Stylish, Fun-to-Drive Crossover with Diesel Economy. Compact SUV’s or call them Crossover’s. Everybody makes them; also the German ueber sports-car maker Porsche has one called Macan priced at a cool 4.8 million THB. Mazda has got two: The CX-5 compact crossover SUV and the CX-3 subcompact crossover. The Japanese CX-5 compact SUV was born in 2012. The first Mazda featuring the new KODO – Soul of Motion Design language. The current CX-5 is also the first Mazda vehicle featuring the company’s full SkyActiv technology boasting a rigid, lightweight platform combined with a bunch of efficient power plants and transmissions resulting in reduced emissions and fuel consumption. This is the vehicle that won the coveted Car of the Year Japan Award 2012. Later that year came the CX-5 Mazda Diesel variant – not one of those smoke-belching, tractor-rattling Diesels of yesteryear. The CX-5 XDL is a “Clean Diesel,” keeping emissions, fuel consumption and noise down but driving pleasure – UP! This week, Hua Hin Today Motoring tests all new Mazda CX-5 XDL (Diesel). The top variant priced at 1.77 million THB. The entry level CX-5 2.0 liter petrol engine, without all the bells and whistles, costs 1.29 million THB.
The styling is pure”Kodo” inspired by the predatory stance of an animal stalking its prey and capturing poise, aggression and power. The front features an inverted pentagonal grille. The side-view mirrors have been moved from the A-pillar to the doors to improve visibility with a smaller blindspot area. The rear shows Mazda’s unique cool styling again, with the “angry eyes” tail light cluster. Additional Mazda “Zoom-Zoom” in the CX-5 looks comes from the impressive, huge 19-inch alloy wheels.
Under the hood (bonnet) if you like, no more big, thirsty V-6 of yesteryear but a high-tech four cylinder 2.2-liter Diesel turbo powerplant that produces 175 horsepower and a whopping 420 Nm of torque, giving the CX-5 probably the best performance in its class.
Regarding the already frugal fuel consumption the SkyActiv i-Stop (idle stop-start) system further helps to control the thirst. The six-speed automatic transmission, smooth and willing with power distributed to all four wheels offers responsive performance at all RPM’s.
Firmly bolstered black leather seats and soft-touch plastics are used throughout the cabin. The fit & finish is first rate. The cockpit area feels functional and driver friendly. Not too many buttons, levers and dials. Both front and back rows provide good leg, head and shoulder room for the two occupants up front and two adults comfortably or three smaller persons in the rear. Armrest and cupholders included. In-car entertainment comes with a 9-speaker upscale Bose audio system. Perfect on a long haul. Music anyone? Adele, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber or just classical Bach or Mozart?
If you want a quiet ride, no music Mazda has invented a new type of noise insulation material and it works wonders at all speeds.
Here Mazda CX-5 top range model gets a five-star NCAP rating with front, side and curtain airbags, stability control, emergency stop signal, hill start assist, emergency stop signal, ISOFIX child restraint anchor points and rear view camera. Plus, the whole alphabet soup: ABS, EDB, DSC, TCS and TPSM ( Tire Pressure Monitoring System) monitoring brakes, chassis and wheels. The Drive First of all, the commanding view. In French “Au Volant La Vue C’est la Vie”.
This is the advantage with all SUV Crossovers. During the test drive in urban, suburban and highway road conditions, traffic jams, rain and flash-floods Mazda CX-5’s ride quality, handling and road holding is impressive. And the head up display (HUD), especially in the night, is an innovative feature. The light, direct electricallyassisted steering is responsive, stable and predictable also when powering through tight corners. Mazda’s compact SUV is a mature vehicle to drive and it’s got the dynamics and impressive agility to match the other Japanese and the Teutonic SUV competition.
Verdict: Mazda CX-5 XDL scores high with sophisticated macho looks, car-like driving manners and a very fuel efficient hightech quiet diesel engine that offers a combination of traction and refinement. Plus AWD All-Wheel-Drive in case you want to go (soft) off-roading. Now, as they say “The proof of the pudding is in the eating”. Why not a test drive, since there is a Mazda showroom in Hua Hin.
Mazda CX-5 XDL
Engine: 2.2-liter 4-cylinder diesel-turbo
Power: 175 hp
Torque: 420 Nm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Top speed: 200 kph
Fuel consumption: 16 km/l
Price: 1,77 million THB