CleanMPG Reviews the 2013 Mazda CX-5

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by xcel, May 11, 2012.

  1. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    2013 Mazda CX-5 Review

    Front and Rear Seat leg and head room? It has a lot more than the “Compact” designation suggests.​

    Some more driving impressions...

    I took it over to the empty section of the mall parking lot this morning for the Emergency maneuvers. The harder I pushed the CX-5, the more I learned to respect the suspension and handling engineers that designed it. Having driven a number of crossovers form the MDX down to the 13 Escape, I do not think any of them feel as lively yet controlled when pushed to their limits. Even with those big boat Geolanders at all four corners, the turn in is tight and on the skid pad, you do not get understeer or oversteer, you get balance. Again something I am not entirely used to given the understeer based B, C and D-segment cars we normally drive. And this is a taller small crossover, not the hot on the pads 3!

    I was looping until the tires began to actually smoke -- the burning rubber smell was the telltale sign -- and it was just total balance.

    About my earlier comment regarding body roll. It is there but it is maybe 2" of compression of the suspension on the outside nad 2" of unloading to the inside and then it settles in tight. The transition through the compression/unload is abrupt so you feel it but then it "gets tight".

    And I was trying to pay attention to what makes the shifting so slick on the 13 Mazda CX-5. The shifter is excellent as you can row through all 6-gears up and down as fast as your hand can move with only a slight bit of notchiness. I did not miss a gear all week and that is saying something given the maybe 1000 shift over the course of 300-miles? It is the “system” that makes the Mazda manual hum so well. As in this has got to be the best clutch I have ever used. It is light and there is no real sense whatsoever of a grab point. The clutch is just smooth as silk and flows like not butter. Boy do I wish more people would choose sticks like this because Mazda manuals makes AT’s of all types feel like driving with weighted work boots on ;)

    Last edited: May 15, 2012
  2. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    With what I thought was a touch too much turning diameter, I found out different when I pulled the competitors and the CX-5 sits easily in the top quartile.

    2013 Mazda CX-5 Turning Diameter Competitive Comparison

    YearMakeModelTurning Diameter (Curb to Curb)
    2012ChevroletEquinox40.0 with 17s and 18s, 42.6 with 19s
    2012DodgeJourney38.5 with 16 or 17s and 39.0 with 19s
    2012HondaCR-V37.0 with 16s and 37.3 with 17s
    2012ToyotaPrius v36.1 with 16’s and 38.1 with 17’s

    Another nicety.

    The CX-5’s center dash storage cubby and coin cutouts in the door grab area have a rubber like surface to prevent stowed items from flying around.​

    And just a few pics for posterity’s sake…

    Expected rear seat drive shaft bulge even though it is a FWD.

    In the drive just moments prior to it heading back to the STI garage.

    Bill Hughes of STI driving off and saying goodbye.​

    Last edited: May 15, 2012
  3. 50 mpg by 2012

    50 mpg by 2012 Well-Known Member

    I spoke to a Mazda USA service rep this afternoon regarding US availability of the diesel CX5.

    The rep's response was that the caller center has had MANY calls requesting the diesel CX5 for the US ... unfortunately ... there is no information at this time.

    Apparently sales rates for the CX5 are SIGNIFICANTLY higher than expected in Japan since March!

    Further, the CX5 diesel is already on sale in the UK and probably all of the EU ... take rate unknown. Delivery started this month ... IF I understood correctly.

    Obviously US availability will be dependent on 2 things ...

    1. EPA fuel economy and emissions certification
    2. Madza having CX5 diesel production capacity that EXCEEDS Japanese and EU demand

    at least as I see it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 20, 2012
  4. jmeagher

    jmeagher Member

    This might be a newbie/obvious question, but why are we so reluctant to bring diesels to the US? I can understand #2 above, but #1? Are the emissions from the diesels so limiting? I though they were on a par with gas these days.
  5. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi Jmeagher:

    Diesel emissions are on par with gasoline at ULEV-2 but it is expensive to get them there.

    NOx regs means diesels need either an SCR (Selective Catalyst Reduction) CAT and DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) injection system or a Lean NOX Trap (LNT). Plus a DOC (Oxidation Catalyst) and a DPF (particulate filter). Gasoline = single small and somewhat inexpensive at the OEM level CAT.

    OEMs have to guarantee EPA compliance of the diesel emissions HW for something like 70K miles and the more “stuff” you add, the more possibility of a failure sometime down the road. None of this is inexpensive either.

