Smaller and less obvious modifications have been made to the petrol engines. Minor tweaking squeezes an extra 1kW from the 2.0-litre engine. Changes to the 2.5-litre petrol engine add another 1Nm to its maximum torque, while the introduction of an almost seamless cylinder deactivation system, which shuts down two cylinders under light load such as cruising, is designed to reduce fuel consumption. The official figure is now 7.4L/100 km, a reduction of a mere 0.1L/100km. The benefits of cylinder deactivation systems, however, tend to vary depending on operating conditions and driving styles. Producing similar power but less torque than the diesel, the 2.5-litre petrol engine performs well but does need to be worked over a broader rev range. Using the Sport mode holds the automatic transmission in the lower gears longer for a more responsive feel, however the noise level becomes more noticeable.
Equipment-wise, the upgrade is minor and concentrates on the higher-spec models. The main additions are a 360-degree all-round view display for Akera, to help when reversing or parking, while the Touring model gets the excellent windscreen Active Driving Display, which previously was only seen on the GT and Akera.
While both cabin and boot space aren’t as roomy as some of its peers, CX-5 is still a practical size with a comfortable, inviting presentation. In the Akera the premium quality and attention to detail of the fit and finish continues. With the use of soft-touch trim materials, it has the look and feel you only expect from a luxury brand. Mazda’s centrally mounted seven-inch touch-screen produces a clear image, and we’ve found the Mazda MZD infotainment system to be one of the easiest to use, but it does not support Apple CarPlay or Android Auto.