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New CX-5 moves up a level

Created on 05/06/2018 @ 09:11

Test Drive by Graham Breeze

The CX-5 will always be remembered as a landmark car in Mazda history, having introduced SKYACTIV technology and the brand’s new KODO design theme.

The most recent CX-5 has moved things upwards with a notable nod to improved safety, bodyline design, cabin quality and a new air of sophistication.

The CX-5 is a very important car in the Mazda family. With global sales topping 1.5miliion in the last year it accounts for over 25% of the company’s overall volume, with over 35,000 sold in the UK since the 2012 launch.

The previous CX-5 was good but this second-generation model is even better adding more comfort and quality, better handling, more technology than you will ever need and now a genuine opponent for the likes of VW Tiguan.

Available in two highly-specified trim levels, the ten model UK range starts at just £23,695. Both Mazda’s SKYACTIV-MT six-speed manual and SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed automatic transmissions feature in the range, as does the latest generation of Mazda’s intelligent i-ACTIV all-wheel drive (AWD) system.

Powered by a familiar range of SKYACTIV engines, the 2.0-litre 165ps SKYACTIV-G petrol engine is available in SE-L Nav and Sport Nav trim and is offered exclusively with front-wheel drive and Mazda’s six-speed SKYACTIV-MT manual gearbox.

Making up the bulk of the range, the popular 2.2-litre 150ps SKYACTIV-D diesel is available with front-wheel drive and i-ACTIV AWD and comes with a choice of SKYACTIV-MT or SKYACTIV-Drive gearbox.

Sitting at the top of the range, the flagship 2.2-litre 175ps SKYACTIV-D, which we tested, comes exclusively in Sport Nav trim and is equipped with Mazda’s i-ACTIV AWD, and like the lower output diesel, can be matched to either automatic or manual transmission.

The initial warm reception to the new arrival turned to a distinct glow when CX-5 was awarded the maximum five-star safety rating by Euro NCAP. The news was a huge endorsement for the Mazda design team’s concentration on passive and active safety levels.

CX-5 is equipped with advanced and innovative i-ACTIVSENSE driver-supporting safety technologies that deliver class-leading active safety performance. As you’d expect the all-new CX-5’s high strength SKYACTIV-BODY also ensures passive safety is exemplary.

There are six airbags – dual front, side airbags and full-length curtain, while three-point seatbelts with pre-tensioners and load limiters and ISOFIX child seat anchor points equip the left and right rear seats, completing the standard safety package.

Holes and cut-outs within the bonnet reinforcements create an easily crushable structure that helps mitigate injury to a pedestrian‘s head in the event of an accident. In addition, the cowl panel employs an S-shaped structural cross-section that acts like a spring to help better absorb energy.

N-Cap testers were also impressed by the energy-absorbing foam placed within the front bumper to help limit the degree of injury to a pedestrian‘s legs, while a lower bumper stiffener helps prevent the legs from sliding under the front of the car.

An £800 option on Sport Nav Diesel models, Mazda’s Safety Pack adds a host of active safety features including Adaptive LED Headlights, Mazda’s Lane-keep Assist System with Driver Attention Alert, Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Rear Smart City Brake Support.

In addition, the 175ps Sport Nav Auto on test came with Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC) with Stop and Go function. Measuring the relative speed and distance of the vehicle ahead it automatically controls the engine and brakes to maintain the appropriate vehicle speed and optimum following distance.

Prices start at around £25,000 but with the extras on board the 2.2D 175PS Sport Nav AWD on test would set you back closer to £35,000 thanks to an assortment of options, including even more safety options.

For that money you get a top speed of 129mph, 0-62 in 9 seconds, over 50mpg on the combined cycle and CO2 emission levels of 142g/km.

This Mazda not only looks the part it produces the goods too and is well worth a test drive as a real option in the busy Crossover sector.


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