Review: 2018 Mazda CX-5 GT – Part 4

If you’re looking for technology in the Mazda CX-5, there’s a lot of it to be found. Some of it which is really different. Let’s start with the safety technology:

  • Blind Spot Monitoring: This system keeps an eye out for cars in your blind spots so that you don’t hit them when changing lanes. It works well as the area of detection was large enough to keep me safe, but not so large that it created false positives.
  • Lane Departure Warning With Lane Keep Assist: If you cross over into another lane, this system will buzz you on either the right or the left side. The buzz really gets your attention I must say. You can also set it to vibrate the steering wheel. However, it has one extra trick, the system will proactively guide the CX-5 back onto its intended path if the system thinks you’re getting out of shape. For what its worth, it was never overly intrusive when it did intervene.
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert: If you back out of a parking space in a busy shopping mall and you have limited visibility to your left and right, you’ll love this system as you will be warned of any cars that cross into your path.
  • Adaptive Front Lighting System and High Beam Control: I wrote about this previously and I have to admit that on some of the back roads that I drive at night, this feature came in handy. I was always able to see what was in front of me clearly. One thing that I really appreciated was the fact that the LED headlights were very bright.
  • Distance Recognition Support System: This feature measures the distance between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead and recommends a comfortable following distance on the Active Driving Display as long as you are above 30 km/h.
  • Radar Based Cruise Control: I really liked this feature as you can set the speed you want and the distance that you want to have between yourself and the car in front of you, and you can pretty much let it slow down and speed up depending on the conditions. It’s very handy on long highway drives. One trick that it has is that it will slow the car down to a dead stop. Though you’ll have to get the CX-5 moving again once traffic starts to move.
  • Smart City Brake Support: Let’s say that you you do not react in time to a car that panic stops in front of you. This Mazda is capable of coming to a stop on it’s own, or slowing down enough to make the impact less severe. You can get more details on this system here. I should note that this is a standard feature regardless of the trim level
  • Rear Backup Camera: The camera is a fisheye camera that has an impressive degree of clarity. You can see anything and everything that is behind you when you’re backing up. One thing to note is that the camera is exposed, so it may become a dirt magnet that will affect what you can see.
  • You get anti-lock brakes, traction control, stability control, and electronic brake force distribution. Plus you get hill launch assist which keeps you from rolling backwards when you’re on a hill.
  • Finally, you get dual front air bags, dual front side air bags and dual side air curtains.

There’s one other piece of technology that I should point out:

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This is the Mazda Active Driving Display, and this feature projects vehicle speed, chosen cruise-control speed, information from the navigation system (including turn-by-turn directions, distance and lane guidance) as well as notifications for the blind spot monitoring system, lane departure warning system, and road signs onto the windscreen. All of this information is within the line of sight of the driver, which means you never have to look away from the road. That’s why I consider it to be a piece of safety tech. Once I tweaked the position of the display, I found it to be extremely useful. The only thing that I should mention is that my Oakely Prizim Road driving sunglasses filters the display out. Thus choose your sunglasses carefully.

Is there anything missing from the safety tech? There are no backup sensors which give you audio cues of how close you are to an object when you are backing up. That could be a problem as many of the vehicles that the CX-5 competes against includes this feature.

Now how about actually driving the Mazda CX-5? You get a proximity key with push button start. Thus all you have to do is press a button on the driver’s door handle. Press it and the car will unlock. Get in, hit the start/stop button and drive away. One nice touch is that the start/stop button will light up with a green light if you press the brake pedal to start. That’s a nice touch to remind you to press the brake pedal to start the car. When you’ve reached your destination, press the start/stop button to turn off the car. Then get out of the car, close the door and walk away. You’ll hear two beeps. One after you close the door and one about 10 seconds later. When you hear both, the car is locked. You never need to pull out the key fob to do any of this. But the key fob does have the ability to lock and unlock the doors and it has the ever useful panic button. As an added bonus, it has a backup key inside the key fob should you need it.

Then there is Mazda Connect. The combination of the 7″ touchscreen  and the HMI (Human Machine Interface) Commander Switch gives the driver a easy to learn, easy to use infotainment system. I wrote about it in detail here. And before anyone asks, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay isn’t currently available, but it’s on the way.

The Mazda CX-5 has a 10 speaker Bose sound system that I have to admit that regardless where in the CX-5 I happened to be sitting, the sound was excellent as the highs and lows were perfect and the audio was well balanced when I tested it with my current audio torture playlist made up of Austra, Ruelle, TV On The Radio, Chemical Brothers, Electronic, Lana Del Rey and Black Coast among others. I should note that there is no CD player in the CX-5, but I don’t think you’ll miss it.

The final part of this review will tie up some loose ends and I’ll give you my final verdict. Watch for it on Friday.

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