Regular readers may notice that our CX-5ís odometer reading has rocketed since last monthís update. What with various events, get-togethers and a short holiday in one of Englandís less populous (and less accessible) counties, Iíve put more than 2,000 miles under its belt over the past few weeks, most of which seem to have been spent enduring the tedium of slower 50mph zones.
Now, while Iím normally set against the nanny state and the lawmakers that have never stepped outside of their comfy wood-panelled offices, I donít have a problem with these average speed camera-controlled zones. I think 50mph is a sensible limit when the lanes are so narrow that youíre cheek-by-jowl with Trev the Trucker. Because of the way theyíre enforced, though, you end up looking at the speedometer a little more than usual, fearful of what should happen should you inadvertently linger too long at 53mph. Fortunately, the Mazda makes this a little less dangerous than it otherwise could be thanks to its head-up display, which means I can at least check on my speed and the outside world simultaneously.
Owners of high-specification first-generation CX-5s will be familiar with the idea of a head-up display, but this new generation car has moved the game on. Gone is the old carís flip-up plastic screen with turquoise numbers that look like they came from a 1990s alarm clock, replaced by a more modern arrangement that projects the display directly on to the windscreen. With larger, bolder graphics and a much clearer repeater for the navigation systemís instructions, itís already ahead of its predecessor, and thatís before you consider the full colour display and the smartly styled speed limit indicator. I have noticed one especially irritating foible, though ñ the speed readout doesnít tally with the analogue speedometer. When the needle says 30mph, the head-up display says 28mph. And the difference grows when you speed up. If the speedometer shows 70mph, the display claims youíre doing around 66 or 67mph.
Obviously thereís a pretty sizeable question mark surrounding accuracy, and these little things really annoy me, so Iíve decided to find out just how close the two readouts get to the true speed. Some short and relatively unscientific testing using one of those digital face signs they put outside villages to frown at motorists doing 31mph, and a slightly more trustworthy handheld Garmin suggest that the head-up display is closest, reading around 2mph above the true speed at 30mph.
If I was feeling a little sceptical about the Mazdaís instrument binnacle, though, one display has endeared it to me: the fuel gauge. The motorway miles have worked wonders for the carís fuel consumption, and average economy has improved to around 47mpg. My bank balance is breathing a sigh of relief.
Date arrived 13th September 2017
Fuel economy 52.3mpg (combined) 47.4mpg (on test)
Motorway miles mean economy is on the up again, hitting approximately 47mpg over the last few fill-ups.
The head-up display and analogue speedometer disagree, which is pretty annoying and slightly concerning.