Mazda CX5 Tuning

"Thank you for reading my CX5 tuning guide."

The mid sized SUV from Mazda is a great car, and very well equipped.

The 2.0 SKYACTIV-G - 165 (121) ps (kW) engine is lovely and responds well to tuning mods

We review CX5 tuning and outline the premier upgrades. Mazda CX5s are popular tuning projects and with the ultimate motorsport parts you can enhance your driving fun.

The CX5 is a good car modification project to have. If you do your homework then you can create an awesome CX5 but don't be fooled there are lots of tuning mods out there that will simply not suit it read our unbiased guides first.

Tuning tips and articles

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

Top end power should be your overall aim on the CX5 with a nice fat peak torque band.

Spending just a little money on the best engine and handling upgrades should transform your car into a credible track car.

Smaller engines do not provide much of a return in terms of power so start with a bigger engine. Engine swaps are a good option if you have a small engine size.

Power mods.

Typically these sports modifications are usually carried out by our members, decide how far you wish to go in your tuning project before you get going.

Getting the best uprated modifications for your planned usage of the car is vital. Stage 3 motor sport mods just won't work well on the road hard to control in slow traffic.

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Guide to the Best Tuning Mods & Upgrades

  1. Mods that Remove a Restriction

    If the intake or exhaust are restricted in any way this will have an impact on your cars performance, so use an induction kit/filter upgrade and better flowing exhaust whenever your tuning creates a flow restriction.

  2. Mods that Improve Handling

    Braking, Suspension and general alignment of the suspension components is vital for any tuning project even before you start increasing power.

  3. Fit Stronger Parts

    Tuned cars will show up weaknesses, typically in the turbochargers, clutch and internal engine components. Whilst most engines can cope with mild tuning mods, TorqueCars recommend that you upgrade the internal components before these weak spots manifest themselves.

  4. ECU Tunes & Remapping

    While some cars can be easily remapped, others may require piggyback ECU's or aftermarket ECU's but this is the most vital step of your tuning project as it fully releases the power from all of your mods and upgrades. Expect 10-20% on NASP engines and 30-40% on turbocharged units.

  5. More Power Needs More Fuel & Air

    Every tuning project will aim to increase the air supply, but fuel supply is just as vital and will need to match the air the engine can utilise. Fuel to Air ratio is vital so upgrade the fuel pump & injectors. Also you can look to perform head mods (flowing and porting), bigger valves, fast road cams and forced induction upgrades to improve fuel.

Stages of Tune

Stage 1 mods: Lighter flywheel, Panel air filter, Alloy wheels, Remap, Suspension upgrade (drop 30-40mm), Sports exhaust.

Stage 2 mods: Power/Sport clutch, Ported and polished head, fuel pump upgrades, Fast road cam, high flow fuel injector.

Stage 3 mods: Competition cam, Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Sports gearbox, Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), Engine balancing.

Your goal when modding the engine should be a flat and wide torque curve. You want to avoid sending all the torque to be at the top end unless you are creating a motor sport car.

The point of our articles is to give a little insight into the world of tuning mods and point you in the right direction, our forum is where you can ask for more detailed advice and tips on your car tuning project, the best tuning parts and all aspects of modding cars.

Fast road cams offer one of the biggest torque gains for your money as far as a stand alone tuning modifications goes on a NASP engine.

It maximises the intake and exhaust flow and pushes up the power if done right. Ideally you'd add other mods and finish up with a remap. TorqueCars would caution you not to go with a competition cam as this upsets the engines idling and general town driving characteristics.

You will need to ensure that the engine is not starved of fuel so will need to look at the fuelling.

If you find you suffer from flat spots and power surges after your tuning mods you should check the fuelling and try a higher octane fuel as well. To get sufficient fuel you may need to improve the injectors on your engine.

A fuel pump will only deliver a finite amount of fuel, so you may need to uprate this if your injectors are demanding more fuel.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust. Air induction kits only help to boost power if the cars air intake is struggling! Adding an induction kit to most standard engines will see ZERO LOW END POWER GAIN AT ALL.

If you have heavily modified your engine and it's need for air INCREASES DRAMATICALLY then an induction kit is the answer and will help remove this restriction.

Maximum power gains come from a full induction kit with a cold air feed on heavily tuned engines, this can be sited within an air box but a panel filter should suffice for most applications. TorqueCars suggest you use a panel air filter as these are easy to clean and maintain and generally perform better than paper ones.

Sports exhausts generally help improve air flow from the engine but do not go too wide or you could will reduce the flow rate. Stick to 1.5 to 2.5 inches for best results.

Polishing and porting the head will allow you to maximise your air/fuel charge. Leave this to a professional though with a proper flow bench and machine tools In nearly all cases of CX5 tuning your clutch will start to complain and this should be improved - read our overview on clutches for more information. The best mods we would do for your CX5 are remaps, sports camshafts and induction improvements.

Turbo engines are just crying out to be Reprogrammed. You will see significant power gains on most modern turbo charged cars including diesels making a remap one of the most cost effective and significant modifications for your money.

We've also seen some tuners playing with twincharging applications and making some impressively high power figures.

Despite the large cost involved adding forced induction to a NASP engine will give large power gains. It is generally easier to bolt on a supercharger than it is to get a turbo working. Turbos provide boost in increasing proportion to increasing engine speed and this can make mapping difficult.

Superchargers will give a boost which is proportional to engine speed so is simpler. To cope with forced induction you will usually need to decrease the engine compression ratio .

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Improving the handling for car owners first priority in your CX5 tuning project.

Setting a tiny bit of negative camber on the fronts and around 1 to 1.7 degrees of toe out, will dramatically benefit your CX5 in handling and cornering.

We suggest that you fit performance suspension and lower the car by 24mm - 35 mm. Larger drops require arch work - especially on models already equipped with performance suspension.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

Alloy wheels will help the brake cooling and are usually lighter than the steel ones. Further improvements can be made to your cars handling with the addition of track legal slick tire. Large CX5 alloy wheels can decrease performance. If you get big alloy wheels you will be changing your final drive ratio.

Although some people have fitted larger wheels without problems we would restrict ourselves to a 16 inch rim size as the maximum.

There is a more updated version of this CX5 Tuning article on TorqueCars.com.

For more information on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss CX5 options in more detail with our CX5 owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Mazda tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

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