Roadshow Video Reviews
Mazda CX-5It's the world premiere for Mazda's CX-5, a crossover with an interesting engine that puts the emphasis on efficiency.
First, there was a CX-9 and the CX-7. Now Mazda has got this guy, the most compact of their crossovers, the CX-5. First thing I noticed is the kind of chiseled lines, getting rid of what's being kind of an artsy loopy thing in their design language and thank you, they got rid of that goofy stupid smiling face. I wanted to slap -- all the time. So, now it's got a more serious front and a more handsome look. I'm seeing some infinity here but I'm sure they wouldn't want me to say that. Inside, the cabin has gotten more handsome as well. Now I can't tell you a lot about the power train because we're here at the European version of the vehicle, which is a Sky Active diesel. However, there's another option. Let me show you what that is. Here is the Gas Direct-Injection Sky Active. Sky Active G they call it. The key Mazda says is to get compression ratio higher. You get more out of a gasoline fuel mixture; therefore, using less fuel to go as far as you would on more fuel. It's pretty obvious stuff. Compression is a tricky thing though. As these pistons come up and they're compressing it more and more, that charge, that mixture of fuel and air just wants to detonate all by itself so called dieseling even before the spark plug fires. So they've beaten that 3 ways. One, see this little well here on the top of the piston? That they say improves combustion so the combustion happens and gets out in front of any pre-detonation. They've also got this interesting injector here which they say has multiple holes to spray the mixture more finely and keep it a little cooler 'cause temperature is the enemy of high compression. And finally, they've designed a very high scavenging exhaust manifold here. It's almost like a set of headers, 4 into 2 into 1. And they say that draws more hot gas out of the cylinders faster. All of this brings down cylinder temperature and allows you to run up compression higher without detonation or what we all know as spark knock. 15% improvement in efficiency and 15% improvement in low-end torque they say. Now the CX-5 is a good-looking vehicle. It's got a handsome smart look that should play well in this category where they had been absent until now and it's a hot category. It's one of those that come back quickly as certain kinds of fuel economy fade from the consumer's mind and eventually as the U.S. recession comes out of its slump as well. Now we don't have pricing on this vehicle to see how recession-friendly it's gonna be when it hits the U.S. market. That's down the road away because European introduction is sometime in 2012 with Japan and U.S. to follow. At that point, we'll also know exactly what the power train is gonna look like.