New models
Mazda CX-5
Mazda CX-5

Damien O’Carroll looks to see if Mazda can improve its winning formula?

To say the CX-5 has been something of a success for Mazda would actually be a massive understatement.

The popular SUV is not only Mazda’s biggest-selling vehicle in New Zealand, but it also accounts for a full 25 percent of Mazda’s global sales, with annual sales of 370,000 units.

So it needed replacement, right? Well, probably not, but Mazda has done it anyway.

At first glance the all-new CX-5 looks remarkably similar to the old one, particularly in photographs. But in the metal, it is a rather strikingly different thing, particularly around the grille and headlights that are now joined by a strong chrome graphic that ups both the aggression and elegance of the front end, as well as bringing it into line with the rest of the range.

The new CX-5 retains the same engines as the previous model, with refinements throughout.

The 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol produces 144kW of power and 200Nm of torque, while the 2.5-litre petrol ups this to 140kW and 251Nm. The 2.2-litre four-cylinder diesel is still the torque-monster of the range, with 129kW of power and 420Nm of torque.

Mazda New Zealand has kept the local range the same, with the 2.0-litre GLX being FWD only, while the GSX is available with any of the three engines, with the 2.0-litre being FWD only, while the other two are AWD. The Limited model is only 4WD and available with a choice of the 2.5-litre petrol or the diesel. All models come with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Pricing has increased slightly across the range (by between $250 and $1,200), but this is more than offset by a substantial increase in standard equipment.

The GLX kicks off the range at $39,995, with the GSX FWD landing at $42,995. The GSX petrol AWD costs $45,995, with the diesel costing $47,995.

The Limited tops the rage with the petrol AWD costing $55,495 and the diesel $57,495.

The GLX comes standard with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED auto-levelling headlights, powered exterior mirrors, cruise control, an electric parking brake, Bluetooth phone connectivity and audio streaming, manual air conditioning, a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with two USB inputs and internet radio integration, voice activation, steering wheel mounted phone, audio and cruise controls, a reversing camera, keyless entry and start and autonomous emergency city braking with pedestrian detection.

The GSX adds LED front fog lamps and taillights, automatic headlights, rain-sensing wipers, leatherette/suede seat trim, dual zone climate control, satellite navigation, a heads-up display (on a pop up screen), a leather steering wheel and gear knob, front and rear parking sensors, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and traffic sign recognition.

The Limited ups the spec level again by coming with everything on the GLX and adding 19-inch machined alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, a sunroof, a power tailgate, rear privacy glass, heated exterior mirrors, leather seat trim (black or white), a heated 10-way adjustable driver’s seat and a heated six-way adjustable front passenger’s seat, a 10-speaker Bose audio system, a windscreen-projected heads-up display, adaptive LED headlights, radar cruise control, autonomous emergency city braking in reverse, lane departure warning, lane keep assist and driver attention alert.

On the road, the new CX-5 is even more engaging to drive than the last, with Mazda making its clever G-vectoring control torque-vectoring system standard across the range. The ride is supple and smooth, while it turns into corners with remarkable alacrity and enthusiasm.

Massively well equipped, very handsome and extremely well made, the CX-5 is another utterly convincing winner from a company that can’t seem to stop producing them.

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