You can’t appreciate the CX-5’s attractive KODO: Soul of Motion designed body from behind the wheel, obviously, however, while everyone else looks longingly on as you pull out of grocery store car parks et al (there’s no better shade for it than our tester’s vibrant Soul Red Crystal paint; it attracts a lot of attention), Mazda has ensured there is plenty for you to enjoy too within the comfy confines of this crossover. It’s definitely got it going on in there from lots of useful tech and kit, first-rate materials and a fabulous layout which help to make it feel especially upscale — but, it’s not all good news...

Since the summer season is well and truly upon us (and it’ll only get hotter...) I have begun to tire of having to sit in the sauna-like cabin while waiting for the AC to cool the temperature down. Granted, it does this within a couple of minutes (with the windows down of course) but by then, I am a soaking wet wreck. How I wish the CX-5 could be remotely started via the key fob and have its AC turned on to the max so that the cabin was cool before I stepped in. Ah well, at least it doesn’t have black leather seats; our tester has a lovely Pure White leather interior which not only looks spiffing, but as we all know, white materials have the ability to reflect solar radiation while black tends to absorb it. So, at least my bottom hasn’t been burnt to a crisp whenever I sit down — but ventilated seats should at least be an option for leather-clad models. I would advise everyone to opt for a lighter coloured interior as they have been proven to be cooler than darker ones (similarly, experiments have shown that white cars tend to stay on average 18 degrees cooler than black cars when sitting in the sun all day — that’s why so many cars on our roads are white, in case you ever wondered...) while another minor annoyance I am experiencing is with the Bose premium audio system. Sure, it delivers a clear, high-end sound and so it should what with 10 speakers scattered all over the place and tweeters mounted in the A-pillars (they help place the sound closer to your ears) however, the system switches off the moment you turn the car off. Shouldn’t it do that? Well, yes, it should — but I prefer the radio to remain on after you turn the car off and until you have opened the door. That should be its cue to call shut up. It’s a similar story with the reversing camera; engage Reverse and it springs to life, relaying an ever so sharp image which helps to guide you whether you’re trying to reverse park, do a three-point turn or whatever the case may be — but the moment you move the gear out of Reverse, the camera switches off. A few extra seconds so that you could check your surroundings would have been nice, Mazda! I’m nit-picking; nobody even uses their mirrors here, what do they need a camera for?

Alas, there are more highs than lows about the cabin, for instance, the floor-mounted accelerator pedal feels a million times better than the suspended types in other cars, the multifunctional and well-crafted steering wheel is directly in front of you and the perfect size to quickly allow you to toss the car from left to right while all-round visibility is very good indeed.

What’s more, it is ever so roomy, especially in the second row where it boasts 1,005mm of legroom compared to 970mm the Kia Sportage can afford, and as for the boot, you can load it up with an awful lot of groceries what with 505 litres to fill. More next week!


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