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Mazda CX-5 versus Nissan Qashqai: duel of the Japanese SUV bestsellers

Arturo Rivas
Mazda CX-5 versus Nissan Qashqai
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D he expert, one hears, distinguishes between High, round, flat and low curbs. The highest curb is - you can guess which sensation is to follow - because it results in a difference in level of 10 to 15 centimeters between the street and the sidewalk. In contrast, the round kerbstone, which is around 10 centimeters lower, enables access to properties. Before you worry about having landed with your colleagues from 'kelle mörtel und stein', we clarify that the conventional curb is pretty much the worst thing SUVs have to conquer.

The guys from have that first Nissan understood when they launched the Qashqai in 2006, an off-road vehicle that practically never wanted to venture off-road, even with optional all-wheel drive. In 2014, the urge to go astray decreased even more in the second generation. There is only one diesel engine with all-wheel drive, but not the new 1.6-liter turbo gasoline direct injection engine, which is also touring with Renault's alliance in Clio RS and Espace. He takes on the uncharged two-liter direct injection engine from Mazda, with which the engine range starts in the recently facelifted CX-5.

Mazda CX-5 and Nissan Qashqai with front-wheel drive

That too comes here as a pure front-wheel drive, which is good for the weight. Because of its lightweight construction, the Mazda weighs only 36 kilos more than the Nissan, but is still larger and more spacious in all dimensions. The passengers can easily get into the CX-5, sit more unrestricted, especially because of the better headroom, and significantly higher - in the rear on the cozy three-seater bench and in the front on more stable and more comfortable cushions.

While The latest facelift can only be guessed at from the outside by means of LED headlights, they have furnished the living room nicer inside, with higher-quality materials and the new infotainment. As in the Mazda 6, both the touchscreen and the controller organize the operation in a catchy and intuitive manner. In contrast, typing through the menus of the touchscreen infotainment in the Nissan is a bit more complicated. The reversing and all-round view cameras also project their images onto the central monitor, which makes parking easier.

Nissan Qashqai scores with high-quality interior trim

The Qashqai also shows a practical sense in other ways a cleverly divisible trunk basement and lots of shelves. In addition, it furnishes itself even more valuable than theMazda, seats the passengers in the rear on a comfortably padded, but deeply mounted bench. Nissan proudly reports that they have cooperated with the US space agency NASA in the development of the front seats. It should be tight in astronauts' clothing, but for us Earthlings the armchairs convince with long-distance comfortable support.

And when we are comfortable, we press the starter button. The turbo engine starts and falls into a quiet idle. Engage the first of the six appropriately stepped, precise and smoothly shiftable gears and off you go. Not really homogeneous - after every shift the engine lapses into a brief loader hesitation - but then it moves forward again vehemently, also likes to turn and remains cultivated even at higher speeds.

Battle of the Concepts: Suckers in Mazda and Turbo in Nissan

Turbo cannot be replaced When it comes to gasoline engines, Mazda is suspicious of all the charging. Instead, the Japanese rely on large cubic capacity, although its irreplaceability is no longer so undisputed. Yes, the direct injection (200 bar pressure) pulls off more homogeneously, but also with less power and is only marginally more economical (7.9 l /100 km instead of 8.1 in the Qashqai). He doesn't sound more cultivated either when he turns up the revs. He has to in order to keep up with the Qashqai. While the turbo boost pushes ahead, the Mazda lacks pulling power. Which is also due to the long translation of the - atypical for the CX-5 - slightly wobbly six-box.

In general, the Mazda now lacks the impetus that characterized it so far. The model update removed the load-changing urge of the rear and with it the slight doubts about driving safety. Now the CX-5 curves prudently, but significantly less agile because of the less pointed steering. In addition, it wobbles more, despite the softer set-up, it can only cope with unevenness better when empty, rumbling bitterly over short and long waves when loaded. The more tightly tuned Nissan stuck on transverse joints, jostled over small bumps. But with a load it bounces more gently, leaving the swaying. It also looks more dynamic, although its steering does not achieve more precision and feedback than that of the Mazda.

Mazda CX-5 weakens when braking

The advantages of the CX-5 with the now comprehensive optional assistance arsenal, it loses - like the Mazda 6 in issue 8/2015 - with longer braking distances. However, like the slower handling, they may also be due to the poor grip Yokohama Geolandar tires. The lavish amount of space and the large cargo space remain the main advantages of the Mazda compared to the cheaper Nissan. He should also brake harder and win, especially with the powerful engine. You can blame him for not having anything off-road vehicle-like about him. But that's probably the case with SUVs- You guessed what has to come next - the philosopher's stone.

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