Dunlop Sort Maxx

Still great despite its years, Skyactiv D a cherry on top

Some may say that it’s getting a touch long in the tooth, but we reckon that the Mazda’s CX-5 still looks a million bucks. Even if this stunning flagship all-wheel drive turbodiesel costs only three quarters of that to transform it into a bit of a sleeper, too.

The CX-5 has always had everything you’d ever want and then some from a middling SUV. And enough so to keep us scratching our heads. One of a swathe of cars appealing to your darker side these days, this one’s maker reckons the Vader bits subtly enhance that CX-5 style to bring out an exclusive and sporty look, inside and out.


Diesel CX-5 heart delivers sizzling performance

Never mind this one’s diesel heart delivers sizzling performance to go with the show. It’s a most interesting downscale solution. You won’t get change out of a million rand from a similar sized premium German sport ute. Of course, it will be jam packed with spec, have everything that opens and shuts and an apparently dependable badge on its nose.

But hang on a second! Does this Mazda CX-5 2.2DE AWD Akera also not pack a splendid specification? Of course it does! Never mind this one has that raft of delectable little Carbon bits over and above everything that opens and shuts. And a properly dependable badge on its nose, never mind!

This one even packs the performance and surefooted all-wheel drive performance to match. Powered by Mazdas meaty 140 kW 450 Nm 2.2-litre Skyactiv-D turbodiesel, it even humbles its maker’s modest performance claims. Our VBox figures below now complete an astounding package. With measly 5.7 litres per hundred consumption too. Just in case!


CX-5 flagship turns all four wheels

The Mazda CX-5 flagship turns all four wheels through a 6-speed automatic to deliver grunty performance right through the range. Ours was finished in this cool primer-like grey to make its 19” black metallic alloy wheels and glossy black wing mirrors pop like Vader, too.

Step inside and while it’s age causes it to be a bit staid versus some of the newer Mazdas we’ve seen of late, it’s still pretty cool. Especially since the new Carbon trim adds signnificantly to the effect. Plush and sensual, the Mazda CX-5 still feels a class or two above. Even though the extra shady bits contribute to an already quite dark space.

This CX-5 2.2DE AWD Akera sailed through our time with it, starring across a broad range of surfaces and chores as it also challenged its frugal fuel consumption claim. It feels solid on the road, handles, rides and holds the road impressively. And in our opinion, it’s still the best looking of all its rivals, in spite of its advancing years.


A Mazda as posh as any Euro rival

So, if that posh new SUV is starting to look a little too much like a test of your financial stamina right now, this flagship Mazda CX-5 certainly is worth considering. Its age aside, you will go a long, long way to find a better equipped, better pedigreed solution to that conundrum

Take a look – it’s waiting to wow you for a lot less money than you’d ever imagine. — Michele Lupini

Images & testing: Giordano Lupini

ROAD TESTED: Mazda CX-5 2.2DE AWD Akera
Engine: 140 kW 450 Nm 2.2-litre turbo I4
Drive: 6-speed automatic AWD
0-60 km/h:        3.87 sec
0-100 km/h:       8.47 sec
0-120 km/h:       12.00 sec
0-160 km/h:       23.64 sec
0-400m:           16.1 sec @ 139 km/h
80-120km/h:       6.09 sec
120-160km/h:      11.64 sec
Vmax:             200 km/h
Fuel:             5.7 l/100km
CO2:              148 g/km
Range:            1,020 km
Warranty/Service: 3y Unl/3y Unl
PRICE:            R778K
RATED:            8
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