Have a kid or two? It appears as though societal pressure has motivated everyone with either one or two toddlers to go immediately out and buy the most plush, leather-lined SUV or crossover they can afford.
It appears as though societal pressure has motivated everyone with either one or two toddlers to go immediately out and buy the most plush, leather-lined SUV or crossover they can afford. To this I ask; why is it necessary to spend $34,498 on a base-model Murano? Mazda has just introduced this 2012 Mazda CX-5 SkyActiv, and it’s supposedly the affordable solution.
This week’s supposed “bundle of fun” has had a lot of hype surrounding it. When Mazda announced the CX-5 crossover featuring their cutting-edge SkyActiv technology, they promised that it would redefine the stigma of SUVs and crossovers being fuel-thirsty vehicles. With an advertised 7.2L/100km (8.0L/100km highway and 6.4L/100km city), the CX-5 promises to be everything that the quintessential SUV isn’t.
My tester was a GS with an as-tested price a few dollars shy of $30,500. Thirty grand for a small ute seems a bit steep, but Mazda has packaged a ridiculous amount of features into it. It came with Mazda’s neat Blind Spot Monitor System (BSM), traction control, all-wheel-drive, a neat touch screen with Bluetooth and seamless iPod integration, a power tilt/slide moonroof, and the list goes on. This car is superbly equipped. The seats are a rugged-looking cloth material, which I would prefer if I were the father of a toddler or two.
Fitting a car seat into the CX-5 was hardly a chore. The car comes equipped with anchors behind the rear seats that allow a standard-issue car seat to be installed and taken out with ease. I had zero issues with a two-year old. There’s enough rear legroom too, so that little Tommy’s feet aren’t kicking the back of the front seats. Put a six-footer back there however, and headroom quickly begins to disappear.
The CX-5’s 155-hp 4-cylinder did struggle to get up to speed, but I’m not exactly complaining. If I wanted sheer speed or performance, I’d opt for the Mazdaspeed3. What this little crossover ute is made for is to get mom or dad to daycare, then work, then around town quickly enough to get all their errands done before having to make the evening soccer run. Oh, and it needs to do all this without stopping for gas twice on the way.
That’s where SkyActiv comes in. As I mentioned, Mazda promises staggering fuel economy, so coming out of a bit of a gas guzzler, I quickly welcomed the potential of having a lower gas bill the week I had the CX-5. I was proven dead wrong. The CX-5 averaged roughly 8.9L/100km highway, and 9.5-9.6L/100km in the city. I wouldn’t go as far as to completely blame the car though; the temperatures were well into the 30-degree range and the air conditioning was on the maximum setting the majority of the time I was in the car.
Did the CX-5 meet my expectations? If you’re familiar with my (supremely biased) opinion, you’d already know that I’m a big boycotter of the image that every soccer mom or dad needs an ostentatious, plush vehicle. The Mazda CX-5 may not be the most fun to drive, the best-looking, nor the most efficient; however it’s certainly at the top of my list for an urban daycare-shuttle.