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SECTOR Medium SUV PRICE €26,600 – €35,800 (approx) FUEL 4.6 – 6.0l/100km CO2 119 – 144g/km
Mazda has been a relatively small player in the fleet market, but the unveiling of its Skyactiv technology package – a combination of measures to improve fuel efficiency and reduce vehicle weight, should help to improve the company’s fleet presence. The first model to benefit from the new technology is the CX-5 compact crossover, which made its debut at the Frankfurt Show in 2011 and we can expect to see the new Mazda6 before the year is out, which will also benefit from the technology.
Mazda is quick to point out that Skyactiv is not just about improving engine and
drivetrain efficiency, but about improving efficiency in three key areas – engine, transmission and vehicle weight. In essence that is what all mainstream manufacturers are doing, but Mazda has taken the view that all models will adopt the technologies, not just selected low emissions variants. It has also taken some interesting steps with engine compression ratios, but this is not the place to discuss those.
The important thing is the end results, and on paper those seem to be impressive. For the CX-5, Mazda is offering one 165hp 2.0-litre petrol and two 2.2-litre diesel engines, producing 150hp or 175hp. Six-speed manual and automatic transmission is available with both engines and similarly front or four-wheel drive is available with all engines, but for both transmission and drive options, availability will depend on individual markets.
For the all-important fuel consumption and emissions data, the 2.0-litre petrol engine with manual transmission will return 6.0l/100km (139g/km CO2). For the diesels, the manual front-wheel drive 150hp engine should return 4.6l/100km (119g/km CO2), or 5.3l/100km (139g/km CO2) with automatic transmission. Four-wheel drive 150hp and 175hp diesels should return 5.2l/100km (136g/km CO2) or 5.5l/100km (144g/km CO2) with automatic transmission.
These are all good figures for a medium SUV, particularly one with the performance that’s available from the new diesels. Part of the reason is the weight reducing part of the Skyactiv equation. With weights in the 1,400kg – 1,620kg range, similar to major rivals, all engines are equipped with Mazda
i-Stop automatic stop and start to minimise fuel consumption in stop/start traffic. The UK specification models we drove were equipped with a high level of standard equipment, including ESP electronic stability
control, hill hold assist, Mazda’s Smart City Brake Support (low speed accident avoidance system), 17-inch alloy wheels, rain-sensing front wipers and light-sensing lights, dual-zone climate control system, Bluetooth connectivity and cruise control, but specification may differ according to market.
So, it’s another medium SUV, you might think, similar in size to its many rivals. As our drive in the 150hp front-wheel drive and 175hp four-wheel drive manual models showed, the CX-5 is both capable and likeable.
Turn the engine on and the first thing that becomes obvious is how quiet the diesels are. Noise levels are similar to a petrol engine. The trade-off is road noise, which tends to go with the tyres fitted to SUVs. I would have preferred to hear less. After that, there is little to complain about. Performance is brisk, its fuel consumption is impressive – we registered 5.5 – 6.7l/100km on our test route in Scotland. And it’s a delight to drive with none of the vague steering that you might associate with SUV models in this class. There’s space to carry five adults in comfort and luggage space is reasonable compared with its competitors.
The CX-5 looks good, delivers on fuel consumption/emissions, is comfortable and quick. Mazda hopes it will have strong fleet appeal and there is no reason why not.