Road Test: Mazda CX-5 – a car for all sea­sons

Bray People - - MOTORING EXTRA - DAVID TUCKER

WITH a string of ac­co­lades to its name, Mazda’s CX-5 is clearly mak­ing all the right noises.

In the CX-5, Mazda have a car for all sea­sons. It’s Green, but pow­er­ful, it’s sporty but not at the ex­pense of com­fort , it’s packed with good ideas and high lev­els of stan­dard equip­ment and it def­i­nitely has a shapely fig­ure.

In the past year, it took the Car of the Year award in Ja­pan and re­cently took ‘What Car’s’ Green SUV ti­tle.

The What Car? Green Awards are de­cided by the mag­a­zine's ed­i­to­rial team, who de­scribed the SUV's 2.2-litre 150 PS SKYAC­TIVD diesel en­gine as its “stand-out fea­ture de­liv­er­ing strong per­for­mance and ex­cep­tional econ­omy.”

The CX-5 of­fers a very as­sured con­fi­dent drive and true to its billing,, the diesel en­gine was quiet, re­fined and felt as if it could pull a train.

Fuel con­sump­tion dur­ing my week­end road test was ex­cel­lent, with the CX-5 de­liv­er­ing more than 55 mpg over w die va­ri­ety of road con­di­tions and at vary­ing speeds.

The CX-5 was pro­vided for road test by Mat­tie Gran­nell, from Mazda deal­ers Granell Mo­tors, in Wex­ford.

Last June, the CX-5 was crowned 'Best Cross­over' in the 2012 Auto Ex­press New Car Awards for its ‘…space, qual­ity and style with a great drive and in­cred­i­ble ef­fi­ciency.’

Mazda says the CX-5 marks the dawn­ing of a new era for Mazda. It is the first of a new gen­er­a­tion of ve­hi­cles, a com­pact cross­over SUV that em­bod­ies a bal­ance be­tween the best of all worlds: fun, safety and sus­tain­abil­ity, all in a very com­pelling package.

The CX- 5 sym­bol­ises the lat­est ad­vance­ment to the com­pany's fo­cus on Jinba It­tai, the feel­ing of one­ness be­tween car and driver known from the leg­endary MX-5.

Well, I must say I felt at home in the CX-5. It pro­vided a great driv­ing en­vi­ron­ment - per­haps a lit­tle of Mazda’s soul of mo­tion ac­tu­ally rubbed off.

As the first Mazda to fea­ture the en­tire range of brand-new SKYACTIV tech­nol­ogy for more ef­fi­cient, more fun and more en­vi­ron­men­tally-friendly light­weight cars, the CX-5 paves the way for a new gen­er­a­tion of Mazda ve­hi­cles. Devel­oped us­ing Mazda's dis­tinc­tive break­through ap­proach to ve­hi­cle de­sign, en­gi­neer­ing and man­u­fac­tur­ing, SKYACTIV's cre­ators suc­cess­fully re­solved con­flict­ing ob­jec­tives to come up with a line of en­gines, trans­mis­sions, bod­ies and chas­sis that of­fer cus­tomers a new level of value.

De­vel­op­ers of this spe­cial new model fo­cused on four key val­ues. Hence the CX-5's ap­peal­ing, de­sign as well as its in­te­rior func­tion­al­ity and crafts­man­ship. Sus­tain­abil­ity, too, was a top pri­or­ity, both in terms of the ve­hi­cle's en­vi­ron­men­tal im­print as well as safety. The re­mark­ably re­spon­sive yet pre­dictable driv­ing dy­nam­ics, fi­nally, were oblig­a­tory for Mazda's lat­est model. A look un­der the CX-5's bon­net will re­veal one of three high-ef­fi­ciency four-cylin­der en­gines - two diesels and one petrol pow­er­plant - paired with sixspeed man­ual or au­to­matic trans­mis­sions in ei­ther four-wheel drive (AWD) or front-wheel drive (FWD) for­mat*. What­ever the com­bi­na­tion, all CX-5 models fea­ture i-stop, Mazda's unique fuel-sav­ing idle-stop sys­tem pro­vid­ing the world's fastest restarts.

SKYACTIV en­gines are about mak­ing in­ter­nal com­bus­tion as ef­fec­tive as pos­si­ble. There are two adap­ta­tions of the 2.2-litre SKYACTIV-D: a stan­dard power diesel pro­duc­ing 110 kW/150 PS at 4,500 rpm and 380 Nm of torque in the 1,800-2,600rpm range, and a high power ver­sion (AWD only) putting out 129 kW/175 PS at 4,500 rpm and a for­mi­da­ble 420 Nm at 2,000 rpm. To­gether with the 6-speed SKYACTIV-MT man­ual trans­mis­sion, the lat­ter ac­cel­er­ates the CX-5 from a stand­still to 100 km/h in only 8.8 sec­onds, reach­ing a top speed of 207 km/h. Cou­pled with a SKYACTIV-Drive au­to­matic, this high-power AWD diesel com­pletes the 0-100 sprint in 9.4 sec­onds and tops out at 204 km/h.

The CX-5 with stan­dard power SKYACTIV-D and man­ual gear­box, mean­while, reaches 100 km/h in 9.2 sec­onds (FWD) and 9.4 sec­onds ( AWD), while the au­to­matic does so in 10.0 sec­onds (FWD) and 10.2 sec­onds (AWD). Top speeds for the man­ual are 202 km/h (FWD) and 197 km/h (AWD), or 198 km/h (FWD) and 194 km/h (AWD) for the au­to­matic.

But de­spite their ex­traor­di­nar­ily wide-rang­ing torque and im­pres­sive per­for­mance, SKYACTIV-D en­gines are ex­cep­tion­ally clean and eco­nom­i­cal diesels. In fact, both ver­sions meet Euro 6 emis­sions cri­te­ria (al­most three years be­fore they take ef­fect) with­out pricey ex­haust af­tertreat­ment sys­tems. The se­cret is their ul­tra-low com­pres­sion ra­tio, light­weight de­sign and vari­able twin tur­bocharger (pro­vid­ing max­i­mum boost pres­sure of 2.7 bar), to name just a few of the clever con­cepts that went into th­ese en­gines.

The CX-5's unique SKYACTIV pow­er­trains de­liver all the qual­i­ties that make a ve­hi­cle fun to drive and to own: more torque, bet­ter re­spon­sive­ness and bet­ter fuel econ­omy. It is the lat­est edi­tion of Sus­tain­able Zoom-Zoom.

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