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Friday, May 6, 2011

Mazda CX-5 Mule Spied in SoCal

April 27, 2011 at 3:55pm by Steve Siler

Mazda CX-5 (spy photo)

Thanks to an observant reader in San Juan Capistrano, California, we have our first spy shot of Mazda’s next crossover, the CX-5. The mule seen here appears to be wearing a sectioned rear door and other parts from the much larger CX-7, an example of which Mazda conveniently parked nearby to aid our comparison. The CX-5 is expected to take on a cleaner and more elegant look than the CX-7, and will finally replace the Ford Escape–based Tribute that has been serving as Mazda’s compact SUV since the Paleolithic Era.

If you want a better idea of what the CX-5 might actually look like, take a gander at the slick Minagi concept that Mazda first showed in Geneva and confirmed for production last week at the New York auto show. Of course, some of the show-car indulgence might not make it to production, but it’s pretty safe to say that, unlike the lovely mule roaming free in SoCal, the CX-5 will don high-set headlamps, finessed body surfaces, and a thick, kinked D-pillar.

Alternatively, we can look at the Escape’s replacement, previewed in Detroit this year as the Ford Vertrek concept, which also happens to have high-set headlamps, finessed body surfaces, and a thick, kinked D-pillar. It’s quite possible that the Mazda and Ford cute utes will continue to share a basic platform. Mazda, however, has made a big deal about controlling weight with its future vehicles, and the CX-5 will use Mazda’s new SKYACTIV family of engines and possibly a diesel. We expect the finished product to arrive for the 2013 model year.

Tags: Mazda, Mazda CX-5, Mazda Minagi concept, spy photos |

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