Mazda CX-5, Mazda’s answer to the SUV segment. Think Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Mitsubishi ASX, Kia Sportage or even VW Tiguan. While you wonder how good is the Mazda CX-5, I suggest you to continue reading this review article because the Mazda CX-5 should be in your list of consideration if you are looking for a compact SUV.
First, the Mazda CX-5 is the first production vehicle to showcase Mazda’s new ‘Kodo’ design philosophy. It may not be the best inheritance from the concept car, but it looks quite uniquely designed for a SUV. It comes with bi-xenon projector headlights with auto levelling and sensors for automatically turn on & off. Rain sensors are also included for the wipers to be activated automatically.
The CX-5 looks fairly sized, and the car is not positioned too high like a truck or a large SUV while still maintaining a good visibility level of a SUV. Behind, Mazda has fitted 2 exhaust tailpipes on 1 of each side of the car as part of the design to facilitate the new 4-2-1 exhaust system. Overall, the exterior design of the Mazda CX-5 is crafted quite well balanced following the new design philosophy. The Mazda CX-5 looks pleasant to look in all angles, unlike some vehicles you might like the front but not the rear.
Almost every single thing about this car are applied with new technology, that’s something to shout about. Usually, most of other automakers tend to inherit something from the predecessors or other models in the line. The new interior of the Mazda CX-5 are a step closer to the continental standard. Design is simple yet classy. Almost like a Mercedes with Audi mixed interior but still maintaining the Japanese touch. The material of dashboard is soft and the switches and knobs feels solid when using. To startup the Mazda CX-5, you will push the start button provided along with the keyless entry system, hence no more metal keys. You do get a bunch of buttons on the steering wheels including bluetooth, audio control, auto cruise but there’s no flappy-paddles on this. If you want to play with some gear change, you still can do it on the gear lever but it is not necessary as we have driven it. The 6-speed Skyactiv-Drive automatic gearbox is silky smooth on gear changes.
The blue covered engine lies inside the engine bay is the Mazda’s new flagship technology – a Skyactiv engine. As nicely named it may sound, this engine are designed to save fuel and provide the best power output efficiency. The Malaysia’s version of Mazda CX-5 are powered by the 2.0L Skyactiv engine, that produces 155hp with the compression ratio of 13:1, whereas in countries that provides a high grade of RON in their petrol, the 2.0L Skyactiv-G engine will be tune to 14:1 ratio and will produce 163hp of max output. To give an idea as comparison, the Ferrari 458 are using 12.5:1 compression ratio and the VW 1.4 TSI engine is using 10:1 compression ratio. Technical aside, the Skyactiv-G engine suppose to save fuel up to 15% and will do 6L/100km with the Mazda CX-5. After driving the CX-5, we notice the CX-5 characteristics are slower from 0-2500 rpm but after that the engine gets torquier than you would expect, giving it a very good cruising on the highways. Mazda Malaysia recommend RON 97 unleaded fuel but RON 95 will be the minimum requirement.
Mazda even gave it’s new body frame and the chassis the Skyactiv name, calling it the Skyactiv-Body & the Skyactiv-Chassis. The body frame claims to give lighter weight and better strength. After a few days of driving the Mazda CX-5, we noticed the body-roll is less for a SUV, the car feels very rigid and stable even on high speed cornering. The chassis are quite properly tuned. Surprisingly Mazda CX-5 is quite spacious for all the passengers including the driver. The driver’s seat are electronic adjustable and both the front seats come with heating elements. This car is consider a high spec model and it is fully imported from Japan. All the seats are wrap with leather and a touch of red stitching.
The in-car entertainment system is worth mentioning because it comes with Tom-Tom navigation with voice command, a reverse camera and a set of 9-speakers BOSE audio system. The navigation system is responsive and the audio system works with USB or iPod, iPhone devices. The reverse camera is clear even during night use. Another point mention would be even the how the door locks, wiper and lighting characteristic are configurable via the touch screen system.
The Mazda CX-5 is fitted with 19-inch wheels, features like sunroof are also included, 6 airbags and many more for you to discover. Even the paint works of the exterior and some interior materials are said to have a special coating call “Mazda Total Protection Coating (TRIBOS)”.
The Malaysia version Mazda CX-5 with the 2.0L Skyactiv-G is pretty highly spec compare to the competitions in this segment. We wish the Mazda CX-5 would come with the i-Stop system so that a better fuel economy could be achieved. Don’t get me wrong, the Mazda CX-5 is a good car, I would say it stands out among all the competitors around this price range. It handles well like all Mazda do and it rides comfortably too. While the unit we tested is a 2WD version, there’s also another 4WD version. The 2WD Mazda CX-5 is priced at RM159,500.40 and the 4WD version is priced at RM169,760.40 (both with insurance and road tax included). There are 5 colours to choose from, Blue, Red, White, Aluminium & Grey. With these good features in the Mazda CX-5, I would be hesitated to take it off road, thus I would recommend you guys to go for the Mazda CX-5 in 2WD for even better fuel efficiency.
Photo Gallery: Mazda CX-5 reviewed in Malaysia