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Homecars and bikesA closer look at a Pioneer in Automotive engineering: The Mazda CX-5

A closer look at a Pioneer in Automotive engineering: The Mazda CX-5

In 2011 as Mazda was looking for a successor for the Mazda CX-7 and the Mazda tribute, a new dawn in auto motive engineering was coming for the Japanese manufacturer. They launched their first vehicle featuring the KODO – soul in motion design language, the vehicle was given the name plate CX-5. The compact cross over SUV shares a platform with the Mazda 3(Axela) and the Mazda 6(Atenza). The CX-5 is one of the fastest emerging vehicles in the Kenyan market and the 2012/2013 models which were the first generation models of the vehicle are all around our roads right now. Let’s take a sneak preview at the 2013 Mazda CX-5 and find what makes the vehicle tick.

Technology
The CX-5 boasts of impressive technology as I pioneered the KODO design language for Mazda. It was also the first car to feature Mazda’s SkyActiv technology. SkyActiv technology is a series of technologies developed by Mazda Aimed at increasing Fuel efficiencies and engine output.
This technology came in with new engines, transmissions, bodies and chassis introduced in
Mazda vehicles from 2011 with the CX-5 being the first in the lineup.
The safety rating according to the Insurance institute of Highway Safety is good. The vehicle was rated good in all parameters tested those are; side impact, roof strength, rear crash protection/head restraint and moderate overlap front test. However after the introduction of a small overlap test simulating front collision on the passenger side in 2012, it showed that most manufacturers were making non symmetric modifications on the driver’s side of their vehicles to boost ratings. However The Mazda CX-5 earned an acceptable rating in its first tests.

Power
The Mazda CX-5 comes in with three engine variants all which feature the SkyActiv technology.
There is the 2000cc SkyActiv- G PE-VPS I4 petrol engine which is an inline four cylinder
engine with an output of 162 horsepower and 210N-m of torque, it’s estimated to do an average of 10km to the litre. There is also an option of a 2500cc SkyActiv-G PY-VPS I4 Gasoline engine which is an inline four cylinder engine with a power output of 187 horse power and 252N-m of torque at 4000rpm. The last power plant available for the CX-5 is the 2200cc SkyActiv-D SH-VPTS I4 diesel engine which is an inline four two stage Turbo charged diesel engine. This comes with two configurations with different power outputs of either 147 horsepower and 380N-m of torque or 173horse power with 420N-m of torque, this is however the most fuel efficientengine in the lineup with an estimated 22kms per litre.
The power figures from this engine are among the best in the Compact SUV segment and it is impressive how Mazda has integrated the SkyActiv technology in the vehicle making it fuel efficient and also powerful. All this engine configurations come mated with either a SkyActiv Automatic transmission or a SkyActiv 6 speed gear box with a front wheel or all-wheel drive layout.

Aesthetics.The vehicle is stunning to look at, the elegant lines, the curves. The vehicle features, a high tail, wedge shaped side glasses and a snout like grille to the front. The interior is roomy and very comfortable, with either leather or cloth upholstery depending on what you pick. The interior although just like most Japanese Budget vehicles does have much of a bland feel but it isn’t very exciting either.
The vehicle has a wheel base of 106.3inches, a length of 178.7 inches, a width of 72.4 inches and a height of 65.7 inches making it among one of the biggest vehicles in the Compact SUVs class.
The rear seats fold creating extra boot space to the already spacious boot space.

Budget and Reliability
The SkyActiv technology just like any new technology faced a few issues on its launch creating some recalls of diesel variants of the engine. This however was solved, but still some issues may arise if the vehicle is not handled by technicians who understand the SkyActiv technology. This is not a car that you would take to an under the tree mechanic or a roadside Kawaya (unqualified wiring mechanic). With a budget of 1.4Milion for a 2013 model then you are assured that this is a car that we shall soon see flood our roads due to its impeccable fuel mileage and low emissions. As the technology gets more and more refined with more technicians understanding the technology, the CX-5 will be a car to watch out for.