Labelled as a 'compact crossover,’ we thought it to be within the ballpark dimensions of the BMW X1 or Subaru XV. But in reality, the CX-5 is just as big as the CX-7 that it effectively replaces - just 141 mm shorter. Plus, it looked a whole lot better than what we imagined. Although, we really think it's shaped like a bull shark. Its deeply-recessed headlamps, wide wheel arches, and large five-point grill, make it look like it’s ready to take a bite out of the competition.
Beyond the typical tale of the 'driver-oriented interior' in the official press release, we can see that Mazda's design team has taken some of their inspiration from BMW - the true masters when it comes to 'driver-oriented interiors.’ The horizontal piano-black moulding on the dashboard, white-illuminated metallic gauges, and center dash cluster are all reminiscent of the 1 Series. However, don't take it as a liability, because (let’s face it) it feels good to sit behind the wheel of a Bimmer. And now you get to have the same experience, but with a different badge on the wheel.
At 2,700mm, the CX-5 has one of the longest wheelbases in its class, which allows rear passengers to enjoy 997mm of legroom. Head and shoulder room are also quite generous, but it's quite puzzling why Mazda only mentioned that four adults can relax in comfort when we reckon that five full-sized passengers should have no trouble fitting inside.
Hiding under the CX-5's long bonnet is its biggest asset: the 2.0 direction-injection SKYACTIV-G engine. At 162 horsepower and 210 Nm of torque, it's able to produce low-end torque for acceleration while delivering exceptional fuel efficiency. And helping it achieve this is a SKYACTIVE Drive six-speed automatic transmission that's tuned for fuel economy. But we're more interested in the SKYACTIV MT six-speed manual version that promises to offer the same sporty feel as the MX-5.
Tagged at P1,392,000 for the manual and P1,452,000 for the automatic version, the CX-5 is shipped CBU (Completely Built-Up) from Japan and comes in black mica, crystal white pearl, aluminum blue, velocity red, and sky blue. For those prices, you get front, side, and curtain airbags as standard equipment, along with Bluetooth connectivity with voice control, and a speed-sensitive electric power assist system. Now on sale throughout Mazda dealerships nationwide, it's finally time for Mazda's SKYACTIV revolution.