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View Full Version : Sizing down (or up?): Just pulled the trigger on a CX-5 GT!!



Gravity
02-25-2012, 03:37 PM
Just signed the papers an hour ago!

We'll be taking delivery sometime before march 30th.


REally enjoyed the test drive. Feels like the CX-7 but tighter, and sportier. Even the bolstering on the seats is more substantial. Much like my '04 RX-8 seats (not quite as nice as the Recaros in my '09 though ;-)

Interior fit and finish REALLY impressed me. I love the touch-panel controls on the dash.


Sexy on the outside, sexy on the inside. Obviously not quite as much fun with a smaller engine ~100hp down, but it seems like what you lose in power you've gained in suspension and handling. It really does feel like a tighter, snappier car. I always thought the CX-7 had elements of the rx-8 handling feel... After driving the cx-5 i take it all back.


Really loved it. Will give a better report when we take delivery!

Orangutan
02-25-2012, 05:22 PM
Congrats! I stopped by my dealership today to see if they had any but none have arrived yet. I'm looking forward to driving the 6MT version.

Park2670
02-25-2012, 05:23 PM
Stopped by and sat in one today. Excited to drive one in the next few weeks.

wannabe
02-27-2012, 08:22 AM
got to sit in one at the Cleveland Auto Show on Saturday, I agree on the fit and finish.

So, the HP is my main concern, what was your impression going from the CX7 to the 5? Did it seem to stumble when giving it gas? I know you said it was still snappy..

Gravity
03-02-2012, 02:47 AM
You know, it's not got the balls of the DISI in the CX-7, but then, the cx-7 is a fair bit heavier than the 5. I don't feel like it's underpowered for sure. It definitely won't snap your head back with 4 people in the car, but it certainly pulls enough. I'm positive i wouldn't use it to tow a boat, but the handling makes it feel much 'sportier' than it might otherwise with that kind of power.

Again these are all first impressions from a 20 minute test drive, I'll have a better idea when I get a bit more time in it at the end of this month!

inodes
03-03-2012, 05:35 AM
So, the HP is my main concern, what was your impression going from the CX7 to the 5? Did it seem to stumble when giving it gas? I know you said it was still snappy..
I did a back to back comparison between the CX-7 (Petrol), CX-5 (Petrol), VW Passat (TDi), Honda Odyssey.

After driving the whole list, we've put money down on the CX-5, with the need though to test drive the CX-5 Diesel in a week.

DRIVING DYNAMICS

Both Mazda's had the Honda and VW cars crying. There was no match. Both felt extremely fun to drive. The Passat was close, particularly because the diesel engine was so powerful in the VW. The Honda Odyssey immediately lost out, feeling like a slow cruising boat .

The CX-5 was the most taut, best steering, wonderful suspension that ironed out the bumps, yet was solid enough it taunted me to push the throttle more. I could only compare it to driving a very large MX-5. They've really engineered this thing wonderfully.

Then there's the one issue - acceleration. It's got real linear power delivery, but most of the torque gets fed slowly from about 2000rpm, coming on full at 4000rpm. Up there it's only decent for overtaking on the highway. From the traffic lights though, it doesn't want to pull punches. It pushes away from the line, rather than sprinting.
The power and torque being mapped this way is probably one of the tricks up Mazda's sleeve that makes fuel economy so good.

Conversely, the CX-7 is brutal with its power delivery. You can tell it's the same powerplant that comes from the Mazda 3 MPS (Mazdaspeed for those in the US). It's on tap from the line all the way up to overtaking. But at the same time, it drinks 2 to 3 times what the CX-5 does (particularly if you push it).

I'm a manual driver, and if this were 4 years ago I would have taken the manual CX-7 we sell here with no question.
But it's 2012 and fuel prices are ridiculous. The CX-5 is kind to the hip pocket when using petrol (gasoline), let alone diesel.

FUEL ECONOMY

The Australian government standardised all fuel economy measurements providing three readings: city/country/mixed - mixed being the average driver. The result for CX-5 GT AT 4WD model (i.e. the thirstiest on sale in US at moment) was 8.2 city/6.2 country/6.9 mixed L/100km. Or in US gallon terms 28.7 city/37.9 country/34.1 mixed mpg.
Extremely good for such a large vehicle.

THAT AUTO TRANSMISSION

The world isn't equal. I am a manual driver, but I live in Australia - which not unlike the US, is an auto dominated country.
We ended up getting two CX-7 engine/transmission selections here. We got the auto/petrol, which was developed for the US and the manual/diesel, which was developed for the UK.

The manual was a sales dud.

