the 165hp 2.0-litre SkyActiv-G petrol engine, with a manual gearbox, that comes with cylinder deactivation, shutting down two cylinders under light throttle loads, for extra fuel economy. The CX-5 now also gets the 2.5-litre petrol engine as seen in the 6 (although that's not yet confirmed for the Irish market) while the 150 and 184hp 2.2-litre diesel engines carry over unchanged.
To improve refinement, Mazda has changed the CX-5's interior roof lining, so that less road noise is reflected back down to the occupants.
There are also some small chassis tweaks, including a steering arm damper, which cuts down on unwanted vibrations coming up through the steering system in petrol-engined models. There's also a new rubber joint, mounted between the airbag and the wheel itself, which cuts down on vibrations and allows for improved steering feel.
Off-road traction assist
For four-wheel drive versions of the CX-5, there's a new Off-Road Traction Assist function, which tries to mimc the effect of a locking differential, and stops an unloaded tyre spinning while diverting power and torque to the wheels with the most traction. It also helps the CX-5 stop slipping back when performing a hill-start in slippery conditions.
There's also an update for the CX-5's Advanced Smart City Brake Support emergency braking system, which works at speeds of up to 80km/h. The update means that the system can now detect pedestrians at night, and it also works across a broader range of conditions.
The automatic headlights are also tuned to switch on earlier, improving visibility in poor light conditions.