A LOT is riding on the big-selling CX-5 to bring Mazda a Car of the Year hat-trick, but does it tick as many boxes as its CX-9 big-brother, which currently holds the crown?
So the pressure’s on the second-generation CX-5, which improves on an already solid formula by bringing sharper looks, markedly improved cabin quality and boosted refinement.
All this has helped the CX-5 maintain its position on the sales ladder as Australia’s top-selling mainstream medium SUV, but it needs to move the game on in a big way to secure Mazda a COTY three-peat.
Impress it did at the Lang Lang proving ground, earning a top-six placing at COTY 2018 and plaudits from our judging panel for its marked noise, vibration and harshness improvements, which has was one of the few annoyances of the last CX-5.
Rather than rest on its laurels, Mazda has stepped up to plate and made a great soft-roader even better. Could incremental improvement be enough for the CX-5 to add Australia’s most prestigious motoring award to its bulging trophy cabinet?
The CX-5 has already won approval among punters, and now it’s in the running to become just the third SUV, after the CX-9 and Ford Territory, to win Wheels Car of the Year.