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Daily Star - - Motormouth -

FOR all the right rea­sons I loved the new Mazda CX-5.

But for all the right rea­sons, I couldn’t wait to give it back. I didn’t want to be seen in it.

Writ­ing about cars has sud­denly be­come a lot more dif­fi­cult.

Should I re­ally be prais­ing an emis­sions mon­ster that’s slowly killing the planet?

Or should I ig­nore the storm about petrol and diesel that seems to have erupted as quickly as turn­ing on a light, even though ev­ery­one’s known about it for years.

De­mand

In Bri­tain it’ll be il­le­gal to sell diesel and petrol-pow­ered cars in 2040 and by then no­body will make them any­way, such will be the de­mand for hy­dro­gen and elec­tric cars.

China and In­dia want to ban them even ear­lier, by 2030. Surely that em­bargo will be world­wide just 10 years later.

Should you buy a CX-5 right now? Well if you need a huge 15ft long, 5ft 6in high ve­hi­cle, with a colos­sal boot that ex­tends to six feet with the rear seats folded flat, along with four-wheel-drive, I’d say yes if you’re that des­per­ate for space and you ac­tu­ally do THEY say you’re not a true petrol­head un­til you’ve owned an Alfa Romeo, so I want one. What can £5k get me? Start­ing off small, we’ve found a rare Alfa 147 Clover­leaf Du­cati Corse Q2 with 54,000 miles for £4,500.

It looks to be in beau­ti­ful con­di­tion and the car it­self is reg­is­tered to the Alfa Romeo drive off road. Mind you, if you keep it for long pre­pare for a shock when it’s time to sell it.

The CX-5 loaned to me was the worst of the lot as far as greens are con­cerned. It was a diesel. Mazda make a 165hp petrol ver­sion and two diesels, with ei­ther 150 or 175hp.

Top speed of my car was 129mph so guess which engine it had?

That’s right, the 175hp an­i­mal with a mas­sive 420Nm (311lb) of torque. No won­der it was so fast.

The speed of the CX-5 takes you by sur­prise. It’s 0-62mph time of 9.0s might not sound quick but its mid-range pick-up is quite dra­matic in a car of its size and makes over­tak­ing a dod­dle.

It’s won­der­fully smooth, cruises at 80mph in what feels like si­lence and is beau­ti­fully kit­ted out with an ex­tremely posh leather in­te­rior, soft-touch trim and black and sil­ver dash­board in­stru­ments.

The seats them­selves are so sup­port­ive and com­fort­able that you re­ally think you’re sit­ting in a Own­ers Club UK. A 2008 model, its 1.9-litre turbo-diesel pro­duces 170hp – enough to send the pocket-sized Alfa from 0-62mph in just 8.0 sec­onds, all the while re­turn­ing 47.9mpg.

It’s got mean­ing­ful equip­ment too, in­clud­ing air-con, sports seats, an MP3 player, Blue­tooth and cruise con­trol.

If you’re af­ter big­ger, how about an Alfa 159? We’ve pri­vate club once you’ve climbed aboard, while rear seat pas­sen­gers get masses of legroom along with their own air-con vents.

I re­ally loved the new CX-5, just as much as I did its pre­de­ces­sor, which it re­placed last June. Its com­bi­na­tion of ride, space and smooth­ness along, of course, with its ter­rific high-up view of lit­tle peo­ple in their lit­tle cars is ir­re­sistible. Well al­most.

Wrong

That’s be­cause ev­ery time I drove it I wor­ried that I was send­ing out all the wrong mes­sages.

Were peo­ple look­ing at the car and think­ing that the self­ish git driv­ing it was poi­son­ing their air and, any­way, no­body needs a car that big?

Well, as it’s nowhere near the size of Godzil­las like the Bent­ley Ben­tayga, Porsche Cayenne, Range Rover or Audi Q7 at least I wasn’t ex­pect­ing to be dragged out of the car and pub­licly lynched by Green­peace mem­bers. found a 2007 model in Lus­sospec, pow­ered by a 200hp 2.4litre turbo-diesel ca­pa­ble of 0-62mph in 9.4 sec­onds and re­turn­ing a claimed 41.5mpg.

As well as a full ser­vice his­tory, the car also boasts a de­cent amount of kit in­clud­ing rear park­ing sen­sors, cruise con­trol, cli­mate con­trol, 17-inch al­loy wheels, all-round elec­tric win­dows and leather up­hol­stery. With 61,000 miles un­der its belt, this eye-catch­ing saloon is yours for £4,650.

We couldn’t com­plete a list of Alfa Romeos with­out hav­ing at least one petrol in the line-up, so we’ve un­earthed a su­per-low-mileage Br­era Coupe for you to con­sider.

Com­ing in with just 37,000 miles on the clock, this 2.2-litre JTS SV model pro­duces 185hp and should be good for 0-62mph in 8.6 sec­onds, with av­er­age econ­omy of 30.1mpg.

Equip­ment in­cludes bi-xenon head­lights, eight-inch al­loy wheels, cli­mate con­trol, cruise con­trol, rear park­ing sen­sors and full-black leather up­hol­stery.

A 2006 model with a six­month seller’s war­ranty, it’s yours for a fiver un­der bud­get.

Your mo­tor­ing ques­tions an­swered by the ex­perts www.park­ers.co.uk Mazda CX-5 175 Sport Nav diesel. PRICE (on the road): £31,250. Range: £23,695-£33,195. ENGINE: 2,191cc, all al­loy, 16-valve, DOHC, turbo (175hp,

420Nm/311lb torque). TOP SPEED: 129mph; 0-62mph: 9.0s. MPG: Ur­ban: 42.2; ex­tra ur­ban: 57.6; com­bined: 52.3. CO2: 142g/km. £140 pa road tax. First year £200. INS GROUP: 22.

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