Mazda revealed the CX-4, another crossover, at the Beijing International Automobile Exhibition, but this one is intended as a potion to soothe the barren psyche of wanting millennials. Or so reads a company statement:
“Young people are beginning to question whether material things alone can bring true fulfillment. The CX-4 aims to become a trusted partner of the avant-garde who aspire to further advance Chinese society, and to support their individual quests for true fulfillment by providing unique benefits only a car can offer.”
The statement is attributed to Naoki Okano, CX-4 program manager (and not, oh wise ones, to Chang Caine, the monk character played by David Carradine in Kung Fu).
How will the CX-4 provide such fulfillment? By incorporating three “key values” into its appearance and performance…
First, a presence based on Mazda’s KODO design language, which is based on “expressing the power and vitality of a wild animal while shaving away all but the essential design elements to produce a look of dignity and elegance.” In concrete terms, it translates to using a coupe rather than traditional SUV layout, good ground clearance, 19-inch wheels, a trapezoid-shaped front accented by a chrome signature wing, LED headlamps and aluminum roof rails.
Second, including functions to “support an active lifestyyle. The four-seater (five, if absolutely necessary) cabin features airplane-cockpit inspired ergonomics for the driver, ease of entry and exit, small-item storage space, convenient luggage space, easy opening tailgate and most critically, a connective system that pairs with a smartphone with internet capability.
Third, “sustainable zoom-zoom”. In other words, existing 2.5- or 2.0-litre gas engines mated to either a six-speed automatic or, interestingly in these days of millennials shunning the stick, a six-speed manual transmission. The company promises a new connection with the accelerator “that feels faithful to the driver’s intention. On the 2.5-litre model, a brake energy regeneration system with i-stop improves fuel economy. An auto-hold system retains brake pressure even when the foot is removed from the pedal after a full stop. Safety tech includes blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and anti-collision.
If considering the CX-4 purely as a vehicle, it appears to have a reasonable chance of success in the marketplace.