It's not all about fuel economy. After a hue and cry Mazda has bowed to pressure and added a more powerful petrol engine to its CX-5 crossover lineup.
It may use more fuel than the 2.0 but at least the punters are happy and if you're in the business of selling cars, that's the main thing. Remember the CX-5 was the company's first fully ‘Skyactiv’ model, designed to use as little fuel as possible.
The 2.5 is going to cost you more of course. For a similarly spec'd model $3000 more to be exact, but that includes all-wheel drive. The diesel is another $3000 again. That gets you into a 2.5-litre Maxx Sport with all-wheel drive and an auto for $36,620.
The two-wheel drive MaxxSport is $33,620 (you can't get a 2.5-litre two-wheel drive version). You can however get an entry level Maxx with the 2.5-litre engine and an auto for $32,880. It's clever marketing.
The Maxx Sport boasts Bluetooth, push button start, dual zone climate air, leather wheel, brake lever and gear shift, auto lights and wipers, fog lights, 17 inch alloys, satellite navigation with speed cameras, tyre pressure monitoring system and 6-speaker audio.
The 2.5-litre engine is a lift from the Mazda6, with 138kW of power and 250Nm of torque. Like the Mazda6 it's hooked up to a six-speed auto. But remember the CX-5 is heavier, so it's not going to be as quick off the mark nor as fuel efficient.
It's about 90kg heavier than the Mazda6 for instance, and uses 7.4 litres/100km versus the wagon's 6.6. The engine also delivers its maximum torque a little later in the rev range, at 4000 revs versus the wagon's 3250. Auto stop/start is standard.
It's one of the first cars that we've driven that can read out your phone's text messages. But don't get too excited because it's the robot voice from Android and is virtually unintelligible.
Gets a full five stars for safety. Comes standard with six airbags and a reversing camera, along with whiplash minimising front seats, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Traction Control System (TCS), Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), Emergency Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Hill Launch Assist (HLA) and Emergency Stop Signal (ESS).
The 2.0 litre model copped a right old bagging from the motoring press for lacking any real performance (us included), although it didn't feel nearly as bad the second time around.
The 2.5 responds to that criticism and responds well, with plenty of punch for the average driver. It makes you wonder whether Mazda was planning a 2.0-litre version of the Mazda6 and if so whether it was pulled at the last moment, in view of the reception CX-5 received?
The car itself continues to impress, with Lexus-like levels of noise, vibration and harshness just like a Lexus. Fit and finish particularly inside is first rate.
The Tomtom based satnav system includes speed camera warnings and shows the speed limit as well as your current (turns red when you're over) but finding where to change the settings is not intuitive.
The auto day/night brightness setting didn't work in our car, which leaves the reversing camera difficult to see unless you remember to switch back to day in the morning.
This one's a keeper. The CX-5 is a difficult car to fault and with the larger, more powerful engine will win many new friends, probably at the expense of diesel sales.
Mazda CX-5 2.5-litre
Price: from $32,880
Warranty: 3 years/unlimited km
Service Interval: 6 months/10,000km
Safety: 6 airbags, ABS, EBD, EBA, TC
Crash rating: 5 stars
Engine: 2.5-litre 4-cylinder petrol, 138kW/250Nm
Transmission: 6-speed auto, 4WD
Thirst: 7.4L/100km, 91 RON, CO2 172g/km
Dimensions: 4540mm (L), 1840m (W), 1710mm (H), 2700mm (WB)
Spare: space saver