X-Factor – Has Mazda’s new SUV the lowest running costs in the segment?
“MEET the SUV that’s the cheapest of them all to run” – well according to Mazda.
A bold statement indeed and the very mantra that greets every billboard sporting pictures of this fine looking car, but is this just more marketing spin from our tangerine friends?
Well, we’re gonna find out.
The plan is to knock 1,000kms onto the clock and see how much juice we’d have to put in to get us there?
Now, looking at the vehicle stats, one has to admit that on paper they are very impressive – boasting emissions of just 119g/km (annual road tax of just €200) and returning over 60mpg (4.6L/100kms).
Such frugal figures made all the more astounding when one discovers that this carriage is powered by a gargantuan 2.2 litre diesel, generating a very decent 150bhp with a 0-100kph in just 8.9 seconds. Wow.
So, how do you get that kind of grunt from so little fuel?
“SkyActiv Technology”, or to the great unwashed Stop/Start and a very clever gizmo called iLoop – a regenerative system that stores power.
Couple that with the use of lighter steel and aluminium in the chassis and body and you’ve got city car consumption.
Great, but how does it drive?
Like all Mazdas – a pleasure.
Thanks to the elevated driving position the visibility from the cabin is unrivalled and the chunky body with thick rubber mouldings running around the frame give it a feel of invincibility.
The engine is rev happy and instantly responsive with zero lag from the twin turbo unit.
The short shift (taken from the MX5 gives the gearbox a real sporty feel as the hulking body hurtles along with the ease of a hot hatch.
Inside the interior is simple, well laid out and has all the creature comforts needed for a growing brood.
There is a generous boot with 503 litres of luggage space which expands into 1,620 litres with the rear seats down.
There’s lots of goodies too with the entry level ‘Executive’ model getting 17 inch alloys, air con, sat nav, Bluetooth and a snazzy 5.8”touch screen infotainment system.
The flagship Sport SE model is now available with a 6-speed automatic gearbox and comes with a Bose 9-speaker audio system, leather seats, rear reversing camera and 19” alloys.
But it’s the economy that does it for us and we averaged high 40s in our little experiment which lasted just over a week.
Unfortunately most of the time she was on smooth tarmac in cruise control but it’s so mind-numbingly boring travelling at just under 100kph we dropped the pedal a little more to 120kph.
Even cruising at those speeds the digital display showed that we were still getting mid to high 40s mpg or a smidgen under 5L/100kms.
In real money terms the fuel reserve light came on at the 750km mark so a quick pitstop and €30 later we were well on the way to the grand total.
In fact there was still juice left in the tank when the boys from Mazda came to collect it.
So it’s got the performance of a petrol, the economy of a supermini and the drive dynamic of a reasonably hottish hatch back – which in any man’s book is simply fantastic.
Our only gripe is it could do with being slightly larger inside especially the middle back seat.
Prices fro the CX5 start at €28,895.