Winter Warrior – A Gripping Tale Of Life With Mazda’s CX-5
Andy Harris, Motoring and Property Editor
The current Mazda range is one of my favourites. Each model impresses and competes with the best in class.
The MX-5 has long been the default choice for anyone looking for open-top fun at an affordable price, whilst the Mazda2 takes on the best-selling Fiesta and puts up a good fight, offering big car comfort in a diminutive package.
Mazda3 and 6 models cater well for the family market and not to be left behind in the all-important SUV race are the CX-3 and CX-5 models.
The CX-5 was the oldest model in the range and its arrival back in 2012 heralded the start of Mazda’s innovative SKYACTIV technologies, centring on three areas – sophisticated lightweight chassis technology, advanced engines and highly efficient six-speed manual and automatic gearboxes.
An important car for Mazda, the CX-5 accounts for around 25 per cent of the company’s global sales and to date over 30,000 have been sold in the UK.
The second generation CX-5 went on sale back in June and from the outside you would be hard-pressed to tell what is new, though look closer and the sharper front-end design, sleeker sides and lower roof line are there to see. Mazda clearly felt a more radical look was not required and I suspect they are right.
The spacious interior will delight all on board with space to sprawl. Material quality has undoubtedly improved and for the driver, the cockpit ergonomics have been improved to enhance the driving experience.
A ten model range is on offer with prices starting at £23,695, higher than some of the competition. However, the two available trim levels are both brimming with equipment.
SE-L Nav models feature dual-zone climate control, DAB radio, LED headlights and a 7” colour touch-screen display with Mazda’s integrated satellite navigation.
Sport Nav models (an extra £3,000) add such niceties as leather seats, Smart key entry, reversing camera, plus heated front seats and steering wheel. For the first time, Mazda is also offering a power tailgate and head-up display – both very useful.
On test here is the flagship of the CX-5 range which is powered by Mazda’s 175PS 2.2-litre SKYACTIV diesel engine. All-wheel drive is standard as is a slick six speed manual gearbox. A smooth shifting automatic gearbox is a £2,000 option.
Mazda are aiming the CX-5 at the premium end of the SUV market and as such have paid great attention to reducing noise and vibration within the cabin. The result is successful and even at high speed there is very little wind or road noise to disturb.
All CX-5 models offer a comfortable ride and with a 15% increase in body rigidity, the car handles the twisty stuff in a safe and controlled manner.
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As I have already mentioned, wind and road noise are noticeable by their absence and the car tracks straight and true even in strong cross winds. At this price adaptive cruise control would be nice, but I suppose you cannot have everything!
Mazda quote 54.3mpg for the combined cycle with my average for the test period being a quite reasonable 42mpg.
During my last few days with the CX-5, my part of Yorkshire was blanketed snow – a chance to fully test the all-wheel drive system. Let’s just say that a snow covered hill or a muddy farm track presented no obstacle.
However, when the going got tough the Mazda was found a little wanting, the summer tyres failing to cope with lots of compacted ice and snow.
The moral of the tale here is that winter tyres are what most rural motorists should aspire to as they not only provide greater traction but more importantly better stopping power.
Overall the new CX-5 is a much improved car and can compete with the best in class. Whether the extra spend on all-wheel drive is worthwhile will come down of course to personal choice. Better traction all year round is the upside, but higher fuel consumption and the price premium are the negatives.
Your friendly Mazda dealer will run you through the options, but as an example, put down a deposit of £5,878 and a CX-5 can be on your driveway for just £249 per month (37 month agreement – APR 3.9%, with optional final payment).
Fast Facts (as tested)
Mazda CX-5 2.2D 175PS Sport Nav AWD
175PS 2,191cc diesel engine
0-62mph in 8.8 seconds
Top speed 126mph
Combined economy 54.3mph
Emissions – 142g/km CO2
Insurance Group 21E
Max braked towing capacity – 2,000kg
Warranty – 60,000 miles/36 months
Winter Warrior – A Gripping Tale Of Life With Mazda’s CX-5, 11th December 2017, 9:05 AM