Driving

the peterborough examiner Thursday, July 20, 2017

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CX-5 offers excellent fuel economy

2017 Mazda CX-5 GT Driving.ca

Road Test: 2017 Mazda CX-5 GT

Derek Mcnaughton Driving.ca At $34,700, the 2017 Mazda CX-5 GT comes fairly loaded, including AWD, LED lighting all around, plus a heated steering wheel. But one of the more simple aspects of the CX-5 that doesn?t cost anything is how easy it is to get in and out of; with a seat height close to most people?s bum height, there?s no struggle. For those whose old bones and muscles don?t quite move the way they once did, the CX-5 is as welcome as Advil. Access through other doors is easy too. The rear doors open almost 90-degrees, allowing more space to load kids or cargo into the back seats, which can recline or fold flat. Even the tailgate is powered on GS and GT models. And there?s OK cargo room back there, too ? 875 litres behind the rear seats, 1,687 L with the rear seats down ? however, it?s less than a Toyota RAV4 or Honda CR-V (2,146 L). Even so, the CX-5 cabin feels roomy, especially with beautiful white leather seats and trim. Sightlines to the front and side are particularly good since the A-pillars were pulled back. There?s a maturity to the cabin that lends itself to a comfortable driving position. The instrument cluster is easy to see, the shift lever is nice and high, and the volume control for the radio is placed exactly where the fingers of the right hand naturally rest. A head-up display on the front glass that reveals speed and navigation is standard on the GT, a feature normally not even offered in this class of vehicle, and if so, usually as an expensive option. I wish the head-up controls had their own buttons on the dash instead of being tucked away in the vehicle settings menu, though. (And while we?re being picky, there?s no need for a yellow warning light to stay illuminated when the lane-departure system is off.) Navigation is standard on the GT, as is a BOSE premium sound system with 10 speakers. It sounds decent. Climate-control buttons border on small, but at least there are buttons here ? one each for the heated seats and one for the steering wheel ? and dual-zone auto climate does the work most of the time. A seveninch colour touch screen that is also controlled by a rotary dial takes some time to become familiar with, but it?s not an exercise in frustration and is mostly intuitive. The cabin has also been quieted with more insulation and better front glass. It?s an especially happy place with comfy seats. The interior alone had me sold. The engine was slightly less thrilling. While the most basic model gets a 2.0-L direct-injection gasoline four cylinder, most models receive a 2.5-L engine with 187 horsepower and a six-speed automatic transmission. Good for towing up to 2,000 pounds, the 2.5 L engine is perfectly happy tooting around town and cruising on the highway. The six speed shifts well and without confusion when worked, especially when in Sport mode. It?s only when serious hustle is required that the 2.5 L feels less than enthusiastic. Sure, the coming diesel engine will address the torque deficit, but to achieve all 185 pound-feet of torque in the gasoline engine requires a stretch to 4,000 rpm, so you need to whip the in-line four to make it run fast. That doesn?t make the CX-5 any less of a driver?s car. With a lower centre of gravity and slightly wider track, the 2017 CX-5 handles somewhat better than the old model, itself renowned for its composure. The new CX-5 also gets Mazda?s G-Vectoring Control, which controls G-forces, improves steering and enhances responsiveness. GVC may not be obvious when it?s working, but the overall effect turns the CX-5 into a highly enjoyable driver, whether heading to work or out to the valley to climb. Equally positive was fuel economy that left me wondering if there wasn?t a strong tailwind pushing me along (I didn?t note much wind), because the 7.2 L/100 km highway I recorded is excellent for a 1,659-kilogram sport ute. Other drivers also commented on the superb highway economy they got. The official rating is 8.3 highway and 10.2 city. A larger fuel tank than the 58-L unit in AWD models would be welcome, though, since the wee tank only allows about 575 km between fillups (further for long trips involving only highway driving.) Whatever the driving, Mazda?s CX-5 returns a great deal of satisfaction. While most of Mazda?s vehicles now look pretty much the same, with that shark-like snout and svelte rear end, the CX-5 wears the brand?s Kodo design language best. The CX-5 GT, the meat between the CX-3 and CX-9 sandwich, might also return the highest value. It?s definitely a wise pick from today?s large crop of CUVs.

Canada?s Longest Standing Mazda Dealership

? 1428 Lansdowne St W. ? Peterborough On ? www.angevaaremazda.com. ? 705-741-1030

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