01 Nov Vehicle Review: Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport Diesel
The burgeoning popularity of medium SUVs in Australia has made the competition in the segment tougher than ever.
With the rivalry intensifying with each new car release, manufacturers find it difficult to sit back. Not even when you’re Mazda and you produced the best-selling CX-5 not too long ago. Just a year and a half after the release of the second-generation CX-5, Mazda releases an upgraded version into the wild.
There aren’t any huge changes, mind you. But whatever minor tweaks they made are enough to keep Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport Diesel on top of the competition.
Let’s talk performance. The new CX-5’s 2.2-litre twin-turbo four-cylinder diesel engine produces more power and torque; 140kW/450Nm compared to the previous version’s 129kW/420Nm. Considering that there is a $400 price drop with the new release, this performance upgrade will be a sure hit among SUV lovers. The upgraded CX-5 Maxx Sport is available in an All-Wheel Drive (AWD) powertrain system, with a 6-speed SKYACTIV-Drive automatic transmission.
The increased power and torque of the CX-5 Maxx Sport is perceptible from the very first time you drive it: the ride feels smooth and free. The gear shifts are seamless and run significantly quieter, all thanks to the Diesel Engine Natural Sound Frequency Smoother and Control Technology. Tight turns and cornering don’t present any problems at all because of the SKYACTIV-Drive technology. Mazda’s proprietary technology places the torque on the correct wheels and adjusts automatically to maintain the grip on the road. Throw in well-balanced steering and effortless handling, this medium SUV will suit both beginners and seasoned drivers nicely.
The cabin of CX-5 Maxx Sport is decent at best. The new KODO design, which divides CX-5 into two zones, is surprisingly pleasing and leaves plenty of room even at the back row. The soft cloth seat trim, reclining seats, rear air vents, two ISOFIX, and three top tether points for child seats will make everyone comfortable even in longer rides. At the front end, dials and buttons are positioned ergonomically for the utmost convenience of the driver. There’s a centre console where you can easily access the leather gearshift knob, Sports Mode button, 12V power outlet (another one at the cargo area) cupholders, and the rotary dial to control the touchscreen for infotainment.
Also Read: 7 Reasons to Buy an SUV Car
The redesigned instrument contains the Dual-Zone Climate Control, Ambient Temperature Display, Tachometer, and Electronic Odometer, Trip Computer, Cruise Control, and Instrument Panel Light Dimmer –all placed within your easy reach. The cabin also features map reading spot lamps and critical function warning lights.
From the outside, the Mazda CX-5 looks just as elegant as its predecessor with 17-inch alloy wheels, rear spoilers, and rain-sensing front wipers.
Lightings are all LED including the fog lights, tail lamps, and headlamps (that come with an auto on/off function). Its overall dimension plus the ground clearance are right in the middle of its two leading competitors — slightly smaller than Volkswagen Tiguan but a little bigger than Peugeot 3008. The Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport also has exhaust chrome extensions, auto-fold exterior mirrors, and roof rack mounting points.
A 7.0-inch screen with the MZD Connect Interface leads the infotainment system for CX-5 Maxx Sport, which you can control via voice command, touch screen, or on the Multi-Media Commander at the centre console. Through Bluetooth connectivity, the infotainment system can play your phone’s mp3 music files and you can really start a party in there with the 6-speaker audio system.
Still bearing your safety in mind, Mazda made sure that all sound system controls are smartly mounted on the steering wheel for easier access. There’s also the USB-audio input port and DAB+ radio as your music alternatives. And just like any smartphone app, MZD Connect can be updated so that you always have access to the latest tools and features to help you on the road.
Navigation & Driver Assist
MZD Connect System also has adequate navigational and driver-assist technologies, as all modern vehicles should. The Dynamic Stability Control, Traction Control System, Hill Launch Assist, and Manual Speed Limiter are fitted to help you manage the vehicle in all types of roads in Australia. Parking is also easier with Mazda CX-5 because it comes equipped with a reverse camera, parking sensors, Electric Parking Brake and a wide-angle exterior mirror to help you back-down safely. And a navigation satellite is also installed for easier searching of destination routes.
Safety & Security
The safety and security technologies of the Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport are simply impressive. Packed with the latest features in the automotive industry today, this medium SUV has been awarded a five-star rating by the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) which is a huge deal.
Other safety features in place include the Emergency Brake Assist and Smart City Brake Support which will actively help your car avoid head-on collisions, the Blind-Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic Alert technologies that would warn you early for any unseen vehicles approaching, and in the case of collisions, SRS Airbags are present to help save all passengers aboard. The SUV is also equipped with passive safety features like the Anti-Lock Braking System and Anti-Intrusion Brake Pedal.
And when you’re not on the go, the CX-5 SUV beefed up security features will keep the car on lock: Auto Door Lock, Engine Immobiliser, Remote Central Locking, and Keyless Engine Start should keep your vehicle secured wherever you park it.
The price-cut for Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport is a welcome news to all, but it doesn’t come without any drawbacks. You will notice some premium features missing from the upgraded version of this medium SUV. Take the leather trim as the first example, which was replaced by cloth seat upholstery.
It also lacks the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto features which are standard in almost all new vehicles these days. Mazda’s new Head-Up Display, which shows real-time speed and navigation information, is also curiously missing. And, the CX-5 Maxx Sport doesn’t have other basic driver-assist technologies like Active Cruise Control, Lane-departure Warning, and Lane-keeping Assist either. These missing features are only available with Akera, the more costly CX-5 model.
Nevertheless, the upgrades in performance and affordability are enough to keep Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport stay on top of the medium SUV segment. It looks elegant, has outstanding safety capabilities, and overall, offers a great value to consumers. Despite the missing features, the CX-5 Maxx Sport still comes highly recommended.
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