  6. jmeagher

    jmeagher Member

    Gotcha. That all makes sense. So what do our European brethren do? Put up with the higher emissions? Or does the higher overall cost of car ownership in Europe mask the costs?
  7. EdwinTheMagnificent

    EdwinTheMagnificent Legend In His Mind

    Yeah , what do they do ? I know our Denis said goodbye to diesel and got a Prius , but Gord has great results with his Honda diesel. Can some of our Euro-friends chime in and say which which is cheaper(petrol or diesel) in the short and long term ?
  8. WriConsult

    WriConsult Super Moderator

    I believe European diesel emissions requirements are less stringent.
  9. 50 mpg by 2012

    50 mpg by 2012 Well-Known Member

    J, traditionally the EU has tolerated higher emissions prior to Euro Step IV (pre 2008, iirc).

    Euro Step V occurred 4Q 2011 signifcantly tightening emissions requirements ... but still outside US requirements.

    Euro Step VI will occur 4Q 2014 (28 months) further tightening emissions requirements ... but still SLIGHTLY outside US requirements on NOx ... ≤80 mgNOx/km (EU) versus ≤~43 mgNOx/km (US) for example. This WILL apply to ALL of Det3's European product!!!

    On the other hand, the Step VI REQUIRES ≤140 gCO2/km which translates, according to a citigroup table of CO2 versus gasoline and diesel mpg for US/Imperial gallons, to 48/~40 and 53/~44 mpg(Imperial/US) combined for gasoline and diesel respectively in order to avoid financial penalties (escalating over following 5 years) PER gram over limit for every noncompliant vehicle sold ... IF ... I have it all straight.

    IF ... that is correct, what will that do to Det3 US built exports to the EU? The US 2016 CAFE objective is about 35 mpg fleet average or roughly 160 gC02/km.

    One VERY interesting thing about Mazda's CX5 SkyActiv-D diesel ... it ALREADY meets Euro Step VI, Mazda claims WITHOUT exhaust aftertreatment, while being VCA rated >60 mpg(Imp) combined on the NEDC test cycle.

    There are only 7 BMW Step VI diesel configurations achieving >60 mpg(Imp) combined ... but, ALL require aftertreatment. That is out of 3729 new vehicle configurations (1796 are gasoline, none Step VI compliant) from roughly 44 OEMs in the UK as of 5/15/12 according to
    Last edited: May 16, 2012
  10. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Twice the US emission limits for NOx pollution?
  11. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    The diesel (IF it makes it here) would be very nice.

    However, this 2.0 6mt version will probably remain the highlight in CUV "bang for the buck/true cost to own" category.
  12. jmeagher

    jmeagher Member

    Hey 50mpg, I was doing really well and then about 2/3 of the way through your post I hit my acronym limit! Damn, I was so close to understanding it completely :)

    But I get the gist, it's an air quality regulation thing. As long as the regs are more stringent here, from the manufacturers point of view there's no incentive to make diesel work, other than as a market research tool to make sure they don't miss a sudden surge of interest in diesel tech.

    I'm torn, I'm glad we have the air quality standards (in here in California we have even more-stringent standards than in the rest of the 49 states), but on the other hand if we had a huge market like the U.S. pumping money into Diesel it seems like we would move the tech forward more rapidly.

  13. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi 50 mpg by 2012:

    While we have reported a number of times that the SKYACTIV-D would not use NOx aftertreatment, there was a report from I believe Auto News or the Detroit Free Press about 6-months ago saying Mazda may need an LNT to meet T2/B5? I have looked over every doc on the Japan and US media site and there is no mention of this other than the addition of a highly ceramic based DPF they will be using for the Mazda 6 when it arrives next year. I hope this is the case for all our sakes because the SKYACTIV-D will be even more efficient than the -G and we have already seen what the 2.0L provides. Any more of these kinds of possibilities and we might have to reclassify Mazda from an Advanced Auto Manufacturer to an Advanced "Hypermiling" Auto manufacturer given the new found efficiencies ;)

    Mazda still could mate i-Stop and i-ELOOP to the SKYACTIV-D for a production variant here in the US but the Concepts are really out there.

    Equipped with a SKYACTIV-D 2.2L turbo diesel engine, TAKERI features the i-stop idling stop system and i-ELOOP, the world's first capacitor-based regenerative braking system. i-stop restarts in a single engine cycle unlike other stop-start systems, which require two cycles. At less than 0.4 seconds, i-stop achieves the world's fastest diesel engine restart time. i-ELOOP efficiently converts kinetic energy into electricity during deceleration, which is stored in capacitors and then used to power the vehicle's electric equipment, reducing engine load and improving fuel economy by as much as 10 percent.

    I also do not know of anything noteworthy that the Domestics are exporting to Europe?

    Last edited: Aug 20, 2012
  14. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi All:

    I moved the entire CX-5 Review to the Review section and added the appropriate commentary and pics to the Review itself. If anybody sees anything missing, by all means let me know.

  15. 50 mpg by 2012

    50 mpg by 2012 Well-Known Member

    True, the EU Step VI limit is ≤80 mgNOx/km.

