First of all, I was looking for a family car with a bit more space and higher driving position than a normal station wagon. An SUV, as it seems to appeal to more and more buyers, was the best choice for me and the wife.
I had a go at the VW Tiguan in its Comfortline 110TSI version and was very impressed with the handling and punchiness of the engine. The look, though, was a bit too boxy for my liking. Plus, if I wanted to get the Comfortline and some more options and features, the price was easily reaching $50K including on-road costs. Beyond my target for sure.
The Outlander was actually my first choice. Very cost-effective, no turbo (for some reason I believe this is one less point of failure), large cabin and sufficient handling. However, the 2017 refresh of the model was losing the embedded GPS for a full Apple/Android system altogether. It was interesting for me, but I'm still very much in love with a dedicated tool for direction. In addition, the interior of the Outlander is definitely outdated.
The Kia Sportage was out of the list as soon as I had a look at the CX-5. Best interior at this price point, good equipment list, and the ride comfort was great for me (so happy not to have back pains after several hours of highway).
I’ve been driving the car for nine months now, with slightly more than 10,000km on the odometer, and couldn't be happier. I am loving the revvy engine that does not have the laggy behavior of a turbo one. The gearbox is just the best, changing gears exactly when needed and very easy to get used to if you need it to be slightly faster.
The Sports mode is not really useful, unless you want to make sure you can stop by the gas station sooner. Having a torque converter instead of a DSG (my wife drives a Golf and I have the opportunity to drive it from time to time), I must say that I am very happy with my choice.
The infotainment, which received a lot of complaints for some reason, is just a charm to use. I did not have to reboot system more than two times so far, which is definitely nothing. I still miss Apple CarPlay, but I'm not sure how much of it I would be using. Having Mazda confirm the arrival of CP this year is definitely good news. The price of the upgrade is still to be confirmed, though.
So, all in all, I am living the dream with a car that was reasonable cost-wise and fun to drive. I'm always happy and excited to feel some power under my foot. The 2.5-litre naturally aspirated engine works like a charm, and it is even better since the 10,000km service. I'm not sure what they did, but I know what I paid for. I got a more responsive engine, slightly better fuel consumption, and I'm having more fun driving the car.
These are all happy memories, but there are some bad sides too.
Fuel consumption, for example, could be a bit better. I mainly drive to work and back with the occasional beach trip over the weekend, and I am getting 9.7L/100km. This is not bad for an SUV, but seems a bit higher than advertised. I can feel the impact of driving like an old man, though, as I can save on the consumption. Not my kind of driving, so I’ll remain with a thirsty driving style.
If I had to make a decision on a new car again, I would definitely stick to a Mazda CX-5, but I would be ticking the box for a Touring variant. For a little more money, I feel like we are getting a lot more features, especially on the safety kits.
What's done is done, though, and I am still very happy with my car, and looking forward to seeing how it ages.