2016.5 Mazda CX-5
The all-new Mazda CX-5 may share a few design similarities with the CX-9 and Mazda 3 but make no mistake, the Mazda CX-5 is in a class of its own when it comes to performance, styling, handling, and comfort.. Mazda has made a concerted effort to improve both on the exterior as well as the interior and the results are astounding. Overall, the all-new CUV is a bolder, more athletic vehicle that is consistent with Mazda’s KODO, or more simply put, “Soul of Motion” design.
CJ Wilson Mazda in Ventura
Our Horsepower for an Hour crew recently headed out to CJ Wilson Mazda in Southern California to get our first driving experience with new Mazda CX-5. Our test model was the Touring package equipped with the 2.5 liter engine, sitting on 17″ alloy wheels. From the moment we got in the driver’s seat, we knew we were in for one heck of a ride. Few automakers have impressed us the way Mazda has, especially when it comes to fit and feel. Whether it’s a cross-country drive or a quick trip to the market, the experience is so visceral, it leaves you wanting to relive it again and again.
Mazda has created a unique platform they describe as SKYACTIV-VEHICLE DYNAMICS with G-Vectoring Control. Essentially, it is an ancient Japanese philosophy of jinba ittai or “horse and rider as one.” The idea according to Mazda was to create perfect harmony between car and driver. The car, like the horse, understands your intentions. The result is a more dynamic, responsive and enjoyable drive.
The all-new Mazda CX-5 is available with either the Skyactiv 2.5-liter gasoline engine or the newly added Skyactiv-D 2.2-liter diesel. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder generates approximately 184 horsepower, while the diesel makes approximately 173 hp and 310 pound-feet of torque. (NOTE* diesel option publicly available mid-2017) The six-speed automatic transmission is one of the finest units available from any automaker. A six-speed manual transmission-equipped “Sport FWD” trim level is available for those few who prefer to row their own gears. However, the manual transmission option is mated to a smaller engine, a 2.0-liter version of the SkyActiv mill that reduces output to 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque, which isn’t as much fun. The automatic option is the better choice here, the gearing is specific to the weight of the vehicle and the upshift/downshift algorithms are precisely engineered.
Along with perfecting passenger comfort and cargo space, Mazda also focuses on the driver. As with all Mazda vehicles, the all-new Mazda CX-5 is built with a driver-centric cabin that maximizes what the Japanese call the hashiru yorokobi, or “joy of driving.” One thing we immediately noticed was the absence of cabin noise, even at highway speeds. Not only is the ride solid, it was remarkably quiet. The interior is well-designed and infotainment system is easy to use. One of the first things our Program Director, Spence, noticed was the quality of the available Bose® sound system; If you like your tunes loud, this is a sound system you’ll have to hear to believe. The available Active Driving Display is strategically placed your line of sight and the Commander control knob is positioned right at your fingertips.
When it comes to safety, Mazda is a leader that inspires confidence with their available i-ACTIVSENSE®. Advanced technologies like milliwave radars and cameras are just the beginning, Mazda’s available predictive i-ACTIV AWD® system monitors outside temperature and braking patterns to predict if or when all-wheel-drive might be necessary for optimal traction.
One thing was clear to our Horsepower for an Hour crew by the end of the day: Mazda has hit a homerun with this all-new CUV. If you’re in the Southern California area, we highly recommend stopping in to CJ Wilson Mazda for a look at the complete line of Mazda vehicles. Our visit there was not only informative but also enjoyable. Tune into our weekly broadcast via your local radio station (click here for a station near you) or simply head to the app store on your smartphone and download the app, available for iPhone and Android devices.
We’ll see you there!