MAZDA CX-5 IS A REMINDER OF HOW GOOD CARS CAN LOOK IF DESIGN AND ENGINEERING GO HAND-IN-HAND.
Mazda is one of the automotive industry’s last mainstream carmakers that engineers cars with its eyes. Its design team led by Ikuo Maeda has produced a wealth of stunning designs in recent years. But while the spotlight is often fixated on concepts like the Rx-vision and the Vision Coupe, the CX-5 stands out as one of the most elegant yet visually provocative cars to wear Mazda’s winged emblem. Not bad for a production SUV assembled in Kulim.
In Malaysia, the CX-5’S leading engine is a diesel, which isn’t as glamorous as the way it looks. Diesel engines aren’t the first things to come to mind in terms of driving refinement, but Mazda’s low-compression unit is an impressively refined engine capable of delivering 420Nm from just 2,000rpm.
The torque-rich engine gives the CX-5 a pair of quick feet to match its aerodynamic exterior. And from behind the wheel, it’s also clear the engineers have stayed true to Mazda’s driver-prioritising Jinba Ittai philosophy, with the sporty steering, smooth-shifting six-speed auto and G-vectoring Control (GVC) system working in tandem for a thoroughly rewarding driving experience.
An eager and effortless powertrain strapped into an SUV frame that’s really more sports sedan at heart makes for one of the more entertaining cars to drive in the soccer mom catalogue. The CX-5 has the edge over the CR-V and other segment rivals here without a doubt. But there is some trade-off in ride comfort, no thanks to its lovely 19-inch footwear. The cabin’s a little cosier too. At least you don’t feel short-changed by a car that should have come with seven seats instead of five.
Tech-wise, the i-activsense safety suite consisting of Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Smart City Brake Support, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Driver Attention Alert and Adaptive LED headlights makes the real difference between the new CX-5 and the old. We’re talking about semi-autonomous features at the level of Mercedes-benz and Volvo, which is quite a big deal for a sub-rm200k car.
The grace with which Mazda has incorporated these features into an SUV as visually appealing and dynamically gifted as the CX-5 helps it stand out in a cutthroat segment with many credible contenders. Local distributor Bermaz knows this, and is trying to divert more traffic its way with a three-year free maintenance package to complement the CX-5’S five-year factory warranty. It’s certainly another thing to consider before penning the dotted line for the SUV of your choice, turbodiesel or not. This sleek Mazda will tempt you either way.