The Mazda CX-5 may not be the freshest entrant in the hotly competitive mainstream compact crossover segment, but that still hasn't kept it from being one of the best. Not only did Mazda do the hard work of engineering an excellent vehicle from the get-go, but the brand has kept the energy up by revamping the vehicle with new, upscale versions (the high-end Signature trim) and new engines (a potent turbocharged inline-four and a fuel-sipping turbodiesel), constantly giving buyers new reasons to consider the CX-5 above the likes of the CR-V and RAV4.
But as impressive as the current CX-5 is, it might pale in comparison to the next one, if a new rumor is to be believed. According to one report, the next version of Mazda's compact SUV could be an inline-six-powered, rear-wheel-drive-based near-luxury crossover — in essence, a more affordable BMW X3.
That's the word from Japan's BestCarWeb, as surfaced by outlets like Motor1 and Autoblog. According to the Japanese report, Mazda's next CX-5 should arrive in 2023, built on a new "Large Architecture" platform that's designed to compete with — or at least be comparable to — luxury brands like Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
That rumor might sound crazy...were it not for the fact that it's been widely reported that the Mazda6 will also be moving to a new rear-wheel-drive-based platform and packing six-cylinder power under its hood. The new CX-5, according to the BestCarWeb report, will share the Mazda6's architecture, enabling it to take advantage of the technology and advances being created for the new flagship sedan.
Assuming the news about the next Mazda6 is true — and given how many reports we've read about it, we buy it — spreading the love to the CX-5 would be an eminently logical move. After all, sedans may be fancy and sexy these days, but SUVs are where the buyers are; a new CX-5 would do a far better job of putting proof of Mazda's premium strategy into owners' hands than a new Mazda6 alone. (For the record: Mazda sold 21,524 Mazda6s in the U.S. last year...versus 154,545 CX-5s.)
Still, at the very least, we'll have to wait to see if the Mazda6 rumors indeed come to pass before we can make our best guess about this super-CX-5 of tomorrow. Fingers crossed, though. A budget BMW crossover with Mazda build quality and sportiness could be one hell of a daily driver.