2013 Mazda CX-5 Skyactiv
2013 Mazda CX-5 is the new Mazda SUV with applying philosophy of SKYACTIV. As implemented within the CX-5, it’s an entire departure from previous Mazda platforms. The unibody is all-new, designed to maximise area whereas cutting weight severely. Indeed, the CX-5 is between 220 and 500 lbs. lighter than the equivalent CX-7, looking on trim level, whereas providing terribly similar interior area. a totally re-imagined gasoline engine uses special long-tube headers and distinctive piston style to securely raise compression to 13:1, yielding a 155 horsepower and one 150 lb-ft. of torque. The manual and automatic transmissions – yes, 2 types are on supply for the Northyank market – each feature six forward gears and are claimed to be considerably lighter than their predecessors.
Time and once more throughout our briefing, the Mazda people hammered home one explicit point: This automobilewas built as an entire, not as a mixture of “platform parts.” 2 examples: The unibody was destined from the start to possess a special cut-out for the Skyactiv long-tube headers, and therefore the AWD hardware has been considerablydownsized as a result of the 2013 Mazda CX-5 is therefore light-weight – which, in turn, makes it even lighter. In fact, the CX-5 is overa . lighter than the equivalent CR-V, the class lightweight up until now, despite offering relatively heavy 17-inch alloy wheels as standard equipment.
The 2013 Mazda CX-5 production debut for Mazda’s new “Kodo”, but in both detail styling and basic proportions, the Mazda CX-5 seems to have more commonality with Audi’s Q5 CUV than it does with any outrageous Tokyo Auto Show concept. The inside is more recognizably Mazda, with a combination of matte black plastic, piano-black trim, and faux-aluminum highlights which won’t culture-shock anyone who has ever owned an RX-8.
Our day driving the 2013 Mazda CX-5 started with an eighty-mile tour through central California in the base six-speed manual Sport model. Most of the hype is justified. On single-lane backroads, the little CUV is wickedly fast, offering a thoroughbred combination of spring/shock tuning, well-chosen gear ratios, and extremely accurate steering. The four-cylinder never feels strong, not even at redline, but it offers enough thrust to keep the momentum going. Only the brakes, which were smoked after half an hour of hard-stop corner entries, let the package down.
On some of the rougher sections of road, it was easy to imagine the 2013 Mazda CX-5 walking away from its vaunted Miata sibling. The little CUV can float and glide – but never too much – where a sports car would crash against its bumpstops. It really is the sporting entry in the segment.
The manual-transmission FWD and automatic AWD variants were both available. The Skyactiv automatic doesn’t use the torque converter above walking pace. A clutch pack handles shifts above that speed, virtually eliminating the traditional autotragic driveline slop. On the track, this is obvious, as is the precision with which rev-matches occur when using the manual mode. A drag race up Laguna Seca’s back straight proved the automatic to be only slightly slower than the manual despite the weight penalty involved with the AWD hardware.
Although no CR-V or RAV4 was available for comparison around the famous central California course, it wasn’t really necessary to drive the competition to understand just how much more dynamic, and enjoyable, the 2013 Mazda CX-5 is to drive. Handling is neutral through the famously difficult Turn Nine. It’s possible to adjust the little trucklet’s attitude with the throttle alone, just like it is in a sports car. Virtually all of the hype seems justified in the cold light of an open trackday. If you want the most driver-focused CUV out there, this is it.
This is a segment where middle-class values prevail. Think low purchase cost, low operating costs, plenty of interior space, long-term durability. Mazda has the competition covered on at least the first three of those points. The Touring and Grand Touring models are priced from $24,000 to $28,300 – face-to-face with the class-defining CR-V- while the Sport manual-transmission model offers a full suite of features for about $21,500 with the optional Bluetooth package. If you enjoy driving a manual transmission, the “base” 2013 Mazda CX-5 is about all the vehicle any small family really needs. Projected EPA fuel economy is higher than any other offering in the class, with the AWD Mazda CX-5 likely to have the highest combined mileage of any all-wheel-drive vehicle on the market, period.
Interior space is good as well, although the cargo area suffers slightly in the cause of Kodo Design, with a steeply raked rear window that will annoy the hell out of owners should they have to transport any furniture. On the positive side, the seats fold completely flat, which is rare in a car this size. There’s plenty of room for four people and their luggage, all in a package just under 180 inches long.
Only at the final hurdle of the CUV race does the 2013 Mazda CX-5 fail to clear with authority. Many conservative buyers may feel that the Mazda obsession with lightness and sportiness will pay negative dividends after the hundred-thousand-mile mark. It’s fair to say, however, that those buyers would never consider anything other than a CR-V or RAV4 in the first place. Mazda is likely better off providing a genuine alternative in the class, rather than trying to sell a product which can’t match the leaders on their home field values. Great vehicle for 2013 Mazda CX-5.