Daily-driven crossovers are a mainstay on Metro Manila streets, so to better address the demands of buyers shopping for low-displacement, front-wheel-drive sport-utes, Berjaya Auto Philippines, the official distributor of Mazda in the country, has made changes to its product in the segment.
The CX-5 has been the best-selling model in the Japanese carmaker’s local lineup since its launch here in 2012. It was also the first Skyactiv-equipped model to arrive on our shores. Previously, it had three variants: a couple of 2.0-liter FWD versions (153hp, 200Nm) in manual and automatic, and the top-spec 2.5-liter AWD Sport (185hp, 250Nm).
Now, a revised two-tier range has been announced for the nameplate, with the new 2.0-liter CX-5 FWD Pro replacing the same-engined manual and automatic. Of note, it now features i-Stop, initially available only on the AWD Sport.
Mazda’s version of the start/stop system is said to improve fuel economy by roughly 8%, which makes it ideal for our urban driving conditions. It works via a “combustion start method,” and because it doesn’t rely on the starter motor for engine restarts, the system has a quicker response and less energy usage.
The mechanism of i-Stop is as follows: When the system cuts off the powerplant, it halts the pistons at the optimum positions for sequential reignition. The system also ensures the cylinders have the correct air volumes for this. As soon as the driver lifts off the brake pedal, fuel is injected directly into one cylinder to spark combustion and trigger the reignition process, which takes a mere 0.35sec.
Priced at P1,455,000, the CX-5 FWD Pro is only P3,000 more expensive than the previous entry-level variant despite having three new items on its spec sheet: i-Stop, a reversing camera, and leather seats. Compared to the range-topping AWD Sport, it has smaller alloy wheels (17-inchers versus 19-inchers); halogen headlamps (in place of bi-xenon units); four-way manual controls for the driver seat (instead of eight-way power adjustment); and a downgraded multimedia setup (six speakers as opposed to a nine-speaker Bose system).
On the flip side, the new entry-level variant shares the following features with the AWD Sport: the Skyactiv-Drive six-speed automatic gearbox (which means the CX-5 range loses its manual-transmission option); a touch-screen multimedia head unit with Bluetooth voice control; automatic dual-zone climate controls; and a keyless entry system. Both also have six airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist, traction and stability controls, and a tire-pressure monitoring system.