Mazda CX-5

A giant killer in every way, CX-5 defies its cost

Mazda’s CX-5 looks a million bucks (but it costs half that). Especially in this all-wheel drive 2.2 turbodiesel format, which has everything you will ever need and then some. So much so that it has us scratching our heads down here.

Look at it like this – you’re not going to get very much change out of a million rand from a similar sized premium German sportute. Of course, it will be jam packed with spec, have everything that opens and shuts and a properly dependable badge on its nose.

But hang on a second – is this Mazda CX-5 not jam packed with spec, does it not have everything that opens and shuts and a properly dependable badge on its nose? Damn sure it does. But it costs a hell of a lot less than those German thingamabobs. For what, exactly?

You can do a hell of a lot with the third of a million rand’s change – put it down as deposit on that decent hose in Sandton, get your kid through varsity or even buy a new boat, dirt bike and MacBook Pro with the change. And that’s all those toys, not just one of them.

It’s not that you’d be missing anything beyond the pons appeal of that badge either – Mazda is a proper brand anyway – never mind that CX5 is just as quick as a 2-litre turbodiesel X3, GLE or similar, uses just as little diesel and packs probably better spec at those base prices. OK, its gearbox may miss a cog or three, but will you ever notice? Doubt it.

The mind truly boggles – considering this car alongside those you’d expect it to cost almost as much. Not a third off!

CX-5 sailed through our time with it over a broad range of surfaces and chores at better than its claimed 6 litres per hundred and also produced better than expected performance numbers in our tests. It feels solid on the street, handles, rides and holds the rod impressively and in our opinion, it’s the best looking of all its rivals right now by some considerable margin – and that includes those Germans.

I’s good inside, although the dash design may seem a little staid versus some of the Mazdas we’ve seen of late and it’s quite dark in there. But those are personal opinions you may well disagree with anyway.

Mazda also consider taking a look at its warranty and service offerings – three years irrespective of the mileage has rapidly become average in a sensitive market looking for optimum cover where five-year plans are now average. That would likely see Mazdas even better retaining their value versus this car’s already stellar performance in the aftermarket.

All in all, if like the rest of us, if that posh new SUV is looking a little too much like a test of your financial stamina right now, this Mazda CX-5 certainly is worth considering.  Take a look – it’s waiting to wow you for a lot less than you may ever have imagined. - Michele Lupini

Images – Dylan McKay

QUICK TEST: Mazda CX-5 2.2DE AWD Akera      
Engine: 129kW 420Nm 2191cc turbodiesel I4
Drive: 6-speed automatic 4WD
TESTED 150m ASL (1500m ASL)
0-60km/h: 3.87 sec (4.02 sec)
0-100km/h: 8.07 sec (9.87 sec)
0-160km/h: 21.41 sec (20.32 sec) 
0-400m:                 15.6 sec @ 143km/h (16.8s @ 139)
80-120km/h:          6.05 sec (7.49 s)
120-160km/h: 9.94 sec (10.92s)
Vmax:       206km/h
Fuel: 6.0 l/100km   
CO2: 160 g/km  
Warranty/Service:  3y Unl/3y Unl
2y value retention: 82.9%