Let's talk about premium. What makes a brand a premium brand? When does a car become a premium vehicle? It's just not easy to answer. Is it the driving feeling? The processing? Or simply good marketing over several years?
Test report: Mazda CX-5 Sportsline Skyactiv D-175 AWD
Steed and rider, or how to quietly and secretly become a premium manufacturer
With the second generation of the Mazda CX-5, the Japanese continue their success story and are clearly on the winning road. The sales figures of the brand are increasing, and thanks to a constant development of the brand, with an independent design and even more independent technical solutions, one is getting more and more into the foreground of the car buyer perception. These are primarily two philosophies upon which the success of the Hiroshima brand is based. It is the KODO design and Jinba Ittai, the philosophy of "the unity of rider and horse". But in turn.
2012 launched the first Mazda CX-5. A tidy design, clear edges, few lines and a tidy, sporty look characterized the compact SUV when it entered the market. The completely newly developed CX-5 continues in this way. Clearly recognizable as Mazda, clearly recognizable as CX-5, it does not revolutionize the entire design, but continues to develop within the brand philosophy. The windscreen has been set further back, a longer bonnet and a concise freestanding grille set the front. The light design of the LED headlights in the front is repeated at the rear. And the double-tube exhaust system of the driven bi-turbo diesel engine fits the overall impression. The right color for the Mazda? Red. For the CX-5 the already known red tone has been changed again. Magmarot, even deeper, even more effective. A self-assured car for people with character stands before one.
For the first test, the CX-5 Skyactiv-D 175 was available. The top model with all-wheel drive and optional 6-speed automatic. The all-aluminum diesel engine surprises with extremely low compression, two-stage turbocharging, variable valve timing on the exhaust side (and lift) and 2.000 bar common rail injection from piezo injectors. The usual growling and nailing of diesel engines is counteracted with a special piston pin with vibration damper. 175 HP and 420 Nm are noticeably available, despite the classic automatic converter, the CX-5 feels nimble and light-footed. Jinba-Ittai, the feeling of unity between horse and rider - in the CX-5 it starts with the correct seating position. You sit deep and integrated in the Japanese SUV. The fact that the first drive in the Spanish hinterland feels particularly agile is due to another trick used by Mazda technicians. They call a technology that is responsible for a dynamic axle load shift G-Vectoring-Control. Not consciously noticeable, a little load is taken from the engine before entering the bend, the vehicle weight shifts towards the front axle and allows the 1.610 kilogram SUV to turn crisply. 1.610 kilograms? For the top model with all-wheel drive, the large diesel and the automatic. If you opt for the basic variant, you will only get 1.435 kilograms of the CX-5 on the yard.
At the start on 19./20. May a petrol engine and two diesel engines are available, the petrol engine with 160 or 165 hp (160 hp with all-wheel drive) and the two turbodiesels with 150 or 175 hp. Both engines have a decent 2.2 liter displacement - again a Mazda trend, not following the trend towards downsizing - and both engines are equipped with bi-turbocharging. Starting in the summer, Mazda will also be offering a brand new turbo gasoline engine with 2.5 liter capacity, 194 hp and cylinder deactivation.
When it comes to the equipment variants, there is still a choice between Prime, Center, Exclusive and Sports Line. Whereby the question of all-wheel drive or automatic transmission is unfortunately all too often only available with a special equipment variant. Both the upcoming top petrol engine and the “big” diesel are only available in the Sports-Line variant and are always equipped with all-wheel drive. That may shift the prices into the "so-called" premium segment, but it also leaves no more equipment requirements. The prices for the new CX-5 start at € 24.990 for the Prime Line with a basic engine. Full-LED headlights and cruise control are already standard. The Sports-Line equipment with the large diesel can really catapult you upwards - there are almost 40 kilos in the price list.
Nevertheless, the driven CX-5 in the Sportsline equipment with the 175 PS Diesel is a klare buy recommendation This is especially true because of the inner values. Because with your eyes closed, you can feel no differentiation to the brands that you usually have in mind when talking about the premium segment. Soft materials, good workmanship, nothing rattles, nothing shakes. An extremely high level of driving comfort thanks to fine work on the dampers and bodywork pays off in comparison to the predecessor in an interior noise reduced by 100% at Tempo 100.
In the end, the question of the premium remains open. Is it premium, only if the manufacturer speaks of it in his press kits, or is it just a driving experience? For example, as in the new CX-5.
Well, if you like premium, you won't buy the entry-level model either, drive the CX-5 with the 175 PS diesel and choose the Sportsline equipment, then there is also a new head-up display, a full package of assistance systems, Traffic sign recognition and matrix LED light in series. And an electric tailgate for the first time in the CX-5 and and and ... Oh, look at Mazda yourself.