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Mazda CX 5

Automatic is only available with all-wheel drive.

The last major revision took place in 2017. It is not so easy to speak of generations, because Mazda makes smaller changes at much shorter intervals, e.g. in 2020 for the seats. The series exists since 2012 and well over 3 million units have been sold worldwide.

In Germany, it probably finds its buyers because of its design, which Mazda even elevates to a design language and calls 'Kodo'. There has been no change in this respect with the latest redesign. By the way, an unusually high share of buyers, namely 50%, results from the possibility to order the CX 5 with all-wheel drive.

So it's not quite a genuinely distinguishable second generation, perhaps only in terms of infotainment and powertrain updates. It has to hold its own against the Hyundai Tucson and the VW Tiguan. However, Mazda has been standing out for years with very effective press relations. There's the interior with a thoroughly successful feel. At least the testers say that the infotainment has become faster.

However, there are minor hiccups, like the fiddly work of having to plug in an Apple smartphone, already possible wirelessly with other models. Is it working the latest version of the free MyMazda app from the Apple Store is useful then. The large center screen is touted as large at 12.2 inches, but its unfortunate 8:3 format makes it look like a piece has been cut off at the bottom. However, it is good that the screen's operation has not been changed to touchscreen.

Technicians rub their eyes when they look at the 'improved' engine program. In any case, nothing remains of the revolution of a DiesOtto with the so-called compression ignition for the CX-5. Here, there is not even gentle turbocharging, though a compression ratio that is still quite high. But that's about it. And without the greatest possible efficiency in consumption, there's no need for a particulate filter either.

The many specifications according to NEDC in the press text fit in with this. If you want WLTP, you'll only find it at some point. And you won't find anything like a dual-clutch transmission, instead a six-speed torque converter automatic. At least the manual transmission, which also has six speeds, is praised for its short travel. Again, it's strange that Mazda doesn't specify a drag coefficient for the undoubtedly appealing Kodo design.

So one of the two diesel engines with manual transmission is recommended. At least both are now available with and without all-wheel drive. So, when buying a CX-5, you are left with quite conventional, perhaps already a bit outdated technology. Thus one looks for any electrics beyond 12V in vain. And that with a revision of the engines in 2021.

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