A week in the 2020 MAZDA CX-5 begs for an EV VERSION…

Mazda certainly has come a long way. It’s design language works REALLY well on some models and still needs a bit of massaging on others.

There’s a lot of overall goodness in the 2020 MAZDA CX-5 for around $37K. It’s a capable non-off road SUV that scoots its occupants in comfort. But you’ll notice I didn’t say “style.”

When most people talk about Mazdas, they generally mention the amazing RED color it comes in. Seems like all the models share this color. SOUL RED PREMIUM METALLIC. I keep hoping that they’ll send me a car that ISN’T in this color.

But the reason is… design cannot rely on color to be impactful. Color is a “spice” and not meant to detract from the overall language. I included a silver version for you to see here so that you could appreciate the language without the rojo.

Proportionally, the CX-5 is unusual. Large front overhang, the car seems to be shifted rearward and it also sits very high. This gives it a quirky nature that some might call comical. It just seems like a happy car which isn’t necessarily bad… but this coming from a company where the Miata has a very clear smiling guppy face.

I think this is what is keeping Mazda from being taken more seriously as a contender to some others in it’s class or higher.

Now, this quirkiness is NOT happening on the interior which is far more successful. Great use of materials and over language theme. In fact, it’s a “great” interior and excellent balance of color, materials and shape. Making it bright red would be silly.

The interior is elegant and serious. Something the exterior needs to address. But more than this… it’s a car that needs to be electric VERY SOON.

Exterior language is always based on three levels. Level 1 is overall shape which we’ve addressed. Level 2 are the mid-range details which I really like. Shape of the lenses front and rear. Front sculpture. All very nice.

Level 3 is the finite details which again, should be addressed with more finesse. Imaging a serious version of Easter Eggs, like what the Jeep is doing? Etching in the glass, subtle details that require you to get up close. This would help to separate Mazda from the pack. At least the CX-5.

Regardless, it’s a good SUV and a good choice for the $37K. 24mpg, 227hp and 310ftlbs. All good stuff. But what do I know? I’m just a Car Designer who’s in to Hot Wheels. 😉