I had the Mazda CX5 Grand Touring FWD to evaluate just around the same time as the VW Tiguan and the Kia Sportage you can see in our other posts, so it was only logical that I would give in to my instinct and compare the 3 of them. They do fit within the same category after all.
Where the VW Tiguan was clearly an older vehicle with a new nose stuck on, the Kia Sportage was a refreshing totally new car. The Kia also had modern technology, superb fit and finish, high quality materials inside and was a dream to drive.
Against the latter, this Mazda CX5 Grand Touring FWD admittedly did not fare too well. Even though it is new, the design language is already showing it’s age. It is predictable, maybe even uninspired, but fits perfectly within the conservative mode Mazda seems to be in at the moment.
The fit and finish was good, but by far not as good as either the VW or the Kia, and the choice of interior materials especially paled in comparison to the Kia. I know I’ve been singing the praises for Hyundai and Kia lately, but they did manage to overcome a heck of a lot and are proving again and again to take the challenge seriously. I truly wish the Japanese would realize this and would shape up a bit. Mazda is too good of a brand and with too much of a history to simply let this all slide.
I would strongly suggest Mazda to steer away from the zoom-zoom gimmicks, the gimmicks of the SkyActive.. Sure, sure, it sounds nice to people who don’t have a clue and who don’t care, but Mazda was always aimed at more serious people, people with passion for the automobile, and to those these hollow name tags are no more than that.
Put some substance into your vehicles, emphasize the perceived values of your product in for instance the perceived quality impression of your materials, the perceived value of the sounds the car makes when you shut the doors or hatch, the perceived quality of a bunch of slogan badges without substance behind it. It’s like Donald Trump..