An exact local date for the launch of Mazda’s new CX-5 compact SUV remains a hot debate. Some people have reported placing orders, while some dealerships claim ignorance, but we have it on good authority that the CX-5 is indeed headed for South Africa and should be here by the start of the third quarter of this year.
Like its name suggests, the CX-5 is baby brother to the CX-7, but they look nothing alike because the CX-5 has been styled and constructed according to Mazda’s new Kodo – Soul of Motion design language. But a fresh look isn’t just what’s new; the CX-5 will be further distinguished from the current range thanks to the full range of Mazda’s Skyactiv technologies.
The Skyactiv range has been touted to further the driving experience thanks to breakthrough technology employed on drivetrains as well as extensive chassis development.
The new SkyActiv engines comprise of normally-aspirated 2,0-litre unit that produces 121 kW and 210 N.m at 6 000 r/min and 4 000 r/min respectively as well as a new 2,2-litre turbodiesel powerplant that produces 110 kW or 129 kW depending on trim and 380 N.m or 420 N.m of torque. Unfortunately, we can report that it’s highly unlikely that a diesel model would be heading for South Africa, even though this is the especially advanced motor that produces less than 120 g/km of CO2, which undercuts our new emissions tax.
But it’s not just in the emissions and efficiency stake that the CX-5 rates highly; even if we don’t get a diesel model, the CX-7 is still packed with new features like the new HMI (Human Machine Interface) which minimises the driver’s eye movement away from the road, 5,8-inch colour touchscreen, as well as a Bose sound system. It does well in the safety features, too, including Smart City Brake Support (SCCB), rear-vehicle monitoring system, lane-departure warning, automatic High-Beam Control and highly rigid Skyactiv body structure.