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Mazda CX-5

With the launch of the updated CX-5, Mazda shows that they have finally outgrown the constraints of their ill-fated relationship with Ford, and that they are ready to grow their market share in the burgeoning SUV market here.

At first glance of the new CX-5, you would be forgiven for thinking that it is the old car with a new lick of paint. Except for the front, the shape is much the same, as is the interior design language, fit, and finish.

As for the infotainment system … it did not impress. Too small a screen for the amount of real estate it occupies on (rather than in) the dash, and the awkward graphics made on-the-go operation less than easy.

Still, the new CX-5 is an excellent example of forward-thinking engineering. It is also more refined than its predecessor in many respects, and a worthy competitor to its main rivals – the Volkswagen Tiguan, Hyundai Tucson, and Toyota’s RAV4.

Seven derivatives make up the new CX-5 range, up by one from the old line-up. You can have it with any of three engine options, ranging from the SKYACTIV-G 2.0-litre and 2.5-litre petrol, to the SKYACTIV-D 2.2-litre turbodiesel.

Apart from the 2.0L Active and Dynamic that is available in manual and automatic, all the other derivatives are only available with automatic transmissions only.

Ultimately, the CX-5 has already proven itself as a reliable vehicle with an excellent track record. The upgraded model can only build on this legacy.