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The SUV that keeps on giving

Mazda CX-5 2.2 Diesel


Text and photos by Eric Tipan

Christmas shopping isn’t easy. Finding the perfect gift is hard enough as it is and if it happens to be a brand new vehicle, it gets trickier with double the stress, price notwithstanding. What color, which brand, gas or diesel, matic or manual? And the list goes on and on.

If you’ve always dreamt of upgrading to an SUV, then you’ve tremendously narrowed down your options to a more manageable level and even with only a few days left before Christmas, you just might actually be able to pull this off.

Bank loan secure, better yet, cash on hand, here are four reasons why, with all the SUVs out there, Santa ought to be driving a Mazda CX-5 2.2 Diesel straight into your garage.


Soul Red

I don’t know if the Poinsettia plant was the inspiration behind Mazda’s eye-catching color, but you simply you can’t beat a hue that starts out by calling itself Soul Red.

To live up to the color’s name, Mazda’s engineering team created an innovative coating structure that started with a semi-transparent paint layer that possessed a reflective coating composed of regularly arrayed aluminum flakes topped off by a clear film to emphasize translucence.

The human painters that made the first sample then taught Takuminuri (robotic painting technology) how to do it on the entire vehicle evenly — controlling the thickness of the coating to sustain the ‘soulness’ of the red on the complete surface of the body. With color that speaks for itself, it is no wonder almost all Mazdas sold come in Soul Red. My tip: don’t strike it out on your own and go drive the white one home.

SUV mb2

i-Active all-wheel drive

With the amount of grip on the road that it gets, plus great real-feel and precision, you’d think the all-wheel drive (AWD) system was turned on and active all the time. Alas, such was not the case with the CX-5.

Armed with Mazda’s new i-Active AWD, 98% of its power is sent to the front wheels on regular basis in order to save on fuel. The difference with the i-Active AWD compared to traditional on-demand AWD systems is that it predicts a slip instead of reacting to it.

Numerous sensors anticipate tire slip and turn on the i-Active AWD before it actually occurs. With an active torque coupling system that responds instantly and at any speed, the driver and passengers are never aware of the fact that they almost lost traction.

SkyActiv-D engine

There isn’t enough that can be said about the Mazda’s technologically advanced SkyActive-D engine. Using a mind-boggling compression ratio of 14:1 for cleaner emissions, better fuel efficiency and a design making it lighter by 10-percent, this 2.2L SkyActiv-D still manages to pump out 175 PS and 420 Nm of torque. The result is lively performance that makes the 1.586-ton body of the CX-5 feel like teenager out on a Friday night.

It is nimble and light on its feet when it needs to be, zipping through light traffic easily, although it does take just about a split second to respond after throttle input.

Pure city driving for three days gave me 9-km/l. And since it uses diesel for fuel, it doesn’t hurt as much at the pump.

SUV mb3

Audio by Bose

One of its best features, aside from the very plush and soft leather seats, is audio from the Bose Sound System. Why anyone would turn that off, which was the case when I got the test unit, is beyond me and should be considered illegal.  The crime was pardoned once the system was turned on. Imagine the CX-5’s compact interior, with nine (yes nine) Bose speakers. Need I say more?

Actually, yes. Installed in the instrument panel are two speakers: a 3.25-inch and 2.35-inch; two nine-inch speakers are on each side of the door; two five-inch speakers are on each of the rear doors while two 3.25-inch speakers are on the D-pillars.

Of course, all those Bose speakers don’t just get sound directly from the seven-inch touchscreen audio system. A digital amp with Bose Digital Signal Processing is installed in the foot well of the front passenger side. Now that’s true in-car entertainment!

Ho-ho and a zoom-zoom

If you’ve been more nice than naughty all year and all you want for Christmas is a brand new SUV, you don’t have to look very far to see how the gift of a CX-5 is one that gives right back.

It comes in an eye-magnet shade of red even Santa would be proud to wear; a diesel engine with power, efficiency and emissions second only to Rudolph and his group of reindeers; an AWD system preventing you from becoming a sleigh; plus, it has an audio system that belts out better than a choir.

Features like that make its P1.985-million price tag seem fair. Don’t be a Scrooge and pick yourself up a gift this Christmas, get the Mazda CX-5 2.2 Diesel.

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