Mazda CX-5 up­grades in­tro­duced

Southern Telegraph - - Motoring - Ewan Kennedy

Never a com­pany to fol­low main­stream think­ing, Mazda has just in­tro­duced a se­ries of fas­ci­nat­ing en­gi­neer­ing changes to Aus­tralia’s most pop­u­lar SUV, the Mazda CX-5.

Aus­tralia is highly re­garded by Mazda so the pro­gram man­ager for the CX-5, Hideki Mat­suoka, flew to Aus­tralia to in­tro­duce the up­graded model.

He ex­plained per­for­mance and ef­fi­ciency had been sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved across all en­gine grades.

We have car­ried out an ex­ten­sive drive pro­gram out of Can­berra to ex­am­ine two of these sig­nif­i­cantly up­rated en­gines, the 2.2 diesel and 2.5 petrol.

Sky­ac­tiv-D 2.2-litre diesel

En­gine now has a two-stage twin-tur­bocharger with vari­able tur­bine ge­om­e­try to in­crease max­i­mum power out­put from 129kW to 140kW and max­i­mum torque from 420Nm to 450Nm.

We found the en­gine to have more turbo lag than we like but to have a huge amount of grunt once the frus­trat­ing early stage had passed. Plan ahead cor­rectly and you can safely over­take with plenty of road to spare.

Thanks also go to the au­to­matic trans­mis­sion as it is quick to sense the driver wants ac­tion and changes down a gear or two.

Hill-climb­ing is ridicu­lously easy thanks to that huge torque.

There’s typ­i­cal diesel en­gine noise at idle but it’s barely heard out­side the CX-5 and once you're cruis­ing, it’s all but silent.

Sky­ac­tiv-G 2.5-litre petrol

This big four-cylin­der petrol en­gine now has cylin­der de­ac­ti­va­tion to make it ef­fec­tively a two-cylin­der unit un­der gen­tle cruis­ing.

Mazda has mea­sured con­sump­tion when at a con­stant 40km/h to be low­ered by about 20 per cent, and by 5 per cent at a con­stant 80km/h.

Mazda has al­ways been scrupu­lously hon­est with us in the past and we see no rea­son to doubt these numbers. Over­all fuel con­sump- tion on our high­way run­ning on the Can­berra trip sat in the seven to eight litres per 100km range, pleas­ingly low for an SUV in this class. There was no sense of when the CX-5 was run­ning on four cylin­ders or two.

Cruis­ing in our topline CX-5 Ak­era was quiet and lux­u­ri­ous.

As part of the up­grade, the Ak­era now has a 360-de­gree view mon­i­tor that can be used in park­ing, even in tight driv­ing con­di­tions at low speeds. There are 12 mod­els in the Mazda CX-5 range: three Maxx, three Maxx Sport, and two each of the Tour­ing, GT and Ak­era grades.

Per­for­mance and ef­fi­ciency have been sig­nif­i­cantly im­proved across all en­gine grades.

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