It used to be that big SUVs were being replaced with more fuel-efficient crossovers. Now even the crossovers are being replaced by smaller crossovers in the never-ending quest for more gas savings.
Mazda, for instance, is doing a little housekeeping this spring. Mazda spokeswoman Beverly Braga recently told Cars.com that Mazda will replace its CX-7 midsize SUV with the smaller, new-for-2013 CX-5. Model-year 2012 will be the CX-7’s last in the U.S.; sales will continue in other markets, however.
The CX-7 was launched for model-year 2007 and has seen only modest sales, including 35,641 units last year. Major competitors easily outsell it: Honda sold 218,373 CR-Vs in 2011–before the redesigned version went on sale. One of the CX-7’s issues was size; at 184.3 inches long, it was too small to be considered a true midsize SUV and too big to compete in the compact class.
Mazda is hoping CX-5 will better meet consumers’ needs. It’s smaller than the CX-7, but offers more passenger room. It has 103.8 cubic feet of interior volume, while the CX-7 has 101.7. A competitive base price and an attractive fuel-efficient engine also should help. Power comes from a 155-horsepower four-cylinder with an EPA-estimated 26/32/29 mpg city/highway/combined rating. The 2013 CX-5 is on sale now with a starting price of $20,695, excluding a $795 destination fee.