A Crossover SUV like no other – Mazda CX-5 2.2L DE Akera Review

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Mazda are well known for making the impossible possible. Mazda won the Le Mans the first time they entered it. Mazda broke the world record for the most sold 2 seater convertible in history. After just looking at the Mazda CX-3 which is an impressive Compact SUV, it is only fitting that we look at the new generation of the Mazda CX-5 and see if Mazda can once again, make the impossible possible.

The CX-5 is a crossover SUV that makes use of the KODO Soul of Motion design which captures the muscular beauty of a cheetah pouncing into motion. Mazda is one of the only car manufactures that is able to use the same design and styling across all their cars while each car is still unique. Elegant lines and graceful details makes the CX-5 stand out proudly from other SUVs. The CX-5 is bold with it’s large grille and chunky rear yet the two tone wheels and adaptive LED headlamps give the vehicle an elegant look. But how does it look inside?

Stepping inside the CX-5 you are greeted by a spacious cabin with loads of features that will get even your granny excited. A 7 inch infotainment system with internet radio functionality as well as USB & Bluetooth connectivity will get the geek in you jumping for joy. 9 231 watt Bose speakers gives a musical experience that would get even the most non musical people clapping. Both the seats and the dashboard are covered in a soft touch leather which not only looks great but feels great too. Steering wheel controls ensure that the most important buttons are right where you need them. The front seats hug you in comfort and keep you in place no matter where you go. The sunroof is a nice touch which makes the vehicle feel more spacious and also provides the perfect place to view the stars at night.

There is loads of space in the front and the rear for 5 adults and all your gear. The rear split folding seats allow you to fold the seats in different configurations depending on the items you need to carry. For example a long item can be placed with just the middle seat down. A big item can be transported with two seats down and still seat a passenger at the side. There are also cup holders and storage spaces so every passenger will enjoy the experience.

Compared to the average family hatch, the boot space on offer is more than generous. With 503 litre with the rear seats up and 1,620 litre with the rear seats folded down you will have more than enough space for shopping, school bags or a suitcase or 2.

Now that we know that the CX-5 is well equipped on the inside, how does it perform? Let’s find out. The CX-5 comes in 6 models starting with a 2L and up to a 2.2L derivative. The model that I was lucky enough to drive for the week was powered by a 2.2L engine. The 2.2L 4 cylinder engine produces 110/129kW with a muscular 380/420Nm of torque. Making use of lighter internal components reduces friction and allows for much higher revving up to 5200rpm. With fast acceleration and quick take offs, the CX-5 is kind of like the child of a sports car that had a fling with an SUV. The CX-5 is very agile and thanks to its rigid suspension and high ratio electric power assist steering, handling corners is a breeze. This is all thanks to the Skyactiv-chassis which has been re-engineered from the ground up.

By combining the best attributes of conventional automatic , continuously variable and dual clutch transmissions, the CX-5 provides a fun drive that is also efficient all thanks to the Skyactiv Drive transmission. The Automatic 6 speed gear box delivers a manual like power delivery and driving feel. In Manual mode, shifts are quick, accurate and smooth across the 6 gears and this is where you get to take advantage of the high revs to get more performance per gear!

Joining local Kite Surfer, Adi Kaimowitz, I took the CX-5 on a Kite Surfing adventure. Watch below to see what we were able to do in the CX-5!

The CX-5 is a crossover SUV meaning that it is perfect for on and off road. With 8.5 inches of ground clearance, you will be able to explore without worrying about getting suck on rocks or other objects. On road, the vehicle hugs the road keeping you safe while off road, you are able to tackle medium terrain. The CX-5 handles off road really well. I drove through a dune and found that the traction control keeps the wheels from spinning out and All Wheel Drive is great, since all wheels are being powered at the same time ensuring that you have the momentum when you need it most. The independent suspension handles corners with instinctive agility, but retains an element of luxury.

To keep in line with Mazda’s environmental policy, the CX-5 uses around 5.9 litre of fuel per 100km. For a large SUV, this is a really good fuel consumption and thanks to the 2 stage turbocharger which not only maximizes power and efficiency, it ensures that the Skyactiv-D engines meet the Euro Stage IV emission standards!

The Mazda CX-5 is a smart and connected SUV. There are loads of nifty features that make everyday life much easier and after experiencing them, it is hard to go day to day without them.

Smart features such as an electronic hand break, cruise control and speed limiter makes the mundane tasks a thing of the past.

Getting into the CX-5 is a breeze thanks to key-less entry. With the press of a button on the door handle with the key on your body, the doors are unlocked. Push-start technology saves you from the hassle of having to insert the key. It really is a hassle!

Syncing your contacts, music and media via MZD Connect allows you to flip through your contacts and control your music without having to touch your phone. You won’t need to take your hands off the steering wheel to use your phone, so your phone won’t land up getting confiscated with a fine and you will be safer on the road!

The CX-5 has your safety in mind. The body has an extremely rigid design which redirects crash energy away from the occupant cell. There are 6 built in SRS airbags in the front, sides and curtain areas for peace of mind.

Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) guarantees vehicle stability when the wheels are turning to prevent any possible under-steers that may occur on slippy roads. DSC works with Traction Control System (TCS) for confident driving under any road conditions.

ABS and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) optimizes braking force according to vehicle load to avoid skidding when braking and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA) which boosts stopping power at just the right time when you need to stop quickly.

Starting at R369,400 for the base 2L model and up to R541,400 for the 2.2L Akera which is the model that I have driven, the CX-5 is well priced. Compared to its competitors such as the Kia Sportage, Honda HRV, the CX-5 is more or less the same price but you are getting more for your money.

Overall the Mazda CX-5 has all the bells and whistles that you would expect from a vehicle in its class and price range. The interior is definitely premium, the vehicle has lots of power, you are able to go off road and you can do this all in style with loads of comfort. From the safety features to the best infotainment system that I have experienced so far, the CX-5 is a winner!

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