I personally hate autos with a passion, but I have no choice in the matter. My wife can't drive MT. I was very keen to get the VW mainly because as a purist, the DSG transmission was the closest I could get to manual performance while also being kind to fuel economy. The issue with the DSG though, is that's is not very kind on passengers who aren't strapped in for it's shift 1 through 3. Giving it a bit of throttle impresses, but be prepared to only impress yourself.... alone. Have any passengers, and the only way to use the DSG is to be kind, gentle - and in doing so, lose all the fun.

The auto in the CX-5 surprised me. It brought back a lot of the fun of the DSG. It feels like a genuine manual shifting inside, but very carefully. The first 3 gears that would be head smacking in a DSG though, are caressed in the CX-5. The engineers have really been working hard. This is probably the best automatic transmission I've driven... well in anything under $70.

I am thinking now, that not having a manual at the high end isn't such a bad thing.
With a car that drives as well as this to the point of disbelieving its an SUV, the auto faded into the background. And I didn't scream at it once (the slow takeoff was the engines fault!)

THE DIESEL

Going back to the CX-7 Manual/Diesel - I thought it was a great idea, but no one else seems in Australia seems to think this way. They were a sales dud.
Diesel sales have skyrocketed in Australia accounting for 35% of all new vehicles. So Mazda Australia pushed for the diesel as soon as possible.
BUT it had to come with an auto transmission to sell.

I spend quite a bit of time in Japan as well visiting my wife's family. It's a petrol/auto country as well. But the new CX-5 has been big news (lots of Japanese videos on You Tube). What the videos basically explain is that diesel is never used in Japan because it has a reputation for being disgusting and underpowered. They're hoping the CX-5 turns this impression on its head with 0.02% soot being produced - VERY CLEAN.

The intercooled, turbo diesels though have just arrived in Australia, and will be available for a test drive next week. 10% more power, 240% more torque, much better fuel economy.

Best thing about the torque is that a large chunk of it is available at 1000rpm to to its dual turbo (second kicks in 4000rpm).
So it is apparently solves the issue of the gutless petrol, but also attains 41.2mpg in mixed.

The other awesome thing is that it's the first production diesel to do without the terribly expensive urea refills, and doesn't require an expensive diesel particulate filter. That should save money at the service stops.


I'll post the diesel review next week.

wannabe
03-03-2012, 11:42 AM
wow great write up! I look forward to your Diesel review :)

DrTraci
03-03-2012, 08:48 PM
First of all, Congrats on the new CX-5 Gravity... I think you will like it.


+1 on the write-up Inodes.

I am also very interested in the diesel review.

Did or do you all have to deal with the urea and/or DPF stuff on diesels over there (from your write-up it sounds like it, but I thought they only made the US jump through that hoop)?

You said 41mpg combined, any idea what the high-end will be?

I was guessing the diesel would go from the gas 150hp - 150torque (approx) to 200hp - 250torque with the turbo. From your write-up it sounds like it will be even better. That will make a huge difference for the car. A lot of folks here in the US don't understand diesels (they never even test drive them), so they never experience what that torque has to offer (or the mileage). A lot turn their nose up at them because they think they a noisy or pollute (little do they know about todays clean diesels which for the most part you cannot even hear standing next to them). With the exception of the CX-5 (which is actually my daughter's), I am all diesel (4 vehicles).

Thanks again.

inodes
03-03-2012, 09:21 PM
wow great write up! I look forward to your Diesel review :)

Thank you very much.

Orangutan
03-03-2012, 09:40 PM
Looks like the 2.2 Sky-D makes 129kW and 420 Nm of torque, which equates to ~172 horsepower and 309 lbs of torque. The 2.0 gas is rated for 34 mpg combined (6.9l/100km) versus 42 mpg combined (5.7l/100km) for the diesel. If we expect an equivalent ~20% increase in fuel economy in our EPA ratings then the diesel should rate about 34 mpg combined versus 28 mpg combined for the gas AWD CX-5. I'd expect fuel economy figures of 29-30 city and 37-39 on the highway. When they put it in the 3 or 6 I'd expect the mileage to increase to about 44-46 on the highway.

inodes
03-03-2012, 09:48 PM
+1 on the write-up Inodes.

Thank you.



I am also very interested in the diesel review.

Did or do you all have to deal with the urea and/or DPF stuff on diesels over there (from your write-up it sounds like it, but I thought they only made the US jump through that hoop)?


It's actually required in most developed countries. But Mazda has gone to a lot of effort with this diesel and it not only exceeds current Euro V standards for example, but also exceeds Euro VI (2015+ standard). This is despite the lack of urea and expensive filters.



You said 41mpg combined, any idea what the high-end will be?


