Next-gen 2023 Mazda CX-5 will be priced closer to Harrier or GLC?
Shaun · Jul 25, 2021 11:58 AM
Recently, rumours of the next-generation 2023 Mazda CX-5 being underpinned by a rear-wheel drive platform were confirmed by Mazda Australia’s boss. It will be one of the company’s first models to employ the new platform and mild hybrid straight-six engines.
Now, the question on most of our minds is probably – how much will the 2023 Mazda CX-5 be priced? Well, Japan’s BestCarWeb reported that the 2023 Mazda CX-5 will be aimed at the Mercedes-Benz GLC and will make its global debut in Q4 2022.
Last we checked, the Mercedes-Benz GLC has a starting price of – as near as makes no difference – RM 300k in Malaysia. However, just because it has its sights on the GLC doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be identically priced.
Let's recall an interview in 2019
In an interview by Automotive News Europe with the CEO of Mazda, Akira Marumoto, here’s what he said: “Why do we always have to think it's about competing with other brands? It may be possible there is no other brand in the same positioning that we are aiming for. We want to be considered an alternative to established premium brands.”
The interviewer then asked, “But at a lower price?” To which Marumoto answered, “Yes. We're not going to position ourselves in comparison to some other brand. Mazda is Mazda. Given that Mazda is a small player, if we do the same thing as big players, we will have no chance of winning.
“That's why I have to manage in a way that takes our small scale as a strength. One of the things about being small is that we can be unique, in terms of product, technology, pricing and customer experience. If we don't do that and do the same thing as big players, I'm afraid it will be hard for Mazda to survive.”
Marumoto also said, “Some media have reported that Mazda is going for premium. But as a brand, Mazda is not established as a premium brand. It is not a goal. If you're asking whether we aim to be like one of the established German 3 premium brands, the answer is no.
“Even if the price ends up higher than today, we will develop products that provide higher value, and customers will feel convinced of the pricing.”
At this point, it’s rather difficult to estimate the price of the next-generation Mazda CX-5. We know it’ll have an all-new platform and newly developed straight-six engine with mild-hybrid technology. Those are enough to warrant a hike in price, how much exactly is open to question.
If we were to speculate, we’d look along the lines of the Toyota Harrier. To recap, the 2021 Toyota Harrier is offered in one variant only, which is priced at RM 249,707 (OTR without insurance, with SST discount).
The 2021 Toyota Harrier is underpinned by the GA-K variant of the TNGA platform, and it’s powered by a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated 4-cylinder Dynamic Force engine that makes 173 PS/203 Nm, paired to a CVT.
But that’s hardly an apples-to-apples comparison
You’re right. Toyota is a much larger company than Mazda, with a significantly wider range of offerings. The GA-K platform is shared across a number of models like the Camry, RAV4, and even the Lexus ES just to name a few.
Plus, the powertrain is also seen in various models such as the RAV4, Corolla (in overseas market), and the Lexus UX. The point is, Toyota is able to reap greater benefits from economies of scale compared to Mazda, and that ultimately affects pricing.
Whilst Mazda wouldn’t be able to hold a candle to Toyota in terms of sheer volume, they did announce the SkyActiv Multi-Solution Scalable Architecture that will underpin 13 models (including the RWD, straight-six models) with varying degrees of electrification. This suggests a simplification in Mazda’s production and that helps with cost.
Here’s another speculation, the next-gen Mazda CX-5 could be offered as a plug-in hybrid with a 4-cylinder combustion engine, slotted below the straight-six-powered variant. With the prospect of local assembly that allows tax incentives, it could be attractively priced in Malaysia.
If the next-gen Mazda CX-5 comes to Malaysia as a fully-imported unit, then things could get spicy rather quickly because remember our tax structure is based on engine capacity. BestCarWeb reports that the straight-six engine will be a 3.0-litre unit, and that gets the maximum percentage.
In Malaysia, import duty, excise duty, and sales tax are added one upon another so it’s tax upon tax. Which means a small amount of let’s say RM 5,000 can quickly stack up to RM 15,000.
We might not even get to see the Mazda CX-5 with a straight-six engine here, just like how our Mazda 6 misses out on the 2.5-litre turbocharged engine. Speaking of Mazda 6, the same argument applies to its replacement, purported to feature the same straight-six engine, as well.
Remember when Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) offered the Nissan Murano? Imported from Japan, the facelifted second-generation Murano went for RM 318k. And we all know how well that turned out.
Toyota saw greater success with the Harrier, both in Japan and Malaysia. That being said, the Toyota Harrier did have 24 years of evolution which helped solidify its upmarket image. Can Mazda achieve the same with the next-gen CX-5?
The quest for automotive knowledge began as soon as the earliest memories. Various sources information, even questionable ones, have been explored including video games, television, magazines, or even internet forums. Still stuck in that rabbit hole.