In 2012, when Mazda introduced the all-new CX-5, their executives might have been hopeful in their product, but I am pretty sure even those optimistic executives— in Hiroshima, Japan—have been amazed by the numerous accolades this Compact SUV garnered. Beginning with the first generation CX-5 being crowned the winner of the coveted Japan Car of the Year for 2012-2013.
2013 Mazda CX-5(First Generation)
The story wasn’t any different in Australia, where the Mazda CX-5 shot straight to the top of the Compact SUV segment. So far so good for Mazda, but the ultimate test would be in North America, Mazda’s biggest market. Fortunately for Mazda, the ‘driving matters’ DNA and fuel-efficient SKY-ACTIV Technology of the all-new CX-5 appealed to North Americans, too. To put this appeal in numbers, in 2015, Americans purchased 111,450 CX-5s whiles their Canadian counterparts also bought 22,281 of these cars.
Engines and Transmissions
The United States version of the CX-5 debuted with the only engine available being a direct-injected 2.0-litre four-cylinder Skyactiv-G gasoline engine with 155 bhp with a conventional manual transmission or a 6-speed automatic transmission. The 2.0-litre engine was rated at 26 mpg city and 32 mpg highway with automatic transmission and 26 mpg city and 35 mpg highway with the manual transmission. For the model year of 2014, an available 2.5-liter four-cylinder Skyactiv gas engine was introduced to address the main criticism of the CX-5. It was rated at 184 Horsepower 185-lb.ft of torque and had an EPA MPG rating of 25/32 (FWD), 24/30 (AWD). Only the six-speed automatic transmission was available for this engine, which was standard on the Touring and Grand Touring trim levels. In addition to these petrol engines, other markets had the SKYACTIV-D 2.2 diesel engine.
Mazda dealership in Ghana?
Even more important to yours truly is the fact the good news about the Mazda brand is spreading to Ghana—thanks to SYLVA SPARE PLUS Ghana (SSP Ghana), the authorized distributor of Mazda vehicles in Ghana. After reading and watching several positive reviews online about the CX-5, it would have been a travesty to write a review about the CX-5 without actually driving it. But thanks to the rather innovative marketing approach of SSP Ghana, yours truly got a rare opportunity to test-drive a 2016 Mazda CX-5 in June 2018. To sum up my impressions about the CX-5, I would say: “The Mazda CX-5’s driving dynamics is class-leading. If you love to drive, you will not consider any other car in this class once you test-drive the CX-5.”
I had a lot of admiration for the CX-5 after the test-drive.
The Test-Drive Process
In researching this article, I needed to know if Mazda had an authorized dealer in Ghana. The search results landed me on the website of SSP Ghana, the authorized Mazda dealer in Ghana. And boy! was I surprised to see that SSP Ghana offered a Free(No strings attached) Test Drive scheme. And it’s not a long process. You just visit the Mazda Ghana website http://www.mazdaghana.com/ and click on BOOK A TEST DRIVE. That takes you to a dialogue box requesting you to provide the following: name, email, phone number and location. Once you fill the form and submit the info, expect a call from Mazda in a few days for your own test-drive experience.
2nd Generation Mazda CX-5(2017–present): Evolutionary design.
Granted, it took something very new and different to make the first generation CX-5(2012-2017) a global hit car, the bosses at Mazda appear to have internalized both positive and negative feedback when designing the second generation CX-5. The end result of this listening ear to feedback was the decision by the top brass at Mazda to keep all the good things about the first generation CX-5- whiles addressing the concerns of customers including the noisy cabin complaints. The result it appears is a solid product which has maintained its sporty DNA and added the refinement needed to push it to the near-luxury category as envisioned by the executives of Mazda. At this point, its important that I confess my affinity for cars engineered with the driver in mind. Case in point, in February 2005, when I bought a home-used 1994 BMW 318i, I was instantly won over by the sports car-like chassis of that famous German machine. With my confession out of the way, I present to you the evidence in the form of testimonials by the world’s authoritative automobile journalists about the 2nd generation Mazda CX-5.
Car and Driver verdict
In declaring the Mazda CX-5 as the Best Compact SUV of 2019, this is what the folks at Car and Driver had to say:
When we tell you that the Mazda CX-5 is the best compact crossover for sale today, it’s not only because we believe it to be true. It’s also in the hope that by rewarding this particular brand of excellence, we’ll encourage more of it.
2019 Mazda CX-5 in Soul Red Crystal paint
Make no mistake, the folks at autoblog.com do love cars which are fun to drive as such they could not hide their affection for this Japanese masterpiece of automobile engineering. So let’s check out what they had to say:
“If you’re shopping for a crossover, and by all accounts most Americans are, there is no better option on the market than the 2019 Mazda CX-5.”
“When we drove the 2017 CX-5, we likened the handling to that of a Porsche Macan.”
“With an all-new 2.5-liter SkyActiv Turbo good for 250 horsepower, the CX-5 not only leapfrogs bestselling rivals like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, but lands squarely in the realm of luxury stalwarts such as the Audi Q5 and BMW X3.”
With a beautifully crafted plush interior, it’s no wonder the CX-5 gets compared to Audi’s and BMWs
In their first test of the 2019 Mazda CX-5, the auto journalists at Motortrend were not too impressed with the relatively poor fuel economy of the now available 2.5-litre turbocharged engine, nonetheless, they praised the extra punch offered by the turbo engine as quoted below:
Feel secure with its stellar safety scores, take pride in its stylish curves, and smile every time you can take advantage of its swift acceleration
Side profile of the beautifully designed exterior of the 2019 Mazda CX-5
Forbes magazine may not be a dedicated automobile magazine, that notwithstanding their auto journalists still had some very kind words for the 2019 Mazda CX-5 as highlighted below:
It’s a compact crossover and it’s Mazda’s best-selling unit in the USA, with over 2 million units sold worldwide, and it’s easy to see why at first glance. It’s elegant, stylish and its turbocharged SKYACTIV-2.5T engine, while not overwhelming, got the zippy job done.
The SKYACTIV Technology is distinctively Mazda
Engines, Transmissions for the 2nd Generation Mazda CX-5
The base engine in the 2019 Mazda CX-5 is a 2.5-liter I-4 producing 187 hp and 186 lb-ft. of torque connected to a six-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive versions score 25/31 mpg city highway, while all-wheel-drive models net 24/30 mpg. Grand Touring and Signature models are powered by a 2.5-liter turbocharged I-4 making 227 hp on 87 octane and 250 hp on 93 octane fuel, and 310 lb-ft, exclusively all-wheel drive through a six-speed automatic transmission, with a fuel economy rating of 22/27 mpg.
Safety and Technology
The 2019 Mazda CX-5 is rated a 2019 IIHS Top Safety Pick+, as well as receiving a front crash prevention designation of Superior by fully collisions both in the 12-mph low-speed and 25-mph high-speed autobrake tests when equipped with the tech available on the Touring and Grand Touring trims. The 2019 Mazda CX-5 received a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars). All CX-5s come standard with blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic emergency braking. Touring models and up add automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, stop-and-go adaptive cruise control, and automatic brake assist.
The 2019 Mazda CX-5 Sport features a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with four speakers and HD radio. Speaker count increases to six in the Touring and all other trim models feature a 10-speaker Bose sound system. The Mazda Connect system uses a 4G LTE modem for internet radio integration.
If a car’s starting price is about half that of luxury sports Compact SUVs, yet its driving dynamics earns comparisons to the class-leading Porsche Macan, then what more can we ask of the Mazda CX-5? Kudo to the folks at Hiroshima, Japan for engineering a premium machine for the masses.