2017 Mazda CX-5 Skyactiv-D 2.2 Test Drive: The Silent Warrior
Mazda CX-5 is back with a second generation. Or a heavily facelifted version, depending from which angle you look at it
Mazda CX-5 took the compact SUV segment by storm when it was first released in 2012. With sporty handling and lots of space it gave a new sense of fun to family motoring.
The CX-5 was a reference in its class, but it was taken out from the first place by the launch of newer and more practical rivals from the Volkswagen Group. Cars like Skoda Kodiaq, Volkswagen Tiguan and Seat Ateca are now potent rivals for the Mazda CX-5. So, the Japanese manufacturer had to react. This is the new Mazda CX-5, although the technical platform is the same with the older model. But, it boasts new design cues, better interior quality and impressive handling abilities. Yet, can it rise to the top again?
Created for:highwayswinding roads
Hats off for:ergonomicscomfortroad handlingengine power
Bang for the buck:good
At the international launch in Spain, we got to drive the 2.2 Skyactiv-D diesel engine mated with an automatic transmission. This top-of-the-range engine delivers 175 PS at 4,500 rpm and 420 Nm of torque from 2,000 rpm. It's the highest torque figure in this segment and it's due to the slightly larger capacity of the engine. The competition prefers the 2.0-liter diesel engines.
The powerplant pulls hard from 1,500 rpm and keeps going strong to the red line. But it does so in complete silence. Mazda engineers have done a great job in soundproofing the interior. It's so silent that sometimes you wonder if this is really a diesel engine.
Behind the wheel, the Mazda CX-5 hasn't lost its sporty edge. It is still a dynamic SUV that offers true joy to the driver. You can throw it around corners with enthusiasm and never feels unsettled. Mazda demonstrates impressive body control.
Around town the ride is a little more unsettled due to the large 19-inch wheels. But the ride is never uncomfortable.
The soft set-up of the suspension does not dampen the CX-5's dynamics. Plus, the new Mazda offers a very accurate steering that completes the driving package.
The new Mazda CX-5 comes with stability control and six airbags. Plus, it offers Smart City Brake Support, which automatically applies the brakes in an emergency to help avoid an accident.
Optional equipment includes lane-keeping assistant and driver alert system. The adaptive cruise control system is now updated and can operate all the way down to a complete stop.
The previous generation scored a maximum five-star rating at the EuroNCAP crash tests and we can expect a similar rating for the new generation.
With the suspension set-up for comfort, only the larger wheels unsettle the ride around the city. But the car is never uncomfortable. It has space for five adults, comfortable seats and a very quiet interior thanks to the new sound deadening measures that include a thicker windscreen, tighter door gaps and better streamlining.
Also, the base of the center console has been raised, placing the gear lever closer to hand, making the driving position more comfortable.
If the previous generation had a few issues with the quality of the plastics used inside, the new CX-5 has improved in all areas.
All the materials feel nice to touch. There's a mix of materials that enhances the ambiance including leather highlights, plastic or even wood inserts.
With similar size as the previous generation, Mazda CX-5 offers enough space to seat comfortably five adult passengers. The rear seat offers a two-step reclining mechanism, so they can adjust the position on longer journeys. The cargo space is plenty at 500 liters, and if you need more you can fold down the rear seats to create a huge loading bay. Beneath the boot floor there's a large storage area.
Mazda has decided to keep the seven-inch touchscreen media system. It has a rotary controller, mounted just behind the gear lever, so it's easy to access. The graphics are a bit old and there's no Apple Car Play or Android Auto. Sat-Nav comes as standard.
The official Mazda figure for average fuel consumption is 5.8 liters per 100 km. The 2.2-liter 175 PS diesel engine is efficient, but will average around 7.5 liters/100 km in real life driving environment. It's a good figure, but the rivals for the Volkswagen Group can average lower numbers with the 2.0 TDI 190 PS engine.
We've sampled a high-spec version of the Mazda CX-5 that featured leathered-covered dash and door trims, heated front and rear seats and two extra USB ports for the rear passengers. The car had the new optional Head-Up display, which projects useful information onto the windscreen.
Also on board were sat-nav and automatic air-con. Mazda also offers a power tailgate that can be operated from the key fob or from a button inside.
The new Mazda CX-5 has a starting price of 24,990 euro on the German market, but a more high-spec version like the Sports-Line can set you back at 34,890 euro.
On the other side of the pond, a brand new Mazda CX-5 costs $24,025 for the entry-level spec and can go as high as $30,695 for the Grand Touring spec.