Following a debut in Japan last month, the updated 2019 Mazda CX-5 has made its local debut, with the covers coming off Friday at the 2018 Seattle auto show.

The big news is the addition of a 2.5-liter turbocharged inline-4 as the range-topping powertrain. The punchy unit is already found in the Mazda 6 and CX-9 and delivers a peak 250 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, on 93-octane fuel (227 hp with 87-octane fuel). Those numbers should provide plenty of poke in the smaller CX-5, especially lower in the rev range.

Still available for 2019 is the previous year's naturally aspirated 2.5-liter inline-4. It features fuel-saving cylinder-deactivation technology and delivers 187 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque.

A six-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive are standard while all-wheel drive is available.

2019 Mazda CX-5

2019 Mazda CX-5

The other big piece of news is the introduction of the G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus) handling feature. This is an enhancement of the G-Vectoring Control system that debuted in 2016, which is designed to improve traction during cornering by controlling the vertical load on each axle by varying engine torque. GVC Plus goes a step further by adding braking function into the mix.

As the driver steers out of a corner by returning the steering wheel to the center position, GVC Plus applies the brakes on the outer wheels, providing a stabilizing moment that helps restore the vehicle to straight line running. This helps stability during sudden maneuvers like swerving to avoid an object. Mazda said the system also provides a reassuring feeling of control when changing lanes on the highway and when driving on snow or other slippery road surfaces.

The design of the updated CX-5 remains unchanged, which is a good thing considering the SUV is one of the best lookers on the market. There are new colors for some of the wheels and inside there are new designs for some of the switches.

2019 Mazda CX-5

2019 Mazda CX-5

Finally, Mazda has added a range-topping Signature trim that comes standard with high-quality materials such as Nappa leather, real woodgrain decorative panels, a leather steering wheel, and a black headliner. The Signature trim also gets some extra tech including a surround-view camera monitoring system and a 7.0-inch display in the instrument cluster. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration remains available.

The 2019 Mazda CX-5 starts sales this fall. Pricing hasn't been announced but the starting figure should come in close to the 2018 model's $24k figure. Mazda also hasn't mentioned availability of the CX-5's 2.2-liter turbocharged inline-4 diesel offered overseas.

We should see Mazda present the vehicle at the 2018 Los Angeles auto show, which starts November 28. The automaker also plans to use the show for the debut of its redesigned Mazda 3 sedan and hatch.

For more on the Mazda CX-5, read the in-depth reviews over at The Car Connection.