    However, VCA already rates the SkyActiv-D CX5 between 67 and 71 mgNOx/km for 2WD MT and AT ... and as I understand it WITHOUT aftertreatment. The 4WD AT CX5 diesel is rated 73.0 mgNOx/km.

    Hopefully that suggests minimum NOx aftertreatment for US CX5 diesel compliance and lower incremental cost.

    Meanwhile, the current typical EU diesel seems to be between 120 and 150 mgNOx/km.

    I believe gasoline engines in the EU and probably the US are going to come under pressure for carbon particulates under 2.5.

    IF I understand correctly, generally these smaller particles are a far greater health risk than the typically larger, more easily captured diesel particles. This is because the smaller particles can penetrate both particle filters ... and deeper into respiratory systems. Further, gasoline ICEs generally emit a greater mass/mile of these smaller (hard to capture) particles than typical EU fuel frugal class of <2 Liter diesels regardless of particle size with aftertreatment.

    As I previously posted, there are NO certified Step VI gasoline vehicles in the UK as of yesterday. There are 7 BMW and the CX5 Step VI diesels VCA rated >60 mpg(Imp) combined. Mercedes has number of Step VI diesels but with lower fuel economies, best case 45 mpg(Imp) combined for their 2.143 Liter S Class 7AT.

    IF I have made any errors in this ... hopefully someone will correct me.

    Meanwhile Step VI continues driving EU OEMs (including the Det3 EU) to reduce emissions even further for both gasoline and diesel.

    From my point of view ... this seems to put the Det3 on at least DUAL develpment paths for engine/powertrain technologies, doubling (or more) development costs ... unless they can figure out how to consolidate to one relatively limited set of engine technologies and sizes.

    Mercedes is an interesting example carrying a legacy of 10 different gasoline displacements ... but appears to limit their diesels to 4, possible 5 with an even smaller displacement probably to meet Step VI CO2 requirements. About 80% of their diesel offerings use the 2.143 Liter with different tunes.

    Currently, it appears that each of the Det3 may have dozens. Each engine design must be certified by appropriate authorities prior to market. And all of that takes a toll on profitability generating upward pricing pressures with the high probably shrinking the market.
  16. xcel

    xcel PZEV, there's nothing like it :) Staff Member

    Hi 50 mpg by 2012:

    The Domestics in Europe are under the same constraints that every other manufacturer is so there is really no separation. As far as Meeting Euro VI, Ford and everyone else in Europe can already. It is a matter of cost however.

    Meeting T2/B5 is also a matter of cost and according to the SKYACTI-D's NOx emissions in Europe, Mazda will need an LNT or SCR. Hopefully not nearly as robust but they will more than likely have to follow Ford, GM, Ram, VW, BMW and Audi with some sort of NOx reduction technology besides the SKYACTIV-D's lower CR, upwards of 9 injections per power stroke and some really interesting valve tricks. I hope they do not but...

    We are fortunate to have SCR because it works and it is not that expensive. While DEF is an expense, it does not harm the combustion process like lighting off an LNT every few minutes or some really high flow EGR solutions.

    When we discuss to DPFs however, those things murder diesel FE during their regeneration phase. Hopefully due to Mazda's low CR and more complete combustion, their Ceramic DPF needs only a minimal amount of regeneration vs. the big boys here in the US today. To see over third of a gallon of diesel wasted to regenerate a DPF is almost blasphemy!

    About the 2.5 micron particulate from gasoline engines, the EPA has done numerous studies on it but I have not read anything anywhere that the EPA, the EU or Japan is going to mandate any type of reduction in the near term. If you have a link stating otherwise, I would be greatly interested in seeing it.

  17. 50 mpg by 2012

    50 mpg by 2012 Well-Known Member


    I have no specifics on furher tighening on 2.5 particle requirements ... but the health risks are being discussed.

    I'll share if I find anything.

    Waxman might have more details.
  18. herm

    herm Well-Known Member

    Wayne, how much does an LNT or SCR catalytic converter cost?
  19. Carcus

    Carcus Well-Known Member

    FWIW, ....

    Stopped by the Mazda dealership today. The salesman I spoke to was expecting the diesel versions to arrive stateside in the spring of 2013. He thought the diesel (170ish hp/300ish ft-lb tq?) would be a $1,000 to $2,000 upgrade and would be available with both trannys.

    -- that should get you out the door for under $25k on the 6mt diesel ... and would negate my "most bang for the buck" ranking for the gas version.

    /add ... I'm gonna guestimate the diesel version at 28/37/32 on the epa
    Last edited: May 25, 2012
  20. seftonm

    seftonm Veteran Staff Member

    I hate to trade in my car so soon but if the salesman is right then I would be very tempted. I have said it before though, I will believe it when I see it.

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