Will Mazda transform the CX-5 into a full-fledged luxury car?

Mazda’s next-generation CX-5 will graduate from premium to luxury to bolster the firm’s upmarket push, according to a recent report. It will again take the form of a crossover

, but it might spawn a fastback-like model.

Japanese magazine Best Car

learned from company insiders that the next CX-5 will be comparable to the BMW X5 and the Mercedes-Benz GLC
. If that’s accurate, the people-mover will receive substantial upgrades in the coming years, because the current model is not as big, not as luxurious, and not as quick as either of those SUVs.

According to the same source, the CX-5’s transformation will be made possible by two key elements. First, it will ride on a new rear-wheel-drive platform that it will share with the next Mazda6, though all-wheel-drive will also be offered. Using this architecture will allow stylists to increase the dash-to-axle ratio, which will in turn expand its footprint. Second, the space between the extra sheetmetal will be occupied by a new straight-six engine whose existence has already been confirmed by Mazda

. It will get SkyActiv-X technology, and it will be available with a 48-volt mild hybrid system. Elsewhere in the world, Mazda will release a turbodiesel variant of the six-cylinder.

Adopting rear-wheel drive and a straight-six engine will put the CX-5 in the same league as the Germans; on paper, at least. Mazda will undoubtedly ask its stylists to give the model a suitably stylish appearance, and Best Car

added the range could include a new four-door fastback possibly called CX-50 and aimed at the X6

Mazda’s next CX-5 is expected to make its debut in 2023, so it might not arrive on our shores until the 2024 model year. We’ll see the next Mazda6

a little sooner, and it will give us a good idea of what’s next.