THE all-new Mazda CX-5 compact crossover, which made its world debut at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, is now available with an 18-strong model line-up, competitively priced from £21,395 to £28,795, writes Ian Lynas.
This is Mazda’s first sixth generation vehicle, it is expected to account for over 4000 UK sales in its first year and its arrival marks a watershed moment for the company as the CX-5 embodies both Mazda’s sophisticated new SKYACTIV and the head-turning new KODO Soul of Motion Design direction.
Mazda’s innovative suite of SKYACTIV technologies centres on three key areas, sophisticated lightweight chassis technology, advanced engines with world-beating compression ratios and highly efficient six-speed manual and automatic transmissions.
The newcomer is underpinned by a clean-sheet SKYACTIV-Chassis and SKYACTIV-Body systems that fully integrate lightweight engineering, advanced materials, more efficient structures and new production processes to create a lightweight and ultra-stiff chassis that not only results in outstanding levels of crashworthiness but also reinforces Mazda’s inimitable agile and athletic driving experience.
CX-5 drivers will have the choice of two new engines with three power outputs, the 2.0-litre SKYACTIV-G petrol powerplant with 165PS, or the 2.2-litre SKYACTIV-D turbo diesel unit, expected to account for 85 percent of UK sales with outputs of 150 or 175PS.
Featuring class-leading compression ratios, direct injection technology and lightweight alloy construction to deliver both class-leading emissions and outstanding combined fuel economy, up to 61.4mpg and 119g/km and exceptional dynamism, this trio of new SKYACTIV engines in the all-new CX-5 will offer motorists excellent performance without comprising on fuel efficiency.
These are hooked up to Mazda’s two new efficient and dynamic six-speed SKYACTIV-MT manual and SKYACTIV-Drive automatic transmissions.
The new SKYACTIV-Drive automatic transmission brings together the best attributes of conventional step automatic transmissions, continuously variable transmissions and dual clutch transmissions in one compact and lightweight package, resulting in strong fuel economy, a direct and engaging feel, smooth and quick shifts with prompt responses. The new SKYACTIV-MT has been designed to deliver crisp wrist-flick gear changes, like those enjoyed by MX-5 drivers. This six-speed manual gearbox was painstakingly developed to deliver the ultimate in shift quality, and its innovative design has resulted in a significant reduction in the number of moving parts, an overall weight reduction of by 3kg and a one percent increase in fuel economy.
The CX-5 is available with the choice of 2-wheel drive (2WD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) models that feature variable torque distribution and ultra-precise slip detection, giving a front/rear torque split ranging from 100/0 to 50/50 percent. All three engine variants are fitted with i-Stop, Mazda’s unique fuel-saving idle-stop system.
There are four equipment levels, SE-L, SE-L Nav, Sport and Sport Nav. Standard equipment, even on the SE-L, is generous and includes: 17-inch alloy wheels with 225/65 R17 tyres, dual-zone climate control air-conditioning, integrated Bluetooth system, cruise control, 5.8-inch colour display screen and Mazda’s Multimedia Commander.
Sport models gain eight additional items of equipment, including: 19-inch alloy wheels with 225/55 R19 tyres, Bi-Xenon headlights with adaptive front lighting system, reversing camera and premium Bose audio system with nine speakers. An optional Safety Pack is available on the four AWD Sport and Sport NAV models. Every version is equipped with ‘Smart City Brake Support’ (SCBS), which helps a driver to avoid a low speed (up to 19mph) frontal collision by activating the brakes and reducing the engine output, if the system detects a frontal collision is likely.