This month, Iím going to break with convention and talk about music. Iím no expert on the subject ñ Iíve no idea how to tell the difference between Bach and Tchaikovsky, or even between Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift, for that matter ñ but a lack of knowledge doesnít stop the president of the USA talking about nuclear weapons, does it?
Anyway, music is relevant to our Mazda, because when I was forced into choosing this snazzy Sport Nav version (you can find out why in Issue 369), I found myself in possession of a brand-new hi-fi. You see, if you trawl through the specification sheet for one of these things, youíll find the words ëTen-speaker Bose Premium surround-sound system with Centrepoint 2 digital signal processingí. A quick flick through Mazdaís publicity guff also revealed that the system includes an ì8-centimetre Tweeterî and a ì13-centimetre Richbass woofer in a custom-engineered bass enclosureî. Other key points include unique tuning for the CX-5ís cabin and upholstery, as well as something called AudioPilot, which somehow ìcompensates for the effects of unwanted soundsî.
Obviously, Iíve no idea what any of that really means, but it all sounds very promising to my untrained ears.
Usually, though, these clever systems promise much, but deliver little. Even in premium models, the in-car hi-fi often sounds fairly ropey at the best of times, let alone when theyíre paired with a mobile phoneís MP3 output and my questionable music tastes. In the Mazda, however, I have to declare myself impressed. While it doesnít seem to have all that much power, the sound is crystal clear, even at higher volumes, and it deals with a wide range of music genres without any issues. I canít imagine it will be cause for much excitement among the yobs who hang out in your local supermarket car park in the evening and point at the bonnets of their Saxos, but for those more interested in clarity and quality than Watts and whatevers, itís hard to fault.
As is the rest of our CX-5. After three months in my hands, itís yet to be fazed by any situation thatís been thrown its way. Itís dealt with weekends away, muddy fields and some of the countryís most challenging driving roads with an ease thatís almost uncanny.
Not only is there bags of room in its plush, smartly trimmed cabin, but it handles brilliantly and itís more than capable of traversing a rutted farm track.
My only slight complaint is that the fuel economy has started to slide. A long run from London to Cheshire last month saw an average economy figure of 50.6mpg, but a closure on the M6 and some urban pootling around brought those digits down to 46.2mpg. Now though, that has been followed by an equally uninspiring mixed-mileage result of 45.4mpg. Iím not displeased with getting more than 40mpg from such a capable car, and, as the nights draw in and winter wraps us in its icy embrace, perhaps Iím being a little hard on my trusty four-wheeled companion.
Date arrived 13th September 2017
Fuel economy 52.3mpg (combined) 45.4mpg (on test)
The uprated Bose-branded audio system sounds really good.
Winter’s biting chill seems to have taken lumps out of the Mazda’s average fuel economy figure.