A modern crossover with a distinctly stunning design vocabulary and a laudable feature-set, the CX-5 is bold, beguiling and bombastic.
--BY SARTHAK RAJ BARAL
Design and Exterior
Mazda’s latest iteration of its compact SUV offering, the CX-5, is immediately arresting. Designed in chorus with Japanese aesthetic sensibilities, the vehicle revels in its stylish simplicity. Another unique representation of Mazda’s ‘KODO: Soul in Motion’ design philosophy, the CX-5 is a dazzling piece of machinery.
Mazda said “Our aim was to refine toughness and give it maturity,” and in that endeavour, they have succeeded triumphantly. The CX-5 is sleek, sharp and refined. The sizeable grill upfront, coupled with the muscular body, bestow the vehicle with an air of authority and prestige. The elegant headlamps and tail lamps further contribute to the SUV’s appeal. On the sides, an attractive chrome trim line envelops the car. The rear too continues on the minimalist design theme, the angular tail lamps add a dash of class to the back and all things considered, the Mazda CX-5 is yet another successful implementation of the KODO philosophy – a stunning, striking and well-sculptured vehicle that commands your attention, sidestepping garish and obnoxious design choices in favour of its understated approach; a genuine feast for the eyes. The SUV comes in a whopping ten exterior colour options, and while the ‘Sonic Silver’ variant we encountered is no slouch, the ‘Soul Red’ is the variant to beat. It looks marvellous, and we can ascertain its allure from the fact that Mazda has embraced it as the primary colour variant for advertising purposes.
The CX 5’s cabin is luxurious, practical and driver-centric. Furnished with black leather, the cabin exudes an atmosphere of refinement, Mazda has furnished the buttons and knobs inside the cabin with upscale, soft-touch materials; building on its luxurious stature. Further, all the elements in the cabin coalesce into one unified whole, nothing sticks out, and this accentuates the feel of the cabin. Also, courtesy of the rather thin pillar at the front, forward visibility is excellent.
The plush leather seats are nicely cushioned and comfortable to sit on. The cabin is large enough to occupy five people comfortably, and the indented front seats ensure there is ample legroom for rear passengers. A tablet-style infotainment system rests firmly on the front, operated either via touch or by the control knob behind the gear-shift unit. Another futuristic feature is the heads-up display that flashes relevant information on the driver’s windshield.
The textures and the overall fit and finish inside the cabin are of the highest calibre. It’s a wonderful place to sit back and enjoy the ride, for both the driver and the passengers.
Engine, Performance and Safety
The CX-5 is powered by a 2.5-litre I-4 SKYACTIV engine with 187 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. The AWD (all-wheel drive) variant available in Nepal is well equipped to handle the rugged terrain and roads laden with potholes. The suspension set-up on the CX-5 is of the highest quality, during our drive through some rough roads, we were almost entirely insulated from the bumps and crevices.
Another unique feature courtesy of Mazda’s engineers is cylinder deactivation, a system that shuts down two of the engine’s four cylinders when the vehicle is navigating less than challenging conditions, for example, while travelling downhill. The most significant benefactor of this technology is fuel efficiency. Mazda has doubled down on the safety elements of the SUV as well; there is ABS and EBD (electronic brake force distribution). Further, a bevvy of features such as blind spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, lane departure warning, adaptive LED headlights, advanced smart city brake support, driver attention alert and a full complement of airbags complement the CX-5’s impressive safety suite.
Pricing and Conclusion
The Mazda CX-5, with its sublime aesthetic appeal brought about through its implementation of the KODO design philosophy, a multitude of modern technological features that encompass the exterior, interior and the engine, a full safety suite and a plethora of other features is a winner on virtually all metrics.
Priced between Rs 1, 30, 00,000 to Rs 1,65,00,000, the Mazda CX-5 is doubtless a pricey proposition, however, considering its feature set, there aren’t many vehicles available in the Nepali market that can go toe-to-toe with the CX-5 and come out on top. It warrants the serious consideration of potential buyers who are in the market for an upscale crossover.