Saturday, March 10, 2012

2013 Mazda CX-5 Bullies CX-7 Out of U.S.


Often those of us that cover the auto industry in the media and press wonder what just automakers are thinking. When we heard Mazda was going to add a CX-5 small crossover to the lineup, it gave us pause, as we figured the all new CX-5, available with Mazda’s new fuel saving Skyactiv technology, would cannibalize CX-7 sales. Apparently, Mazda agrees.

The CX-5 is smaller, true, but not by that much. And the CX-7′s bigger engines are unrefined and thirsty. Instead of confusing customers with three crossovers, Mazda’s two options will offer greater contrast. The CX-9 is much larger, has a 3.7-liter V-6 engine, versus the CX-5′s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Price is another issue. The CX-5 and CX-7 were priced very similarly, with the CX-7 starting only slightly higher. Both cars offer all-wheel-drive options, but are also geared towards very different customers. People who need extra space and utility can comfortably opt for the larger of the bunch, while Mazda really sees the CX-5 as a vehicle to aspire to for Mazda3 drivers who suddenly find they need more utility. Removing the CX-7 from the Mazda lineup is a logical move that will give the brand greater clarity.