At a recent off-road shoot, I showed the CX-5 some mud to see if it was any good (spoiler alert: it surprised a few people)
If there’s one thing we all know, it’s that 99 per cent of off-road-capable vehicles never get the chance to shine on rough terrain. In fact, the most we ever really see a 4×4 doing 4×4 things is once a year on Twitter where you’ll see a picture of a sightly snowy road with a naff caption that reads something like ‘Storm Derek is no match for my Subaru Forester #lifestyle #comeatmesnow’.
This is a shame, because a lot of the SUVs and 4x4s we buy new are far more capable than we give them credit for, the Mazda CX-5 included.
That’s right, much to the dismay of my colleagues George and Rory, the CX-5 scurries up this old quarry’s (steeper than it looks on video) muddy bank on road tyres without a care in the world. And before you say ‘my car could do that’, I’ll stop you there, because Rory, the guy in the video, said that too and decided it would be a great idea to prove it in his Jaguar XF.
And would you believe it, the car made it less than a quarter of the way up before deciding it didn’t want to play anymore. But massive kudos for trying anyway.
Either way, the fact the CX-5 made it up while the Jag didn’t should come as no surprise. The AWD CX-5 features an off-road traction assist (AKA a rear diff lock) at the push of a button, and benefits from enough ground clearance to keep it out of trouble.
I’ll be back at the same quarry soon with a new set of off-road wheels and tyres to find out how the car copes with a few more muddy obstacles thrown in its path, so watch this space.
For now, though, and away from the mud, I’ve piled another 1,000 miles into the car (much of it towing) and have a lot of time for the CX-5. Its capabilities have also surprised a few people at CT, so job well done thus far!