We're just finding that we're being punched in the gutt with fuel prices. We're almost neck and neck with US prices (which are still significantly lower than Europe). But it hasn't stopped a change in the cars we buy. 2011 was the first year in 15 years, that a foreign car (and a small one at that), took over number 1 position in sales. The number one selling car here last year was the Mazda 3 (previously it was the Holden Commodore, which we exported to the US as the Pontiac G5).

The city use of the CX-5 diesel is expected to be about 34mpg. The highway is expected to be 46mpg.
To compare with the CX-7 city/highway/average
CX-7 Petrol - 15.3/25.6/20.4mpg
CX-7 Diesel - 25.2/35.1/30.9mpg



I was guessing the diesel would go from the gas 150hp - 150torque (approx) to 200hp - 250torque with the turbo. From your write-up it sounds like it will be even better. That will make a huge difference for the car. A lot of folks here in the US don't understand diesels (they never even test drive them), so they never experience what that torque has to offer (or the mileage). A lot turn their nose up at them because they think they a noisy or pollute (little do they know about todays clean diesels which for the most part you cannot even hear standing next to them). With the exception of the CX-5 (which is actually my daughter's), I am all diesel (4 vehicles).


Trying hard to calculate (have Excel opened doing conversions).
In Australia we use Metric - so kW and nM for power and torque. Horsepower isn't something I know much about.

But the figures are this:

We have same detuned engine as US/Canada with 13:1 compression for petrol - so figures are:

CX-5 Petrol 2WD - 152.9hp @ 6000rpm, 147.5fp @ 4000rpm
CX-5 Petrol AWD - 151.5hp @ 6000rpm, 147.5fp @ 4000rpm
CX-5 Diesel AWD - 173.0hp @ 4500rpm, 309.8fp @ 2000rpm

So the Diesel isn't 200hp (but not far off) - but the torque is crazy high @ 1/2 the revs.

Everything else is practically the same.

With regards to the pollution and noise, the Mazda engineers have done a bloody awesome job making the diesel quiet. Australian motoring journalists laughed recently when they were comparing a competitors diesel SUV, and said that the Mazda was quieter driving past a competitor car that was idling.

inodes
03-03-2012, 10:24 PM
By the way, uploading some shots of Australian CX-5's to http://www.flickr.com/photos/glennstewart/

DrTraci
03-04-2012, 11:22 AM
Thanks for the info Orangutan. That is not to shabby for an AWD vehicle of this size.

inodes (is that related to a unix reference?), again, thanks for the reply and the pics. I was not aware you had to deal with the ulsd, urea and dpf. I always thought that the reason the US market usually saw the diesel versions of (only certain) car models a year later than elsewhere in the world was the added pollution requirements had to be engineered in (I know there is some market issues playing into this also based on what I said earlier about people turning their noses up at diesels over here). From what I understand, Europe is approx 70% diesel, and they have many more models available in diesel than we see here. You will certainly see the diesel version of the CX-5 before us, so please keep posting. Great info. Thanks

inodes
03-05-2012, 06:32 AM
Thanks for the info Orangutan. That is not to shabby for an AWD vehicle of this size.

inodes (is that related to a unix reference?), again, thanks for the reply and the pics. I was not aware you had to deal with the ulsd, urea and dpf. I always thought that the reason the US market usually saw the diesel versions of (only certain) car models a year later than elsewhere in the world was the added pollution requirements had to be engineered in (I know there is some market issues playing into this also based on what I said earlier about people turning their noses up at diesels over here). From what I understand, Europe is approx 70% diesel, and they have many more models available in diesel than we see here. You will certainly see the diesel version of the CX-5 before us, so please keep posting. Great info. Thanks

Yes - it's a Unix reference :)

No worries for the pics. There will be more.
Decided to change my order today to the Diesel GT model with Tech Pack (high beam control, blind spot monitoring and lane change warning). Means that instead of getting my car March 16th, I get it April 16th. Bugger!
(Suppose it means more time with my Mazda 3 SP23)

But I will test drive the diesel prior to this and post details.
Diesels arrived in Australia recently, so they should filter through to dealers fairly shortly.

In the meantime.... the following is from Mazda Australia

Intro Review:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_Q1jmXriJ4

Advertisements (including teaser)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlH3DQWcESU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goJu6S8-REs

Infographic:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pQaKndKY1jU


If there is one thing I wish would happen though, is that we got the Japanese spec directly. We're very close to Japan for a start (same time zone, directly down, very close shipping). Secondly our vehicles are left hand/metric vehicles, exactly the same as Japan (unlike RHD/miles US vehicles).

The issue is with fuel at the end of the day. In Australia our fuels are 91/95/98 RON. A lot of people still demand the use of 91 RON, but it's likely this will fade shortly. In Japan the minimum is 98 RON - although in a lot of places, 100 RON is often the minimum.

