NOW, even the entry-level variant of the sport-ute that was named as the 2012-2013 Car of the Year has become more fuel-efficient.
This is because the 4×2 variant of the Mazda CX-5 now comes with the brand’s i-Stop idling system, which is integrated into the vehicle’s lower-displacement SkyActiv-G engine. The result is called the CX-5 Pro.
The i-Stop was previously available only on the CX-5’s 4×4 version (with a 2.5-liter engine) and the Mazda6—the two flagship models of Mazda Phils. Besides the i-Stop, the latest CX-5 Pro has been upgraded with leather seats and a reverse camera, with its price tag only increasing marginally from the previous model’s P1.452 million to the present P1.455 million.
The fuel efficiency capability of the CX-5 Pro was recently put to the test in a fun-filled fuel economy drive staged by Mazda Phils. The two-part event placed the model in uncompromising situations as it took on the usual traffic-congested areas within Metro Manila, and a highway drive out of town, to simulate real-life driving conditions that would yield accurate results.
In the first part, event participants took off from a gas station in Bonifacio Global City and tackled Ayala Avenue and Pasay Road, before going to Intramuros in Manila. From there, the group drove past España Avenue on the way to Quezon Avenue, where the vehicles were topped up again at a gas station in order to determine their fuel consumption.
Results for the first leg revealed that the CX-5 Pro is capable of traveling 10.287 kilometers to a liter of unleaded after covering 31.8 kilometers of congested routes in the metropolis.
Next up was a short but meaningful trip to a Gawad Kalinga Village in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan. It was taken not only to show the foundation’s heart for the underprivileged but also to let the event’s participants feel compassionate over people who would be awarded with new homes.
The second part of the eco drive consisted of three legs: Driving the CX-5 Pro at speeds of 60kph, 80kph and 100kph to cover 223.8 kilometers (74.6 kilometers each run) of real-world highway driving conditions. In this exercise, the vehicle achieved 24.761 kilometers per liter (km/l) during the 60kph run, 17.096km/l during the 80kph dash and 14.307km/l during the 100kph sprint.
The other Mazda vehicles tested in the event also yielded good results. The CX-5 4WD averaged 27.802km/l during the city drive and 16.9693km/l at 60kph, 17.281km/l at 80kph and 15.661km/l at 100kph. The Mazda6 logged 9.153km/l in the city and 29.586km/l at 60kph, 20.027km/l at 80kph and 17.773km/l at 100kph.
Power to choose
The CX-5 Pro enters the market as a midlevel variant that slots in between the CX-5 FWD and the CX-5 AWD Sport, giving consumers the power to choose. Mazda Phils. President Steven Tan said that while the CX-5 Pro has the same 2.0-liter engine (153hp at 6,000rpm, 200Nm at 4,000rpm) as that on the previous entry-level CX-5 (which was also front-wheel-driven), its new i-Stop system makes the latest model more fuel-efficient.
“We have noted that in the Philippines, many SUVs are predominantly city mainstays, and that means they spend a lot of time sitting in gridlock. The addition of i-Stop will further add to the regular FWD variant’s already impressive mileage,” Tan said.
The i-Stop idling system, which switches the engine off when the car is idle then automatically fires the engine up when it’s time to move, is built for economical drives. Instead of using the starter motor to reignite the engine, the i-Stop employs the “combustion start method” for quicker response and less energy usage. As the vehicle comes to a full stop, the i-Stop system goes into play, allowing for a “hybrid feel.”
Mazda Phils. explained that the engine’s pistons will stop at an optimum position as soon as the system cuts off the engine, with the correct balance of air volumes, for sequential ignition. The initial cylinder in the sequence is then identified, so when it is time for the vehicle to set off again, fuel is injected directly into that cylinder to initiate combustion and fire up the engine. Even if the engine shuts down, the vehicle would come back to life in less than a second.
Based on Mazda’s figures, the i-Stop’s mileage gains are estimated at 8 percent.
The CX-5 Pro’s 2.0-liter engine has a 13:1 compression ratio, a 4-2-1 exhaust layout, gasoline direct-injection and continuously variable sequential valve timing for the intake and exhaust sides. Its weight was reduced 10 percent and friction by 30 percent compared to Mazda’s non-SkyActiv engines.
The CX-5 Pro has cut fuel consumption and emissions by 15 percent while gaining 15-percent more torque at low- to mid-range revs.
Paired with the engine is the SkyActiv-Drive six-speed automatic transmission, which has more instantaneous gearshifts in sudden thrusts and steady acceleration.