HIGH FIVE

Mazda re­news and re­fines top-sell­ing CX-5 with added fea­tures new Tour­ing model

Geelong Advertiser - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE -

MAZDA has re­newed and re­fined its vol­ume­selling mid-sized CX-5 SUV as the com­pany digs in to con­tinue car’s four-year stint as Aus­tralia’s top-sell­ing ve­hi­cle in class. First launched 2012, “next-gen’’ CX-5 that hit the roads ear­lier this year fea­tured many im­prove­ments in­side and out, and ad­di­tion of a new model to the range in all-wheel-drive Tour­ing spec­i­fi­ca­tion, which sits be­tween Maxx Sport GT, is avail­able with petrol or diesel en­gines. The 2.5-litre can be yours for $43,327 drive away the 2.2-litre diesel, which we are re­view­ing here, for $46,113. In ad­di­tion to fea­tures found in the Maxx Sport, Tour­ing adds body colour-coded power-mir­rors, a flip-up ac­tive driv­ing dis­play, black suede and “Maz­tex’’ seat trim, ad­vanced key­less en­try, front park­ing sen­sors and traf­fic sign recog­ni­tion. Blind spot mon­i­tor in­di­ca­tors are stan­dard as are a host of other safety fea­tures, in­clud­ing the rear-cross alert, which warns ap­proach­ing cars when re­vers­ing from a park­ing space or drive­way. The CX-5 comes equipped with six airbags and has five-star ANCAP safety rat­ing. De­sign changes to the 2017 car fol­low Mazda’s KODO “soul of mo­tion” de­sign phi­los­o­phy rep­re­sent­ing what com­pany says is “bold­ness, el­e­gance and ma­tu­rity’’. Or, put sim­ply, a new grille, com­bi­na­tion head­lamps al­loy de­sign. The nose has been squared off, which gives the CX-5 a more ag­gres­sive ap­pear­ance from front-on and so side, but the car re­tains its good looks pro­por­tions, which have no doubt played a big role in pop­u­lar­ity to date.

Mazda again plays to its strengths with the cabin de­tail that looks and feels not far off a pres­tige ex­pe­ri­ence. There is no over­whelm­ing mish­mash of switches con­trols, with a sen­si­ble, re­fined lay­out.

Dual-zone cli­mate con­trol of­fers driver and pas­sen­ger their own tem­per­a­ture con­trols op­er­ated by large di­als with easy-toread dig­i­tal dis­plays. In­fo­tain­ment menus and func­tions are ac­cessed via a ro­tat­ing dial in the cen­tre con­sole, which also houses tra­di­tional vol­ume con­trols the elec­tric park-brake and auto-hold switches.

The CX-5 has rear seat air vents, dig­i­tal ra­dio (DAB+), USB au­dio in­put, Blue­tooth, cuphold­ers plenty of stor­age bins — it’s a good pack­age with high-qual­ity fin­ish.

Mov­ing all this about is Mazda’s “Sky­ac­tiv-d’’ pow­er­train a 2.2 litre four cylinder tur­bocharged diesel mated to sixspeed au­to­matic (with sport mode). The diesel pro­duces 129kW and 420Nm of torque, and fea­tures great deal in­no­va­tion.

Mazda en­gi­neers point out that the diesel has a nat­u­ral sound-smoother nat­u­ral sound fre­quency con­trol, re­duc­ing sup­press­ing knock­ing noise for a smoother and qui­eter drive.

On the road there’s no rea­son to dis­agree — CX-5 sounds and drives like petrol equiv­a­lent un­less you re­ally press the 2.2 hard, Mazda shines with am­ple doses of power torque, with, of course, added ben­e­fit of a longer tour­ing range thanks diesel.

claims com­bined fuel con­sump­tion 6.0 litres/100km, which means you will be fill­ing up, on av­er­age, about ev­ery 950km or so, is pretty good if you’re trav­el­ling high kilo­me­tres in your daily driver.

The CX-5 han­dles well and feels smaller than it re­ally is, re­sult­ing in a more sportier and nim­ble ex­pe­ri­ence.

Tour­ing spec gets 17-inch al­loy wheels. Geelong Mazda sales ex­ec­u­tive Mark Rear­don says the in­tro­duc­tion of the Tour­ing model has ap­peal for buy­ers want­ing a few more treats added safety value.

“The model is aimed squarely at owner who look­ing to up­grade from Maxx Sport and is for that lit­tle ex­tra re­fine­ment the lat­est safety equip­ment,’’ Mark said.

“And peo­ple may have a dif­fer­ent make of SUV who be look­ing to up­grade,

Mazda CX-5 Tour­ing of­fers host of stan­dard fea­tures that takes you to the next level of re­fine­ment and crafts­man­ship in a stun­ning new de­sign.’’

Ac­cord­ing to Mark, brand loy­alty is also big con­sid­er­a­tion.

“A part our busi­ness pre­vi­ous own­ers up­grad­ing also fam­ily mem­bers fol­low­ing suit and, as the slo­gan says, ‘your first Mazda won’t be your last’,” he said. “If you do a lot of driv­ing and kilo­me­tres,

can’t go past Sky­ac­tiv diesel engine, from the power fuel ef­fi­ciency to the new tech­nol­ogy that smooths sound re­duces

diesel knock­ing noise. My favourite fea­ture is fit and fin­ish, and safety sys­tems Mazda pack­age as stan­dard.’’

Boot space in CX-5 is good, but not cav­ernous at 442 litres, prob­a­bly ad­e­quate for most tasks lug­gage ca­pac­ity. Fold the 40/20/40 rear seats down and that space grows to 1342 litres.

The lived up to its strong rep­u­ta­tion dur­ing our week­end test is a prac­ti­cal, very com­fort­able mid-size fam­ily hauler with a classy feel and fin­ish. The diesel was pleas­ant sur­prise I sus­pect pop­u­lar pick.

“If you do a lot of driv­ing and kilo­me­tres, you can’t go past the Sky­ac­tiv diesel for power ef­fi­ciency.” GEELONG MAZDA SALES EX­EC­U­TIVE, MARK REAR­DON

MAZDA CX-5 TOUR­ING AWD DIESEL Engine: 2.2litre 4-cylinder in­ter­cooled turbo Trans­mis­sion: Six-speed au­to­matic Econ­omy: 6.0litres/100km com­bined (claimed) Price: $46,113 drive­away War­ranty: Three years/un­lim­ited kilo­me­tres

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