Let the cars do the talking.
This somehow was what Berjaya Auto Philippines, the exclusive distributor of Mazda vehicles in the country, implied when they launched the all-new diesel variants of the highly acclaimed Mazda6 Executive Sedan and the CX-5 Compact Sport Utility Vehicle just last week.
Instead of hosting a formal unveil in a hotel or a posh events’ place, Mazda staged a two-day test drive of their diesel-powered car and CUV from their newly-opened showroom in Makati City to the resort town of Mabini, Batangas whose Anilao district is famous for diving, snorkeling and other watersports activities.
Featuring Mazda’s latest SKYACTIV-D diesel engine technology, the all-new Mazda6 and CX-5 diesel come equipped with a 2.2-Liter two-stage turbocharged motor that produces 173 horsepower and 420 Newton-meter of torque. More remarkable is lowest in the world diesel engine compression 14:1, the SKYACTIV-D is Mazda’s answer to the quest for lower emission, high combustion efficiency, more power and torque and superior fuel economy.
After a brief product overview by Chiaki Santo of Powertrain Planning Development from Mazda Motor Corporation of Japan, six brand new units each of the Mazda6 and the CX-5 rolled out from Mazda’s parking building driven by our colleagues in the motoring beat.
This is the second time that Berjaya Auto has done a launch and test drive for their new product offerings. In April of 2014, the company made available for test drive some 12 brand new units of the Mazda3 with SKYACTIV Technology to the surf town of Baler in Aurora. Back then, BAP successfully demonstrated its claims for the revolutionary SKYACTIV Technology which include the engine power, lighter body weight and fuel efficiency while retaining the car’s zoom-zoom spirit and performance.
We also had a chance to test drive a Mazda6 diesel in 2013 in Thailand and wondered why it took quite sometime for BAP to bring the diesel variant to the country. BAP president Steven Tan said it was a matter of economics and the move to bring the SKYACTIV D required a lot of studies and consideration for a Euro 4-compliant diesel fuel.
“The Mazda Skyactiv-D diesel engine is among the most advanced in the world, and with the availability of low-sulfur Euro4 Diesel fuel, we are proud to be able to introduce the engine into not one, but two of the critically acclaimed and award-winning Mazda6 executive sedan and the CX-5 compact crossover.” reveals Tan. “SKYACTIV-D is the cleanest and most fuel efficient diesel engine available in the market and our customers deserve the best that Mazda can deliver.”
BAP called the event the SKYACTIV-Discovery Press Ride and Drive for us to experience the Skyactiv-D engine in both vehicles. The 114-kilometer drive to Anilao via the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and straight to the Southern Tagalog Arterial Roadway (STAR) to Batangas. The highway legs allowed us to experience the smooth power and torque of the SKYACTIV-D engines to the hilt.
A check at the Mazda6 instrument panel showed I averaged 7.5 liters per 100 kms or about 13.4 kms per liter of diesel. I was quite surprised to find out how fuel efficient the car’s engine was as my initial concern was its engine performance in which we had some sprints and catch up maneuvers with the convoy. We observed normal driving without applying our fuel efficient driving techniques. The executive sedan also had quiet and very stable ride.
With traffic slowing down as we reached the busy port town of Bauan, Batangas, both the Mazda6 and CX-5 diesels relied on the highly effective i-STOP ignition start and stop system to reach commendable fuel economy figures despite the distance travelled.
It was an extremely hot day but the car’s excellent airconditioning system kept the three of us in the Mazda6 comfortable.
Lunch at the Discovery Bay Anilao was a treat and educational as the participants and resource persons exchanged information. Both vehicle models are selling very well in Japan and Thailand and other markets. We also learned that a Mazda2 diesel is already being sold in Thailand but BAP said the additional cost of bringing the variant might be too high for the market and there are no plans to bring the subcompact diesel in the near future.
We spent free time by taking profile shots of the cars while others opted to swim, scuba dive or do the kayak ride.
On day two, we took the Lemery route on the way to Tagaytay. This time we were assigned the CX-5- diesel. I enjoyed the CUVs torque and handling on the straights and zigzags that I never got to check its fuel consumption average. The torque is something to rave about as it is comparable or better than diesel-powered luxury compact SUVs we have driven before.
The 68-kilometer drive was exciting as we negotiated the winding roads with ease. After lunch, we headed back to Mazda Makati to cap the two-day 246-km drive.
The all-new Mazda 6 and CX-5 diesel are priced at P1.985M for the Mazda6 SKYACTVI-D and P1,999M for the CX-5 SKYACTIV-D, Mazda aims to target a larger share of the executive sedan and compact SUV market who not only value practicality and fuel efficiency but also put a premium on a driving experience that is unlike any other.