Mazda CX-5 review - hands-on
Posted on 19 Jun 2013 at 09:14, by Andrew Unsworth
The all-new Mazda CX-5 is Mazda’s first foray in to the burgeoning compact SUV market, but this isn’t just another ‘me-too’ saloon-on-stilts. Mazda has imbued the CX-5 with SkyActiv technology, which is Mazda’s term for its collection performance-enhancing and environmentally friendly features. The CX-5 is completely new and nothing has been carried over from previous models..
To sample the fruit of this new technology, we drove a 2WD 2.2-litre diesel variant through Skye and the highlands, and the blustery, torrential weather was perfect for experiencing the CX-5’s road-handling and safety features.
The all-new Mazda CX-5
Starting the car is easy, and involves nothing more than depressing the clutch and pushing the Start button. The first thing that struck us was the quietness of its diesel engine, and the relative serenity of Mazda’s new powerplant was to impress us throughout our time with it. The second thing was the immense cabin. With the driver’s seat in a realistic driving position, we were able to sit behind it and still stretch our legs out. The boot has a 503-litre capacity that can be fully utilized due to its straight sides and flat floor, but drop the rear seats and the capacity increases to a massive 1,620 litres.
The Mazda CX-5 has a spacious interior
We found the driving position comfortable, even after many hundreds of miles. The seats had more spring to them than we’re used to, but that suits a car such as this, and they were comfortable, with good lumbar and lateral support. Thankfully, Mazda has given the CX-5 a relatively small steering wheel, which increased comfort but didn’t obscure the instruments in front of us either.
Controlling the multimedia system is easy with the CX-5's steering wheel
Driving it was just as natural, and its diesel engine pulled away quickly and continued to provide positive amounts of power smoothly as we accelerated to 60mph. It feels like a large saloon car to drive, and this is helped in no small part by its heavy power steering. This is great when driving around town or parking because you can just throw it in to reverse and quickly manoeuvre the CX-5 in to a space, but we felt it could afford to be lighter when driving at speed.
The CX-5’s new 6-speed gearbox further increases its driving comfort. Mazda is proud of its MX-5 gearbox and wanted the CX-5 to have the same short-throw feel enjoyed by the MX-5. As a result, the CX-5 has a 45mm throw that feels more, but not exactly, like the MX-5’s. Mazda claims that its new thinking and modern approach to gearbox engineering has resulted in a "box with a reduced number of moving parts, a 3Kg weight reduction and a one per cent increase in fuel economy". One thing’s for sure, gear changes are smooth, precise and remind us of the last-gen Toyota Celica’s gear shift, which is a good thing.
The CX-5's 45mm throw gives gear changes a more sporty feel
Its great visibility and large wing mirrors mean that it feels smaller than it actually is. Its handling is superb for such a large car, and we had no problem or scary moments zooming our way across single-track highland roads in wet conditions. Mazda has strived to create a car that’s as lightweight as it can be within its economic constraints, and the use of high-tensile steel no doubt helps it feel lithe and nimble.
Unfortunately, its positive and confidence-inspiring handling means you’re likely to forget about its weight and step-on a bit, right up until something pulls out in front of you. Thankfully, the CX-5’s powerful and responsive brakes soon bring you to a halt. Indeed, each CX-5 is fitted with a superb feature called Smart City Brake Support (SCBS), which helps avoid low-speed collisions if you’re momentarily distracted. We put SCBS to the test by driving in to a large obstacle at 15mph. Our instincts told us to slam our foot on the brake pedal as we got closer to the object and nothing happened, but the CX-5 came to a controlled and abrupt stop before we’d even finished our first Hail Mary.
V good review. The CX-5 is a very important milestone for the future of Mazda in the UK - indeed, worldwide. It's a stonking SUV which should comfortably earn a place in any top three SUV shortlist. Hop over to my report on the pre-launch CX-5 VIP Preview Day held at Goodwood recently. And do yourself a huge favour - arrange a test drive soonest - in fact, ask for a '24-hour live-with' to get a proper feel for the car, on roads you use every day http://waynesworldautobloguk.wordpress.com/2012/05
By WaynesWorldAutoBlogUK on 6 Jun 2012
my 7505 review
I've owned this vehicle since April. It now has 7505 miles on it. The following is my experience with this CX5 Grand Touring FWD. Mazda, the Tom Tom navigation system is a HUGE disappointment. I've updated the maps (twice) using Tom Tom home (which one must be able to do on their own home computer- you out of luck if you’re not tech savvy), and it factory reset 4 time ( based on the recommendation of the Tom Tom support staff) This hasn’t helped. The GPS has lead me down dead end roads, constantly lost the GPS signal in the middle of a route, routed traffic the absolutely longest route possible, instructed me to turn with no road, jumped off the route into neighborhoods along the interstate and navigated thru neighborhoods I’d rather have not visited. The navigation system has limited ability to zoom out so one could see a “short cut” or the way to the nears main road. Once zoomed out, it loses the small roads. It has been in the Mazda shop twice. Today, they are putting a new antenna on the vehicle. I no longer trust the navigation system, (which is one reason I bought this vehicle) . I keep my Droid phone available and a paper map. This was never an issue when I owned a Honda Touring Van- with maps on it from 2007. Next, when programing the GSP ( BECAUSE OF SAFETY LOCK IT CAN ONLY BE PROGRAMED WHEN THE VEHICLE IS NOT IN MOTION) this is a HUGE safety issue for me. At times, I just want to get out of a neighborhood. I’ve learned don’t keep driving somewhere I don’t know, however, stopping is not such a good plan either. While programing the GPS, the air conditioner vent freezes my hand. There is no back air, so people sitting in the back seat are forced to sweat while the air is turned off, or the one programming the GSP must take breaks to warm their hands to keep them from freezing. The driver’s seat has clips which are supposed to hold the leather material clipped to the underneath side of the seat. These clips continually come unattached causing the seat material to slide around. This will have to be replaced. There is no arm rest for the driver’s seat right side. The left arm can use the door. I’ve had to use a pillow to support my arm on long trips. Obviously I have driven quite a bit since late April with 7505 miles and my first oil change yesterday. A back light at the hatchback would be MOST helpful while loading and unloading at night. The little lights in the front and middle do not offer enough light for the rear of the car. My tire sensor has gone off, indicating a low tire. Which one?? Who knows! There is no indication of which tire, so each and every tire must be checked. The mechanic who checked it in a small town in northern Arkansas said each tire had exactly the specified air. Mazda hooked it up to the computer and I was told that my tire was low, however it was fine now. I added no air, and did not have the tires rotated (which may cause a problem I’ was told). But now, miraculously, the air has been restored. I wonder if there is a faulty sensor? Gas mileage has been between 26 and 30 in the city (I have lots of hills here) and 30 – 33 on the highway. It takes a little umph to get this car moving to pass. These are all little things – except the navigation system-. I love my heated seats, automatic garage door opener, the sporty style, the amazing rocking sound system and the overall drive. Would I buy it again…. Maybe
By Monica123 on 6 Jul 2012
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