Can I just be the first to offer Clarkson a new job? We don’t pay much but as he only lives down the road from Car Couture I can see it shaping up as the ‘Two Jeremys’. We have long lunchbreaks and there’s always a hot meal in the canteen, day or night.
He would also get to drive fine cars like the Mazda CX-5. Super sensible, packed with equipment and loaded with space.
There would also be plenty of opportunity to moan about some of the features he doesn’t like too. Such as the excessive wind and tyre noise which rather ruins the refinement, plus the annoying infotainment system that isn’t quite up to speed.
No doubt ‘Jezza’ would whine about the keyless ignition which sometimes locks you out of the car, and the rather dull dashboard trim, that isn’t up to BMW standard (although the CX-5 obviously costs less).
It’s more practical than a Ferrari and you can use it to tow a caravan. Yes, right up Clarkson’s street then…
Once again I’ve been caught out by the remote door-locking system on the CX-5! From the time it took to shut the passenger door and walk around to the driver’s side, the system locked me out and I had to press the key fob again.
Not entirely sure why this is such a good system on any car. I’m a grown up and quite capable of remembering to lock a car when I leave it somewhere risky. My front yard in the countryside certainly isn’t one of those places!
It’s the technology that is annoying me most about the Mazda. Everything else works beautifully – I love the white leather interior and it’s averaging 38mpg on a long run too – not bad for permanent four-wheel drive.
And here’s one more annoyance. If I key a location into the sat nav and then reverse out of a space to start my journey, the proximity alert won’t leave the screen and show the navigation route until I reach a certain speed.
Three times this week I have turned the wrong way at the start of my journey because I couldn’t see the sat nav route on the screen. Nuts!
The CX-5 may give you a lot of equipment for a reasonable price but not all of it works as smoothly as you might expect with a Mazda!
As usual, much of the problem revolves around the infotainment system. My two main gripes concern the sat nav system, which is over-complicated and not intuitive to use, and the DAB radio, which again requires the handbook to understand.
Am I being mean? Well, I know Clarkson thought the Mazda was the best SUV on sale in the UK, despite being a little boring. However, I could see him punching the dashboard in frustrating if his destination input wasn’t ready on time.
My other main issues is the self-locking security system fitted to the car. Walk away with the key in your pocket and it locks itself. Great in some situations but I couldn’t count the number of times I’ve already returned to the car and yanked the door handle in frustration, only to find the car has locked itself again.
The answer? Leave the key in the CX-5 when you are loading it – perfectly fine when you live in the middle of nowhere like me. Oh, except that defeats the whole concept of the safety system doesn’t it…
Fascinating how some cars roll on to become classics. Visiting the 73rd Goodwood Members Meeting yesterday (a retro fest of motorsport for petrolheads), I took off down row of garages at the far end of the pits.
There was plenty of exotica showcasing at the event but this area was reserved from mass market cars from the 70s and 80s – Rovers, Minis, Triumphs – which had been heavily modified for track racing. Right up my street.
And so it got me thinking about which cars from the current era would be parked here in 30 years time – and would the CX-5 be one of them?
Tough call because although the Mazda is one of the best SUVs on the market, not even weekend dad would want to floor it around a racetrack. The CX-5 handles a lot better than you might imagine for a car with raised clearance.
And then I remembered which current cars might be racing in the Retro SUV class of 2050 at Goodwood. Yes, it would be the BMW X3, the Audi RS Q3 and the Porsche Macan. Remember my words…
There’s never been a Japanese compact SUV to rival those made in Germany, until now. That’s right, the CX-5 is THE best SUV not to be built in Europe.
Why? Well, after only a day behind the wheel I can tell you that you won’t find a better SUV for the money. Only the Ford Kuga comes close and, well, it’s a Ford isn’t it.
The Mazda’s interior trim is a little lifeless and there’s definitely wind and tyre noise at speed. But otherwise this is a great car and extremely practical.
Key to this is the ride quality. It doesn’t wallow around corners and there is plenty of grip, just like, well, a BMW or Audi.
Is this the car to take on German SUVs at their own game? Join us tomorrow for more scribbles…