Review: 2017 Mazda CX-5 GT AWD – Part 2

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This is the Mazda Skyactiv 2.5l four cylinder engine. It puts out 184 horsepower and 185 pound feet of torque and is mated to a six speed automatic that you can shift yourself (Top tip: don’t bother as it does fine when left alone) which puts the power to the road via all four wheels. Now that’s not new as the previous generation CX-5 had this engine transmission combo. And its ability to motivate the CX-5 with authority (more so when you flip the sport switch on the center console) hasn’t changed either. But what is new is what is around the engine. Which is a much stiffer body and a heavily reworked suspension. All of this conspires to make what was already an outstanding crossover from a handling perspective even better. Body movement is well controlled, the suspension is on the firm side without beating you to death. It’s insanely agile at both city and highway speeds. And I actually get feedback from the steering wheel, which by the way has a very heavy feel to it that I liked.

Excellent!

What further helps this is the inclusion of G-Vectoring Control technology that enhances steering response through subtle engine-torque manipulation. In other words, it’s a form of torque vectoring that makes things like lane changes and turns smoother for you and your passengers. Here’s a video that shows it in action:

Net result: It’s the best handling compact crossover that’s not named Porsche. 

A word about the all wheel drive system in the CX-5. As I type this, Toronto is receiving massive amounts of rain. As in more we got a months worth of rain in a week. As in homes are being flooded and Lake Ontario is at it’s highest point since 1973. Conditions like these can show the best, or worst, when it comes to an all wheel drive system. I never noticed when the system had to do something and I always felt that the CX-5 was sure footed, which is the way it should be.

Now if you do want more engine than this, I have news for you. The word is that later this year a diesel version of the CX-5 is coming. I don’t have pricing or specs yet. But it’s sure to shake up the marketplace if it does hit Canadian soil. I say if because Mazda has promised a diesel version of the Mazda6 mid sized sedan in the past and it never showed up. So it will be interesting to see if a diesel CX-5 does materialize. If it does, expect to see a review on it.

One thing that you will notice if you’ve driven the previous CX-5 is that noise, harshness and vibration levels are way down. Now to be fair, the previous CX-5 was pretty good on this front, but the 2017 model is way better. Fuel economy at the moment is 9.9 L per 100/KM in mixed city and highway driving, some of it in rush hour. That’s pretty good and I expect it to improve over the course of this week.

In part three, I will be taking a look at the interior which I can describe in two words: Class Above. Stay tuned!

 

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