The Mazda CX-5 was first launched in 2012 as a bold new crossover SUV. In the six years since its introduction to the market, the CX-5 has grown in popularity and has built quite a reputation for itself as an award-winning vehicle with bold styling, technological innovation and superb comfort. Now refreshed and updated, the CX-5 has matured like a fine wine – sophisticated, enjoyable and smooth.

Mazda Menlyn is situated in the bustling Pretoria area, and has – as its Dealer Principal and Sales Manager – a dedicated and humble motoring enthusiast by the name of Pieter Voges. With 12 years of experience in the field, 8 of which he has dedicated to the Mitsubishi and Mazda brands, Pieter believes in taking the opportunity to do things right the first time round. With great excitement about what Mazda has on offer at the moment, 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.

Conveying this to me is Léaan Andrews, the New Car Sales Executive at the Mazda Menlyn Dealership. 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. He is also a driven young man who strives to one day move into management and ultimately dealership leadership, where he feels he can continue to give of his best to the clients who need fair and honest 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.

Having grown up with Mazdas in his family, Leanne notes he has the “zoom zoom” experience fully embedded in his life. That being said, Léaan has done his homework when it comes to comparing what Mazda has on offer with the CX-5, and in comparison, to what else is available in this market segment. 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 the big, bold grille design. Giving two 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, Sat Nav and an infotainment system that is fully compatible (although does not function like an interface), and adaptive LED lights as standard, and has ample passive and active safety features that make this vehicle a class-leader in terms of safety. 7-airbags protect the driver and passengers and 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. Léaan continues to mention 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, Leanna notes the general feeling of excitement for the future of the brand in South Africa, as well as the Dealership as a whole.

Carel Landsberg, the Workshop and Service Manager at both Mazda and Mitsubishi Menlyn, has been in the industry for 22 years. With a fiery passion for cars and both brands that he serves, Carel shares with me that he started as an apprentice with these brands many years ago, and moved up to the service sector, then to workshop advisor and ultimately into management. 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 latest training and knowledge) the workshop does extremely well to produce the highest quality work available, to ensure your vehicle stays in tip-top shape.

Back at the Dealership, the evident teamwork that exists 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.



Journalist: Desh Bechan

Reporter: Inge Stols

Editor: Belinda Anderson