In partnership with Mazda

New to Ape this month is Mazda, we are sure you’re all familiar with the Japanese car brand but with the release of the all-new Mazda CX-5 and phrases such as ‘Jinba Ittai’ also known as the connection between a horse and rider (a unique synergy Mazda engineer into every vehicle) being banded about- we thought it deserved a closer look.

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Building on the success of the outgoing CX-5, a car that introduced Mazda’s SKYACTIV technology (enhanced dynamics for improved efficiency) and KODO: Soul of Motion design philosophy in 2012, the 2017 version boasts a range of enhancements across the board, including an all-new interior and a fully-revised body structure. Designed under the concept of ‘Refined Toughness’ the second-generation CX-5 features sleeker, angular sides and a lower roofline while inside, Mazda’s human-centric development ethos delivers an interior that merges meticulous cockpit ergonomics with a seriously high-quality cabin.

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Ape drove the the all-new Mazda CX-5 in Yorkshire last week and we have to report that we were mightily impressed by this handsome SUV. Not only does it look the part but it genuinely feels premium in terms of comfort and refinement, while at the same time handling with precision and encouraging driver involvement. We drove the Mazda CX-5 2.0 165ps 2WD Sport Nav with an OTR price with extras of £27,575. The range starts at £23,695 and peaks with the flagship 2.2-litre 175ps SKYACTIV-D which comes exclusively in Sport Nav trim and is equipped with Mazda’s i-ACTIV AWD.

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All models feature a generous standard equipment tally that includes LED headlights, auto power-folding door mirrors, dual-zone climate control, Active Driving Display, G-Vectoring Control (GVC), DAB radio and a 7” colour touch-screen display with Mazda’s integrated navigation. Sport Nav cars add to this with a host of premium highlights including a reversing camera, 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat and smart keyless entry, plus heated front seats and steering wheel.

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As far as we are concerned these are the basically elements of a good, modern day motorcar. But crucially, how does it make you feel? The all important part of selling a car. Well Mazda, have gone some way toward making its latest SUV a better looking beast by stripping down, lowering, refining and generally making it look sporty and edgy but with all the solid foundations and characteristics of the original. I believe the Japanese call this kind of continuous improvement Kaizen. Such micro-improvements lead to maximum effect when all is said and done- such as making the front and rear track slightly wider than before, and by including slender and lower-placed LED headlight clusters to accentuate the low and wide expression of the CX-5’s face. Styling is simple yet bold with line accents minimised and the transitions between body surfaces emphasised to create changes in light reflected off the body.

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It’s hard to knock Mazda – lauded for its portfolio-wide reliability – and evidently, the Japanese brand is producing stylish vehicles. Having driven its latest creation, I have to say it exceeded expectations in terms of style and quality. Mazda should be a brand for your consideration next time you’re looking to buy a new vehicle.

mazda.co.uk