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This Is The New Mazda CX-4 For China

Published on May 17, 2016 by Tycho de Feijter

This Is The New Mazda CX-4 For China

The Mazda CX-4 debuted last month on the Beijing Auto Show and today we have the first photos of the new Mazda in the real world. The CX-4 is a very good looking crossover SUV that will be positioned below the Mazda CX-5. It is for China only, but Mazda hasn’t ruled out export to other countries.

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Great looker in profile! A pillar looks brilliantly ‘thin’, and bulging bonnet is almost racy.

The CX-4 is manufactured by the long running FAW-Mazda joint venture, based in the cold north eastern city of Changchun. It will be launched on the Chinese car market in June. Price will start at 159.800 yuan and end at 198.900 yuan.

There will be two ‘SkyActive’ four-cylinder petrol engines available:a 2.0 with 158hp and a 2.5 with 192hp. Mazda strangely stays put with big engines, instead of going for the popular and tax-friendly small turbocharged engines. Lone transmission is a six-speed automatic.

Size: 4633/1840/1535, and wheelbase is 2700.

The CX-5 will be positioned as a slightly smaller and more sporty alternative to the CX-5. The cars are very close, the CX-4 is 78mm longer, width is the same, 175mm lower, and wheelbase is the same too.

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Sadly, the interior isn’t as beautiful as the exterior. Design not overly exciting, and the place looks rather dark. Touch screen is a tad too small for mid 2016.

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The main dial should have been a rev counter, but it is a boring speedo instead. The rev counter is on the left, looking very small.

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There is a HUD that can show the speed, for those who cannot, or want not, read the speed from that giant main dial.

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Black screen on beige dash. It is fixed in position, does not fold down or in.

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Dark dark dark. Not too much headroom. Sloping sporty roof comes at a price.

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Back outside again, and happily so. Lights are a work of art connected by a trendy shiny strip. Pipes are poorly integrated in the bumper, the only letdown of the exterior design.

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Grille great, lights good, and even the mirrors look kinda cool.

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Mazda lets us down again under the bonnet where the engine, the 2.5 shown here, is barely covered, leaving all the ugly pipes and wires exposed. Messy. Even local Chinese automakers got their engines completely covered these days. Why can’t Mazda?

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Roof rails are usable, but only just. Bad bad pipes.

A very good looking car with a disappointing interior, old-fashioned engines, and an ugly engine bay. Mixed bag. But looks alone should make it sell.

8 comments

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  1. Head Honcho- May 17, 2016 Reply

    Maybe Mazda knows that Chinese never look under the hood until the car no longer works so the heavy extra plastic that does nothing but slow the car down isn’t needed. For someone that writes about cars it is hilarious to see what you think is important. Spoken truly like someone from the Chinese car market. Yes I do live in China.

    1. Tycho de Feijter- May 17, 2016 Reply

      Hilarious it is not. Yes I do care about how under-the-bonnet design. A neatly covered engine shows a car maker cares about details, a mess like in the Mazda makes one wonder what other details they missed. I also care a lot about things like door handles, steering wheels, seat rails, ‘hidden’ buttons like the one to open the fuel cap, pedal boxes, the way the various storage areas are finished, and the way the exhaust pipes are fitted. All this indicates good or bad manufacturing, development, and design.

      And on a side note; I do not think a proper engine cover will add so much weight that it will “slow down the car”. These plastics are rather thin, a full engine cover won’t weigh much more than a few kilo, tops, which is really not significant in a non-race car.

      And it improves the overall impression of the car so much! Hopes this helps, Head Honcho.

      1. Head Honcho- May 17, 2016 Reply

        The engine covers do nothing but get in the way if you actually need to look at something and hide any possible problems like a mechanic in China not putting something back in place or a missing bolt. In China this is something more common than I have seen anywhere else. Exhaust pipes are a joke since everyone has gone to the faux pipes out the back of the lower bumper with a crappy rusting pipe just inside the bumper that is visible. This is most brands cheap and expensive. You left off your most favorite roof rails. Roof rails in general are rarely used and just help auto brands promote their own accessories. In general just a add on for looks that lowers your gas mileage and gives the car washes here something to hold on to while they wash your car with dirt and rocks in the cloth from resting it on the cement between moving around the car.

        What cars really need in ShenZhen is an auto-breaking feature for all the people that think it is ok to drive through red lights to turn right on a red when the crosswalk is green and making pedestrians wait or almost running them over. Evidently they haven’t heard of traffic police here yet.

  2. Javier B- May 18, 2016 Reply

    Old fashined engines. OK.

  3. DAVID J WOLLPERT- May 18, 2016 Reply

    Spend a few days on forums where car guys are and you’ll find that engine covers are almost universally reviled. They are an affect of a buying public that sees cars simply as another appliance. Car guys want to see the engine, in all its specific and glorious detail. As far as we are concerned the engine already has a cover, it’s called a hood/bonnet. There is no need for a second one underneath the one that is already there. In fact we open the hood/bonnet to see the engine. We have no desire to see some contrived notion of what some marketing idiot thinks would look “pretty” under the hood.

    Sine the above is true, and since Mazda is company full of “car guys,” (which is why they focus on handling more than any other mainstream manufacturer) then the design of an engine cover gives no implication whatsoever regarding attention to detail. Pleas stop inferring that it does.

    1. Tycho de Feijter- May 18, 2016 Reply

      Hello David,

      thank you for your comment. Cars are appliances today, sadly, but true. The exception are, maybe, cars like Caterham and Morgan. They can be crappy because ‘car guys’ will forgive them. A car like the CX-4, a crossover for China of all things, has nothing to do with car guys fiddling with the turbo and adjusting the spark plugs. A car like the CX-4 is the ultimate appliance, a pretty one, but still an appliance. Buyers may expect such a vehicle to be finished properly, neatly, and cleanly. The messy engine bay is sloppiness, not some ‘cool’ gesture by ‘car guys’ at Mazda. And anyway, if there is one single buyer who really wants to see the engine, well, those covers usually come off pretty easy.

      Greetings!

      Tycho

      1. Mayur- May 18, 2016 Reply

        I agree with u. In 2016 detailing is important! The exhaust doesn’t jell to it’s pretty looks. And no panaromic view is a shame. Germans.. Koreans.. Japanese all give it. Why can’t Mazda?? taxes in China are high for engines more than 2 litre. Rather they would have opted for 2 litre turbo charged engine

  4. Sbybh- May 24, 2016 Reply

    Very, very, beautiful car. Impressive design.

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