As with the Next Gen Mazda 3 test drive in our May issue, I was immediately impressed with the simplicity of the dash layout and easy-to-find controls. With so many electronic features included, it is always a battle for designers to get the balance right between too much and not enough information for the driver. Mazda has got it right on this score. Between the Head Up Display, the Instrument Cluster and the Touch Screen Entertainment Unit, information is easy to find without being overwhelming.
In terms of the driving experience, the car vigilantly scans your surroundings and gives subtle feedback to you as a driver about things you may not have noticed. From real time speed monitoring that reads the speed limit signs and lets you know if you haven’t adjusted your speed, to lane-keep assist that nudges you back into the centre of your lane if you start drifting too close to lane markers. All the feedback is gentle and assistive rather than distracting or controlling.
When it comes to cruising, the Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop & Go is awesome in traffic. Set your speed on the Mount Lindesay Hwy on the way to work and Mazda will keep you a safe distance from the car in front – even bringing you to a complete stop when the highway becomes a car park.
The CX-8 and CX-9 are in the large SUV category that’s perfect for families. Their roominess makes carrying seven passengers a breeze while folding the rear and middle seats down opens up a spacious cargo area. Even the smallest engine in the range – a 2.5L petrol turbo – packs plenty of power both in terms of acceleration and in load carrying capacity.
Add to all this the comfort and quietness of the ride, the independently controlled air conditioning, USB charge sockets in the rear, rear child restraint anchor points and much, much more, and you’ll see why it’s worth dropping down to Browns Plains Mazda for a personal inspection – www.brownsplainsmazda.com.au.