The Mazda CX-5’s Potential for Success

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, February 5th, 2013

Last week we wrote about how Mazda’s SkyActiv suite was crowned Green Technology of the Year by Green Car Journal. In that article, we talked about some of Mazda’s other recent achievements, such as winning Japanese Car of the Year on the back of their 2012 Mazda CX-5.

With all of this recent press, today seemed like a good day to actually spend some time talking about one of Mazda’s cars instead of one of their awards. Naturally, we chose the 2013 Mazda CX-5.

A Little Bit of Background

Mazda has made several attempts to crack the compact SUV segment, and has thus far been completely unsuccessful. We were originally introduced to the Mazda CX-5 late in 2011 as the first vehicle to include the full suite of SkyActiv technologies, as well as the Kodo design language.

The CX-5 replaced the Mazda Tribute and the Mazda CX-7, both of which had lackluster performance at best.

Last Year’s Performance – Above Expectations

Last year 43,319 CX-5’s were driven off of American dealerships, and that was a number Mazda was very, very happy with. Even though the CX-5’s numbers look puny compared to the 281k sales of Honda’s CR-V and the 171k sales of Toyota’s RAV4, by the end of the year the 2012 CX-5 accounted for 16% of Mazda’s total US sales-volume even without any sales in January or most of February.

Only 10 months available and more sales than almost any other vehicle in their lineup? Not too shabby. This year the Mazda CX-5 is poised to do even better.

Why 2013 Will Be a Good Year for the Mazda CX-5

Yes, there are still skeptics (ahem, TTAC) who will point out that even as Mazda’s second best-selling vehicle in 2012, it was still only the 15th best-selling small SUV. But, to those skeptics I say: you’re missing the point. The snowball is rolling… The train is building up its steam. Already in January the Japanese-made small SUV has sold the second most units of any other month; December 2012 unsurprisingly sold the most (being Christmas and bargain season both).

Not only have sales been great, but reviews of the 2013 CX-5 have been nothing but phenomenal across the board. We’re seeing multiple auto-reviewers rave about the Japanese car’s exquisite styling, impressive fuel economy, improved driving dynamics and relevant suite of features. Reviewers rejoice that the CX-5 now allows for a more powerful 2.5L version that fills in the performance-void the 2012MY was missing.

Mazda has finally hit their mark — this is a car that can compete.

Because of the 2012 Mazda CX-5’s relatively excellent sales and the 2013 CX-5’s praise-filled reviews, my guess is that this is yet another Japanese compact SUV you should get used to seeing on the streets. By the end of the year, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the CX-5 surpass the Subaru Forester in sales and claim a spot in the top 10 best-selling small SUVs for 2013.

What do you think? Does the 2013 version of the CX-5 bring enough to the table to compete with the big names in its segment? Why or why not? Let us know below:

Sources: Car and Driver, Good Car Bad Car

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