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The Spinks clan is now a good few months into ownership of its new Mazda CX-5 – and so far it is satisfying on a number of levels: comfort, practicality and driving.
The outside is still shiny – at least after a hosing – and, touch wood, there’s still not a single blemish on the 17-inch alloy wheels. (I always cringe when I see cars parked just a couple of millimetres from a kerb, knowing alloy scars are inevitable.)
Inside, our Mazda CX-5 is not quite so sparkly. Scuff marks are on the bottom of the front doors where feet commonly catch them when getting in and out, and the pram has scratched some of the plastics in the boot.
The odo is closing in on the 4000km mark, with a large chunk of that mileage coming in December and New Year with a double trip to Canberra to visit the wife’s side of the family, while also hosting my parents – out from the UK to see little Seb (possibly me as well, but difficult to tell).
Average fuel consumption is also starting to improve now the Maxx Sport’s 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol has loosened up, coupled with plenty of time on the open road.
When more restricted to short trips around Sydney, the Mazda was returning measured consumption of between 11.0 and 12.0 litres per 100km, but more recent fills that have kept the CX-5 going through freeway trips, country drives and ferrying around the nation’s capital have seen figures lowered.
Measured averages – calculating the number of kays travelled and litres purchased – have dropped correspondingly to 9.2L/100km, 8.6 and 8.2. Overall, that’s equated to an average consumption of 8.7L/100km over about 1500km – getting closer to the SUV’s official figure of 7.4L/100km.
The CX-5’s trip computer has also dropped below double figures for the first time, with the display now reading 9.9L/100km.
That included a game I played to pass the time on a trip from Canberra to New South Wales’ Blue Mountains, where I aimed to keep the readout below 10.0L by driving as smoothly as possible – without being slow – on a scenic country route that incorporated plenty of hills and corners.
There was also an unintended opportunity to test the CX-5’s anti-lock brakes, when a kangaroo decided it was a good time to cross the road just metres ahead of us. Skippy made it to the other side without his fur being ruffled, the wife eventually started breathing again, and seven-month-old Sebbie got back to sleep quickly after waking with the scare.
Scores of road kill lining the roads behind and ahead showed many other roos (and vehicles) weren’t so lucky.
Since that trip (and not because of that incident), Sebastian has switched from a baby capsule to a forward-facing child seat. We had wanted to get an Isofix seat that brings greater certainty for a correct fitting than the tether-and-seatbelt set-up, but these will be delayed due to international standards not being acceptable to Australia for some reason (so manufacturers have to manufacture Isofix seats specifically for our market).
The new seat, though, should bring an advantage for him. He should now benefit from getting some of the air from the dash vents where before the CX-5’s lack of rear vents meant he got a bit sweaty in the capsule (despite us lowering the rear window closest to him a bit to help circulation in the back).
Mazda seems to have something against rear air vents as they don't feature in the latest-generation Mazda 3, either (though are in the Mazda 6).
If this is an example of where Mazda can occasionally be a bit tight-fisted, the news that the company is belatedly introducing capped price servicing is warmly welcomed (and we’re happy to take some credit, along with the Australian motoring media, for continually pestering the brand about the subject).
Mazda Australia has released only specific service pricing for the new 3 so far, though other models should be finalised by the time our CX-5 is ready for its first service.