In 2012 Mazda launched the CX-5 as a daring new entry into the crossover SUV segment. Since then, the CX-5 has become increasingly popular and earned a reputation as an award-winning crossover with recognisable styling, advanced technology and innovative comfort. Like a polished gem, the CX-5 has been refreshed and updated and is presented as the refined, sophisticated new generation crossover SUV.

Pretoria has become known as a bustling mecca for motoring, and as such, Mazda Menlyn is ideally situated to showcase their incredible fleet. Dealer Principal and Sales Manager Pieter Voges is a dedicated motoring enthusiast and humble people’s-person who has 12 years of experience in the industry. Believing that getting things done right the first-time round should be part-and-parcel of the client’s experience at the Dealership, Pieter is proud of the fact that clients leave happy, and return again as repeated customers. Pieter notes that he shares these sentiments with his team at the dealership, who he believes functions like a tight-knit family. As Dealer Principal for the fifth year, Pieter has developed a solid working relationship with each of his team members, who see him as an understanding, intuitive and hands-on leader.

Speaking about a Dealer Principal could be quite nerve-wracking for some staff members – however, in this case, New Car Sales Executive Léaan Andrews is eager to sing the praises of his managers and DP. Having been in the industry for 5 years, with the last 4 years spent here at Mazda, Léaan is passionate about motorcycles – and by extension – motorcars. A superbly driven young man who strives to one day move into management and ultimately Dealership leadership too, Léaan aspires to give of his best to the clients who need honest, fair service. His personal motto is to try and sell himself first, so that his customers can understand his genuine desire to be personally attentive to them in their car-buying journey.

I love Léaan’s admission that he has had the “zoom zoom” experience fully embedded in his life from a young age (with family involvement in the brand for many years). As a loyal Mazda fan, Léaan has subsequently done his homework when it comes to comparing what Mazda has on offer with the CX-5; he firmly believes that the CX-5 is unbeatable when it comes to value-for-money and quality. With its arresting good looks, the CX-5 most certainly caught my attention when it was released with its big, bold grille design. Giving two “first” impressions – the first being that this is a modern, innovative vehicle, and the second being that it has big attitude and big power – the CX-5 is designed to be a comfortable family carrier and powerhouse at the same time.

With seven available variants, the CX-5 range can be summarised as a 2-litre variant released in either manual and automatic on an entry-level model (2.0 Active) and then the mid-level 2.0 Dynamic which has a few extra features. There is also a 2.2 DE Active Auto variant, which is popular for its substantial engine, and the individual Auto which has additional features to prioritise passenger comfort. The top of the range CX-5 is the 2.2 DE Akera Auto All-wheel Drive, which boasts a diesel engine paired with an automatic gearbox that is said to deliver a magnificent 450 nM of torque whilst using an efficient 5.7 litres per 100 kilometres of fuel.

The interior of the CX-5 Akera is leather-wrapped comfort and a spacious, generous cabin. With armrests and USB ports in the front and rear, as well as cupholders for all passengers, the CX-5 smacks of easy family road trips and long drives to holiday destination, and together with all the bells and whistles needed, will most assuredly make for a pleasant, luxurious drive. The CX-5 Akera variant is released with reverse camera, Bluetooth radio, Satellite Navigation and an infotainment system that is fully compatible (although does not function like an interface), and adaptive LED lights as standard. It has ample passive and active safety features that make this vehicle a class-leader in terms of safety (which I always note as paramount). Seven airbags protect the driver and passengers and other features include Dynamic Stability Control, Traction control System, ABS, EBD and EBA, as well as the unique City Brake Support feature that will assist you to brake the vehicle if a collision is imminent. Blind Spot Warning and Lane Departure are a given in this vehicle, as well as Hill Launch Assist – features which are included at no extra charge. Pricing for the CX-5 starts at R571 300 for this top-of-the-range Akera variant, and as my host mentioned, is incredibly well priced considering all that comes factory-fitted.

Buying a car is not all there is to owning one, and as such, maintenance plays a pivotal role in any Dealership. As such, it is pertinent to mention Carel Landsberg, the Workshop and Service Manager at both Mazda and Mitsubishi Menlyn. Having been in the industry for 22 years, Carel has an intense passion for cars and both Mazda and Mitsubishi brands. With great experience across roles, Carel found his way into management through dedication and hard work. With his favourite Mazda tipped to be the CX 5, he believes that the vehicle is superb value for money and (although a little too technologically laden for his liking) is really well-specced in comparison to competitors in the segment. Working with a superbly knowledgeable team (under a Master Technician for each brand, equipped with the latest training and knowledge) the workshop strives to ensure your vehicle stays in tip-top shape.

Back at the Dealership, the evident teamwork that exists in this Dealership is unique and professional, and I find the sense of openness and honesty very refreshing. The opportunity for each staff member to reach out and ask for help and support is very reassuring and culminates in a sense of excitement about what is on the horizon for this brand. Léaan clinches our visit by mentioning that there are some exciting things on the horizon for Mazda, including a facelift on the CX-3 (the CX-5’s baby sister) as well as the BT 50. With no set dates or other information yet, Léaan notes the general feeling of excitement for the future of the brand in South Africa, as well as the Dealership as a whole.

Article By:

Editor: Desh Bechan

Reporter and Author: Inge Stols & Belinda Anderson