By Amanda Mfuphi
There are a few things more rewarding than getting a practical, comfortable, spacious, reliable and luxurious vehicle at a reasonably decent price, especially in our current economic climate where the prices of things seem to be constantly going up. With the way things are, most consumers in the SUV market are probably looking for a car which feels luxurious but not necessarily too expensive. We think the Mazda CX-5 offers the perfect solution to such consumers who want the luxury and feel of an up-market SUV but on a relatively conservative budget. Recently we had the Mazda CX-5 AWD Akera Auto on review and our views were solidified.
The Mazda CX-5 is a beautifully designed vehicle and at first glance you are blown away by the menacing front grille and the daytime running adaptive LED headlights. The LED headlights of the CX-5 do not just look pretty but they work effectively and you hardly need to use the “bright” function to see your path. The LED headlights were particularly put to the test when we took the CX-5 to the rural parts of Estcourt, KwaZulu-Natal with little to no lights on the gravel road.
The front part of the CX-5 has a large honeycomb black grille with metallic trim on the bottom and the large silver Mazda emblem right at the centre. The front part of the bonnet (the tip of the bonnet) slightly over-arches and gives the vehicle a panther-like look which makes it seem ready to pounce on the open road. Our test car came in pearl white , hard black sunroof, standard with 19 inch alloy wheels and twin exhaust pipes which all came together well to complete the pleasing aesthetically look of the exterior.
On the interior front, our test Mazda CX-5 had a comfortable and luxurious feel to it. One of the things we enjoyed about the CX-5 interior is that it is not too busy and cluttered. This is thanks to a 7 inch infotainment screen which is controlled through a rotary control setup located on the centre console and within easy reach of the driver. The CX-5 also came with leather seats and a leather surface for the dashboard mixed with a dark oak wood.
From a connectivity perspective, the Mazda CX-5 has all of the standard tech features you find in most of the cars in the segment such as, Bluetooth connectivity, Hands-free system for your phone, Apple CarPlay and two USB ports. The CX-5 Akera comes with a crisp 10-speaker BOSE sound system. Back passengers also benefit from two USB charging ports that are located in the armrest. This is essential as everyone needs to be connected these days. The vehicle has ample cabin and boot space. We took the vehicle down to Durban and Estcourt, KwaZulu-Natal for a traditional wedding and we managed to comfortably sit 2 adult passengers and a baby car seat at the rear, and front passenger and driver also sat in comfort at the front. There were no complaints from any of the passengers about space and comfort of the cabin.
Technology and Safety
The CX-5 Akera is packed with impressive technology with a particular focus on safety features and we found those to be quite useful and impressive in our road trip to KwaZulu-Natal. Standard safety features such as front and rear parking sensors, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring and the driver attention alert kept us feeling safe. We particularly found the blind spot monitoring technology very helpful in our journey as it monitors vehicles in the driver’s blind spot and warns the driver if there is a vehicle on his way before he changes lanes. The other safety feature that featured prominently in our trip was the driver attention alert, which advises or suggests the driver to take a break on an hourly basis on a continuous hour’s drive. Although, this is a great safety feature, we thought a break at every 2 hour interval appears more reasonable and is in line with the road department’s policy.
Engine and drive
The CX-5 is powered by a 2.2 litre turbodiesel engine with 140 kW of power and 450 Nm of torque. The Mazda claims a fuel consumption of 6.9L/100km and we averaged a fuel consumption of 7.9L /100km on the open road. Our CX-5 was an all-wheel drive and it allowed us to easily get through the gravel road down at Estcourt without causing too many vibrations and noises to the cabin. We did not have any problems with getting power from our test Mazda CX-5’s 2.2 naturally aspirated engine and the vehicle maintained its power even on inclines with ease. Although our CX-5 was a diesel engine, it was a pretty refined drive and the cabin was well-insulated and without the typical loud diesel engine sound. We particularly enjoyed the comfort levels of the CX-5 especially for the long 6 hour trip to KwaZulu-Natal.
The Mazda CX-5 is priced from R392,400.
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