The Mazda CX-5 Kuro SUV is one of those ‘special editions’. How special is it?
It’s standard practice in the car industry to bring out short runs of ‘special editions’. Nothing wrong with that, of course; it can boost sales.
In this case, with the CX-5 Kuro Edition; just 750 owners should be happy with their unique Soul Red Crystal Metallic or Polymetal Grey Metallic SUV, with contrasting 19-inch black wheels and black mirror caps. The black theme continues inside with a black dash and door inserts, and to further distinguish the Kuro version, there’s a lot of red stitching, including in the knee-rests; I like knee-rests: it’s extraordinary how much they can help relax you on long journeys.
Kuro Editions also get more trim over the SE-L CX-5 model: a power-adjustable driver’s seat and heated front seats in black leatherette and suede trim. Our test car was a grey one. But not at all grey in character.
The ‘fun-to-drive’ aspect that Mazda’s Chief Engineer set high in his priorities is achieved well enough. The performance might not set the heart racing…that’s not the point. But, while the CX-5 is often powered by quite a lusty petrol 2.5-litres with 191bhp, the Kuro has a 2.0-litre 163bhp that can still accelerate a manual gearchange car from zero to 62mph in a reasonable 10.3 seconds. Of course, anyone brave enough to attempt the top speed of 125 mph would a) have to be on an Autobahn in Germany and b) prepared to pull over for mad Audi drivers (such is my experience!).
Performance in the test car was through the 6-speed manual (automatic is available and a bit quicker to reach 62mph, topping out at 119mph) and I found this manual box in a fair bit of use up longer hills, explained by the torque only peaking at 213Nm at 4000rpm.
The CX-5 is quite a sizeable car and can carry four adults in comfort, or three children in the back. The everyday practicality in luggage carrying is all there. On one occasion, when unloading my gear, I thought that my head would be crushed when I inadvertently pressed the tailgate shut button on the ignition key fob, but I then did a test that proved that my fears were unwarranted. Of course, they were!
The CX-5 provides a family with pretty much everything they might need on a long journey: connectivity, convenient stowage places, efficient heating and air conditioning and so on.
A curious thing arose as I was driving along the M4 towards London: there are stretches of new road surfaces as they build the new, ‘smart’ (so-called…or ‘dangerous’ to my mind) motorways. Over these, the Mazda produced a low-frequency rumbling sound, disconcerting at first and slightly worrying. The car was on Toyo Proxes tyres, but whether other tyres might have produced less rumbling has to remain a question. On all other surfaces, there was no issue.
The ride generally was perfectly acceptable, as was the easy steering, handling and efficient braking.
I had been particularly anticipating the arrival of this Mazda. My sincere hope was that the previous infotainment system had been properly thought-through and re-designed for more intuitive and user-friendliness. Thank heavens, it has. End of story.
The Kuro Edition’s engine, in the manual version, officially releases 7% fewer CO2g/km than before, at 152 g/km and the WLTP official combined fuel consumption is 42.2 mpg for the manual, in line with my actual displayed 43.1 over 336 miles in all-traffic driving.
This fine SUV as tested was priced at £29,645. But, as ever, treat this as a starting point for negotiation and you should end up as a very happy customer.
Tom Scanlan has written for a wide variety of magazines and newspapers, particularly the Reading Evening Post for ten years, having got into motoring journalism in 1973 via the somewhat unlikely back door of the British Forces Broadcasting Service. BFBS produced a weekly radio motoring show for the services overseas and Tom produced it, as well as interviewing experts and eventually reporting on cars.
He is into classic cars and has owned Porsche, Ferrari, pre-war Alvis and Rileys and currently owns his fifth old Alfa Romeo, a 1984 GTV 2.0.
In his spare time, Tom is a professional cricket coach.
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