A con­vinc­ing all-rounder

Herald Sun - Motoring - - FIVE THINGS - Peter Barn­well

1for It isn’t top of the seg­ment noth­ing

With a sales of about 1600 a month, Mazda’s hand­some CX-5 medium size SUV is well clear of the com­pe­ti­tion year to date. The range top­ping Ak­era diesel ac­counts for only about 10 per cent of CX-5 sales but has all fea­tures as stan­dard, in­clud­ing a full suite of ad­vanced driveras­sist mea­sures such as lane de­par­ture warn­ing, au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing and radar cruise con­trol. Lux­ury items in­clude Bose au­dio and leather up­hol­stery. Mazda’s in­fo­tain­ment set-up streams your phone on a large touch screen. Its ef­fi­cient diesel en­gine adds to a con­vinc­ing ar­gu­ment.

2It’s Re­cent up­grades lift the bar

been around since 2012 and a new model CX-5 will be un­veiled at next week’s Los An­ge­les mo­tor show. The cur­rent model’s up­date early last year im­proved dy­nam­ics through sus­pen­sion and steer­ing up­grades, re­duced noise and vi­bra­tion into the cabin and added driver as­sist tech­nol­ogy. The all-wheel-drive set-up gen­er­ates less fric­tion to save fuel and adap­tive LED head­lights im­prove vi­sion at night.

3fuel It‘s wide of the claimed con­sump­tion fig­ure

We couldn’t get near the claimed 5.7L/100km. The best was 6.8L — still pretty good, giv­ing a tour­ing range of about 840km from the 58L tank. All the fea­tures in Ak­era add up to a 1700kg kerb weight which ex­acts a toll on fuel econ­omy.

4ar­mour It has some chinks in the

The test car’s front park­ing radar was spo­rad­i­cally on the blink. It doesn’t have rear air­con out­lets, which came as a big sur­prise. No elec­tric tail­gate or auto open­ing and no seven-seat op­tion. Ser­vic­ing over three years comes in at $1620 for four ser­vices. A Toy­ota RAV4 costs $1080 over the same pe­riod for six ser­vices.

5and It’s the right fit for mums dads in Aus­tralia

It’s no sur­prise that medium SUV sales are boom­ing — they suit so many buy­ers. The CX-5 isn’t too big for city park­ing yet there’s room for four adults plus lug­gage. A bi­cy­cle fits eas­ily with the rear seats folded. The clever 40-20-40 func­tion folds them flat into the floor to open up load space of 1500L-plus. Large doors make ac­cess easy. The Ak­era has gen­er­ous lux­ury and safety equip­ment and is easy to drive, thanks in part to a high front seat­ing po­si­tion with ex­cel­lent out­ward vi­sion.

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