The Road Ahead : October 2012
ROADAHEAD.COM.AU 56 THE ROAD AHEAD OCT/NOV 2012 MOTORING NEW CAR REVIEWS ^PRICES ARE MANUFACTURERS' LIST PRICES (MLP) AND DO NOT INCLUDE STATUTORY AND DELIVERY CHARGES. PRICES & FEATURES CORRECT AT TIME OF PRINTING. REVIEWS BY BARRY GREEN AND JOHN EWING. KEY STATS The SUV market is booming and August sales figures have the new CX-5 continuing its five month run, dominating medium SUV sales and also snatching the month's overall top-selling SUV crown. The market, it seems, has recognised the virtues of the new model that replaces CX- 7. CX-5 features two new engines -- a 2.0-litre petrol and a 2.2-litre common rail turbo-diesel, both with Mazda's Skyactiv stop/start fuel-saving technology. Our test vehicle was the top specification diesel all-wheel drive Grand Touring with Tech Pack. The diesel proved responsive both off the line and once under way, and there's minimal turbo lag. We reckon it's a better performer than the petrol model. The Skyactiv-D stop/start was mostly smooth in operation, only occasionally feeling a little bumpy on restarting. The six-speed auto was smooth and a good combination with the engine. Pleasant and accomplished road manners are the order of the day, with the CX-5 delivering composed ride and dynamic handling that make it one of the class leaders. Standard features and safety equipment rank well and include six airbags, stability control and reversing camera on all variants. The Tech Pack, available only on Grand Touring versions, adds the advanced safety benefits of lane departure warning system, blind spot monitoring and high beam headlight control (automatically changes between high and low beam). mazda cx-5 gt diesel awd KEY STATS The 3.6R Premium is the all-singing, all-dancing model in the Outback range and now it's got some sophisticated new bells and whistles that enhance vehicle safety. It's called Subaru Eyesight Technology, but we will come back to that. The model has been around for some time now and our recent drive reminded us that it still has the goods to be a pleasant, long distance touring companion. Outback soaks up most bumps admirably, and whilst it isn't exactly sporty, handling is secure and competent, even on unsealed surfaces. Its Boxer engine should offer sufficient performance to suit most buyers. Occupant and load space is good too. Subaru's new Eyesight system uses miniature stereo cameras in a unit mounted near the rearview mirror. Able to detect road hazards and alert or actively assist the driver, its included functions are pre-collision braking, pre-collision brake assist and throttle management, adaptive cruise control, lane departure and vehicle sway warnings, and lead vehicle start alert. Thankfully, we didn't need to test functions such as pre-collision braking which detects a suddenly slowing vehicle ahead and applies the brakes when the driver has failed to react. But we can report the active cruise control system that can maintain a set distance to a target car in front, irrespective of varying speeds, worked well. subaru outback 3.6r premium MLP: $57,490 SAFETY: Dual front/side/curtain/ driver's knee airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake distribution, brake assist, electronic stability/traction control, Eyesight driver assist. KEY FEATURES: Dual front climate- control, 17" alloys, reversing camera, power seats, entertainment system, satellite navigation, bluetooth with voice command, leather trim, power sunroof, self-levelling rear suspension. ENGINE: 3.6-litre, Boxer petrol, 6-cyl. MAX. POWER: 191 kW @ 5600 rpm. MAX. TORQUE: 350 Nm @ 4400 rpm. 0-100 KM/H: 8.0 seconds. 80 KM/H-STOP: 25.1 m. FUEL (ADR FIGURE): 10.3 litres/100 km. ANCAP CRASH RATING: EMISSIONS RATING: FOR: Ride quality, space, safety. AGAINST: Tyre noise, spacesaver spare. MLP: $48,620 (with Tech Pack) SAFETY: Dual front/side/curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic brake distribution, brake assist, dynamic stability/traction control, hill start assist, blind spot monitoring. KEY FEATURES: Dual front climate control, cruise control, 19" alloys, tyre pressure monitoring, front/rear park sensors, reversing camera, power/ heated seats, Bose audio, leather trim. ENGINE: 2.2-litre, turbo-diesel, 4-cyl. MAX. POWER: 129 kW @ 4500 rpm. MAX. TORQUE: 420 Nm @ 2000 rpm. 0-100 KM/H: N/A. 80 KM/H-STOP: N/A. FUEL (ADR FIGURE): 5.7 litres/100 km. ANCAP CRASH RATING: EMISSIONS RATING: FOR: Performance, refinement, fuel economy, ride and handling. AGAINST: Tyre noise, spacesaver spare.
August 1st 2012