So Mazda’s made a zexy new karretjie, the spacious SkyActiv technology-infused CX-5:
As it’s a mid-size SUV, it lets you sit nice and high up off the road so you kind of feel like you’re in a Jeep yet it handles like a mini. I also adore the massive boot space…
And I LOVE that it’s got a mirror on both passenger and driver visors:
To promote the launch, they invited a bunch of media peeps to a mystery bash that involved meeting at the Cape Town airport. From there were got teamed up and given our very own CX-5 to test drive on a set route to Franschoek. Jasna, she of Fashion Jazz fame, and I were given le fancy pants top of the line model to drive, the 2,0 L Individual AT. It’s got a touch screen radio and BOSE sound system:
Oh! And you don’t need a key to start it; it revs up at the touch of a button.
Within minutes we were flying down the highway, speakers blaring Katy Perry, while singing, skinnering and ‘car dancing’. Our roadtrippy fun was brought to an abrupt end, however, when we realised we’d missed the turn off and ended up having to do a U-turn off bloody Chapman’s Peak. Oops! Despite our tres embarrassing little ‘detour’ we eventually got to Delaire Graff estate where the Mazda folks had organised a real live cheetah for us to play with.
He was quite the diva in that you couldn’t look him in the eye and had to be seated facing away from us. (This was all in the name of safety, however. Nothing puts a dampener on a media launch quite like a good old-fashioned mauling…) After that, we all got treated to lunch in Delaire Graff restaurant. This is where I had one of the best steaks I’ve had in ages.
We then hit the road once more to get to the uber-luxurious African Pride Crystal Towers hotel (just outside Canal Walk) where we were put up for the night. This is where I got learn a bit more about SkyActiv technology which is essentially Mazda’s long term plan to create vehicles that are fun to drive yet more environmentally friendly. Think high performing engines with world-beating compression ratios; surprisingly good fuel economy despite it’s size and a lighter chassis for a better driving experience yet improved crash safety. Another thing I didn’t know about Mazda? In the states, Americans pronounce it as Mahz-da. Kinda like Mars-dah. Totally weird, I know.
After the presentation, we took in a li’l Cirque du Soleil-style light show…
…and then got to run around the hotel playing a laser game. I’m proud to say that our team (which was mostly girls) kicked ass.
Oooh! And you should’ve seen these Asian tourists… I don’t think the poor things were warned about our little game ‘cos the looked shocked to shizzness upon watching us storm up a staircase wielding massive AK-47-style ‘guns’. Still, upon realising it was a game they thought it was funny, I suppose, ‘cos they kept on taking photos of us (that are probably destined for a Facebook album entitled ‘Told ya! SA is sooo like the most dangerous country ever’) Heheheh…
Anyway, once we’d got our fill o’ murder ‘n death, we headed down to the restaurant for a champagne dinner in the hotel restaurant. (FYI, their steak tartare is divine!) I also loved my slick-looking hotel room:
The next day, we drove back to the airport, this time in the entry-level model, the 2,0 L Active which isn’t an automatic but, in my opinion, just as easy to drive as the Individual.
When I eventually climbed into my own beloved Kia Picanto to drive home, it felt like a cheap plastiek-lined cake tin. Drat. If, unlike me, you aren’t clawing your way through the world on a writer’s salary, consider giving the CX-5 a test drive. You’ll find all the specs on Mazda’s website and an easy to read unbiased review via UK Top Gear over here. Price-wise, the 2,0 L Active (the entry model) is going to set you back R309 900.
Thanks Mazda, I had a blast. You’re all just as fun as the CX-5 is to drive.