Thu | Jul 29, 2021

Mazda CX5 – Impresses with SkyActive engine

Published:Sunday | May 23, 2021 | 12:08 AMKareem LaTouche - Automotives Coordinator
Its a 2-litre engine with a six-speed automatic transmission.
Its a 2-litre engine with a six-speed automatic transmission.
For this year’s model the size of the touchscreen has increased from 7” to 10.25”.
For this year’s model the size of the touchscreen has increased from 7” to 10.25”.
There is a toggle to activate Sports mode.
There is a toggle to activate Sports mode.
The CX-5 comes with a rotary knob that controls the infotainment screen.
The CX-5 comes with a rotary knob that controls the infotainment screen.
Nissan X-Trail.
Nissan X-Trail.
Toyota RAV4.
Toyota RAV4.
Honda CR-V.
Honda CR-V.
Kia Sportage.
Kia Sportage.
2021 Mazda CX-5.
2021 Mazda CX-5.
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The first time I drove a CX-5 was in 2013, and the company was eager to show off its SkyActive technology. The vehicle boasted a lightweight engine that was nippy and fuel efficient, which lived up to its hype. But in the back of my mind were two things. The first one was the RX-8, which was a beautifully designed vehicle that was featured in the XMEN movie X2 in 2003. The only drawback was the rotary engines they used. The concept was fascinating and ahead of its time, and when something went wrong with it, very few mechanics knew how to work on the engine.

My second concern was, would the company stick to its commitment of the SkyActive engine? Well it has been close to a decade, and Mazda has remained devoted to this engine. What is most impressive is that the engine has stood the test of time. Like most technology, the proof is in how long it endures under constant usage. Most owners dread the fact of having an engine that is problematic or one for which parts availability is an issue.

Fortunately, this is not the case for Mazda as the company has been very consistent with putting reliable vehicles off their production line. They have also been constantly receiving praise over the years from renowned auto magazine Car and Driver as one of the best SUVs on the market.

Where exterior design is concerned, the vehicle is looking sleek, with the front fascia that has a huge radiator grille that is mostly outlined with chrome. The HID Adaptable Headlamps are much narrower than the previous models, giving the vehicle a more dynamic look overall. The general shape of the vehicle resembles that of past models, which has been favourable with most buyers.

INTERIOR WITH CLASS

For some time now, Mazda has taken a cue from its German companions by keeping their design language simple and sophisticated. The interior is elegant and does not feel overcrowded. There is a rotary knob in the centre console that is intuitive and controls the 10.3” infotainment screen, which is housed in the middle of the dashboard. I suspect that for the next generation, this will be a touchscreen, however, this one works just fine as the knob keeps your hand in a natural position.

There is a geometrical design language, with many of the edges wrapped with soft material, as well as chrome accents, which provides a beautiful contrast to the majority black interior. The centre console consists of two pentagonal a/c vents that sit above the three climate-control knobs. Below these is the gear selector, which has a toggle beside it to activate sports mode.

The model I tested had fabric seats, which I prefer over leather, due to our hot climate. The cushion is comfortable, and it puts the driver in a good position for all-round visibility.

DRIVING EXPERIENCE

Like most SUVs, the platform is shared with a sedan, and in this case it’s the Mazda 3 and Mazda 6. Needless to say it handles very well, with the independent suspension system helping to keep the vehicle firmly on the road even when cornering.

The SkyActive engine really shines as it pertains to effectiveness as the only better fuel consumption you will get is a diesel or hybrid SUV. This is going to be great for the bumper-to-bumper traffic of city life.

The 2-litre engine is naturally aspirated so the acceleration comes on in a gradual manner, with the six-speed transmission finding the right gear for fuel efficiency.

Mazda has done a great job by sticking to its design and performance mantra as the CX-5 has been consistent over the years. It uniquely merges the affordability of a Japanese vehicle with the elegant design of a German manufacturer.

Price of tested model: $6,750,000.00

Engine: 2 litres

Transmission: FWD, six speed

Fuel tank: 58 litres

Gas consumption: 11.5 km/l (rural journey)

Body Type: Compact crossover SUV

Competition: Toyota RAV4, Nissan X-Trail, Honda CR-V

Vehicle provided courtesy of Executive Motors Ltd. Telephone 929-5274, mail@execmotorsja.com