Mazda recently let me have the new CX-5 for a week – and I was overjoyed, because this meant I could use it that very weekend to try out our new camping gear we had recently purchased, Although, I have to say I am not a big fan of camping – but my wife and children do seem love it – so I go along only as an observer of course and do my best to act like ‘Bear Grylls’.
I also have many friends that spend their weekends in warm hotels – so when I tell them I am off ‘camping’ for the weekend – most of them will roll their eyes, but most will look at me and shiver and say ‘camping is cold and muddy’ and I would have to agree – because all I seem to do when I’m camping is clean mud off my shoes – plus my wife will always say the same thing “take your muddy shoes off before you come into the tent” although – I am not sure why this matters – because a farmer would not say to his Cows “err Daisy would you mind taking off your hoofs before you step into the barn”. I mean it’s crazy – you are meant to get muddy, wet, and very cold, but all my wife cares about is making sure I don’t trample over the tent carpet in my size 9s.
Also, when I do finally pluck up enough courage to take my shoes off, I will almost certainly have an outbreak of frost bite and all my toes will immediately need to be amputated.
Ok, it’s not always this bad and in the summer it’s actually very nice, but if it’s too hot, you might as well sleep in a field with the sheep – because sleeping in a modern tent in the summer is like sleeping in my oven at home. All you really need to do is turn me over every 20 minutes to keep me basted. I’m not joking either!
But of course as a family man I can forgive it for all its hot and cold nights because you just can’t beat waking up in the morning and cooking a Full English Breakfast in your underpants on an open fire in the middle of nowhere, while being surrounded by your family and relaxing in some of the most beautiful parts of the United Kingdom.
Mazda also seem produce a decent car for the right money without skimping on quality or equipment – plus they pretty much give you everything you will ever need. Look at the MX-5 as a perfect example. It’s still one of the best 2-seater sports cars you can buy for around the same price as a decent family hatchback.
Then there is the CX-3 which for me is still one of my favourite cars of 2016. And then, in front of you now is the Mazda CX-5 which is an even greater machine and ‘frankly staggering’ – and one of the main reasons why I think it’s the best crossover currently on the market.
Under the bonnet you will find a 2.2 litre Turbo-diesel, four-cylinder in line, DOHC 16 valve engine that has 150ps at 4,500rpm and 380Nm of torque. Add in 0-62 time of just over nine seconds and a top speed of around 126mph and you will start to see that what I am saying makes perfect sense. ’ Also, just because it has a big 2.2 litre engine doesn’t mean you will need to visit the pumps every few miles either – because the CX-5 can easily achieve 55mpg. Plus, it also has a CO2 rating of 119g/km so that will save you a few extra pounds too.
On the road:
The CX-5 feels planted and handles brilliantly into the corners. The steering is also very accurate and gives you great feedback – while the suspension also manages to soak up all the bumps and potholes with ease. There was also very little body roll which was yet another sign of the chassis doing an excellent job of keeping everything under control. Of course most crossovers’ also need to have the ability to do a mix of road and track – and I am happy to say that the CX-5 manages to pull that off brilliantly too.
Some of the standard features you will find come in the form of; 17″ Alloy wheels, Halogen headlights and daytime running lights, front and rear parking sensors, 40/20/40 fold flat rear seats, dusk-sensing lights, rain-sensing front wipers, cruise control, Dual-zone climate control, air-conditioning, 7″ Colour touch-screen display and Multimedia Commander & Internet app integration for internet radio, DAB radio with 6 speakers, navigation system, driver and passenger front side and curtain airbags, Dynamic Stability Control and Traction Control with System Hill Hold, Power tilt and slide sunroof, Black leather seat trim with 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat with memory, 6-way power adjustable front passenger seat and heated front seats.
To sum up:
The CX-5 really is a brilliant car which also happens to be one of the best looking too. Mazda really has done a fantastic job here and the new CX-5 is now well above any of its rivals and the only crossover you need to be thinking about buying.
Price: £27,265 (as tested)