By the way, as per usual a conversion is required for US terminology. The US uses a completely different octane rating system from the rest of the world, which is referred to as AKI. Effectively 91 RON is about 87 AKI.

It's the reason the Australian vehicles match the US engines with the 13.0:1 versus 14.0:1 compression. Still damn high compression, but I would like to think that if you're able to purchase a new vehicle, then you can afford the small premium to us 98 RON (93 AKI).

The Japanese spec vehicles get two extra things I'd love. The first is the auto braking system, for travelling speeds below 30km/h. Secondly, the rearview mirror has an in-built camera showing the downward view from the left (road side) wing mirror. This helps parking the car without buggering up the rims.

kobec
03-05-2012, 11:07 AM
I'm jealous that you guys get the diesel versions! And yes, I could wait another year till they "potentially" release that in the US, but my current vehicle is starting to give out, so getting a replacement (a great one for that matter) was high on my priority list. BTW, any specific reason why you wanted to tech add-on? I bought the GT, but opted to go without the tech package because having the navigation wasn't important for me. Only other thing on there would've been the lights...but just thought that was a high price to pay for all those perks. Not sure if there was anything else critical that I'd be missing...

DrTraci
03-05-2012, 04:07 PM
inodes,

Can't wait for the diesel report (this would likely entice me to jump from my 2010 Jetta TDI). From your description of the diesel model, IMO you made the right choice to change your order and wait. I like kobec am very jealous (kobec, get the gasser now, wait a year + till the diesel comes here. By that time, gas will be well over $5/gal and people will gladly buy the gasser model off of you at a good rate, then go get the diesel). Seriously though, my daughters car was approaching EOL also and that is why we pulled the trigger on the gas model (I don't think you can go wrong though), so I feel your pain kobec.

Dang inodes, I would have to do an fsck on that price you have to pay in your market for the diesel (I did not pay that much for my 2009 Touareg TDI, but it is the same story for VW market wise). I love my diesels though and would pay the piper also. I wonder if we get the same options (Tech wise) over here as you do (definitely do not with VW). The Japanese spec sounds interesting.

As far as RONs and Octane goes, we have another twist here that you may or may not know about. In the Rocky Mountain (high elevation) states, 85 AKI (<90 RON) is the minimum octane, and 91 AKI (95 RON) is the maximum octane available in gas. So it would seem up at this altitude, we would have to go with our typical mid-range (87 AKI) to satisfy even the 13:1 engine requirements, I am not sure we could do the 14:1 (without some octane booster) even if we had it. Maybe it does all fit somehow though, who knows.

inodes
03-05-2012, 05:00 PM
I'm jealous that you guys get the diesel versions! And yes, I could wait another year till they "potentially" release that in the US, but my current vehicle is starting to give out, so getting a replacement (a great one for that matter) was high on my priority list. BTW, any specific reason why you wanted to tech add-on? I bought the GT, but opted to go without the tech package because having the navigation wasn't important for me. Only other thing on there would've been the lights...but just thought that was a high price to pay for all those perks. Not sure if there was anything else critical that I'd be missing...

Here in Australia, the options are different. For example, Navigation and bluetooth are standard on all but the bottom model. For us the GT includes all options except the 3 that people might possibly do without. It's the 3 options that must be factory fitted, because they involve having cameras fitted to the windscreen:
* Blind spot warning
* High beam control (that's auto high beam dipping if car detects vehicle ahead)
* Lane change warning (which basically beeps at you if you change lanes at high speed without indicating - assumes you're falling asleep).

The first one is most notable, and I tried a car with the feature. In Sydney's crazy traffic, it turned into a had-to-have option rather than a gimmick.

Regarding the Navigation, Sydney also is also large and complex. GPS's are essential. I have TomTom on my iPhone, and having trialled many GPS systems (both portable and in-car) it's one of the most intelligent systems.

The TomTom found in the CX-5 is probably the best in-car system I've seen. The VW system is good but not better. But systems in other Japanese cars like Lexus, Honda, Toyota and the rest, are well behind because they're Japanese systems made by the manufacturers that are re-worked for our area. TomTom however is Dutch and GPS is their core business. They also already have a lot of experience in the US and Australia already.
(Side note: TomTom isn't in the Japanese cars - their GPS style is very different, and the TomTom system possibly wouldn't suit them. It's this reason that the Japanese systems seem to be so awkward in countries like US/Australia).

The Navigation combined with the bluetooth are essential. Was amazed at just how brilliant they work. Connecting to the iPhone was easy. Splitting bluetooth connections between two devices for phone and music (or both on the one) was very handy. Extremely easy system to use.

Mazda made the right step here!
TomTom is fantastic.