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Green motoring expert Richard Lawton enjoys the Mazda CX-5
To the naked eye, the new Mazda CX-5 looks pretty similar to other compact crossovers, and right now youre probably thinking it is attractive but unremarkable. Think again.
Arriving without an electric motor or fancy hybrid powertrain, like other Japanese cars, the inevitable question is how has Mazda built such a low-CO2 emitting and fuel efficient car?
The secret is their new SKYACTIV, a term which covers a host of very clever technologies. The CX-5 is the first model to be built from the tyres up with all these innovations working together.
The SKYACTIV research and development has been about weight and getting the most out of conventional engines. Over the years, cars have become heavier. However, a heavier car requires more fuel, so the clever engineers at Mazda have poured over every component to see where weight can be saved.
The result is a car at least 75kg lighter than the competition and in some cases, over 100kg lighter which is like asking an international standard Rugby Union forward to hop out. Consequently, the CX-5 delivers best in class CO2 emissions of 119g/km and an outstanding combined mpg of up to 61.4.
Similarly impressive is Mazdas new family of conventional powered engines. With only around 30% of the energy created by an engine used to move the car, Mazda believes there is 70% still up for grabs. The new diesel engine has a compression ratio of 14:1, making it the worlds lowest of any mass produced ukdiesel engine and delivers a 20% increase in fuel economy. Equally impressive is the new petrol unit which has a compression ratio higher than a Formula 1 engine at 14:1, a 15% improvement in fuel economy.
Completing the triumvirate is the creation of new manual and automatic transmissions, both lighter and more efficient and, for the first time, Mazda can offer drivers an automatic diesel car. Meanwhile, the manual gearbox has been inspired by the MX-5 sports car, and replicates the short and snappy gearbox found in the popular two-seater.
All this new technology will count for nowt if the CX-5 doesnt deliver for the driver,but with its raised position on the road, the car offers excellent visibility while the new engines and gearboxes work exceptionally well together. Available with two wheel drive and four wheel drive, Mazda expects most buyers to opt for the diesel-powered two wheel drive option (22,995-25,595 OTR).
CO2 emissions: from 119g/km
Fuel Economy: up to 61.4mpg
Prices: from 21, 395 OTR
First Mazda to feature SKYACTIV technology
First Mazda to feature KODO design philosophy
USP: Best in class CO2 emissions