Nothing eccentric

about Mazda SUV

Mazda CX-5, 2017, front
Mazda CX-5, 2017, side
Mazda CX-5, 2017, rear, action
Mazda CX-5, 2017, interior
Mazda CX-5, 2017, rear seats
Mazda CX-5, 2017, boot

THE nights are drawing in, either that or my glasses need cleaning.

No more the late languishing in an English country garden with a sparkling tipple, barbeque smoke on the air, bleating livestock and that oh-so-British resonance of scrambler bike vandals enjoying a little light trespass.

Red sky at night, barn could be alight.

Once last night of The Proms is over and done with there is not much but to watch the telly.

The following are things I will not watch: anything with doctors, mutilated bodies, half-baked food competitions, quiz shows, Question Time, Americans shooting each other, singing contests and the BBC news which is a conglomeration of all the above.

I do like anything which showcases our national eccentricity, Gogglebox and things about the sea but not that Titanic.

Oh, and Normal for Norfolk.

I like Normal for Norfolk so much that last week I set out to visit Desmond MacCarthy at Wiveton Hall but he was not in.

Well not his right mind as you may gather from the programme. Delightfuly eccentric.

This is a man I would want for a neighbour, holding onto the important country traditions of losing money and getting divorced from posh totty.

We did meet his granddaughter who sold my wife a shopping bag and enormously expensive puppy lead while we talked gun dogs and I remarked on the attractiveness of her strawberries, which earned me a look.

Others around were more taken with the car we had chosen for the trip, only 500 miles there and back but not a lot of big roads.

Perfect, as it turned out for a Mazda CX-5, two-wheel drive with a 148bhp, 2.2-litre diesel engine although you would be hard pushed to spot any rattling.

Performance is strong, this was the six-speed manual, with 9.4 seconds raising 62mph.

It's a large SUV yet feels light on its feet - what do you think Anton?

Economy is claimed to average 56.5mpg and thought the week the on-board computer was boasting a creditable 45mpg, something any right thinking person would settle for.Emissions are a taxation average of 132g/km

Norfolk could well be called the Dignitas county with every second oncoming driver determined to hasten life's mortal journey. If you cannot see around a bend why would you drive as if guided by some advanced drone navigator?

All I will say is the steering is responsive and the local hedgerows could do with a trim.

G-Vectoring helps, a new Mazda technology which gets the most out of the car's power with rock -solid handling.

The overall ride is a joy, smooth, refined, low on noise and all wrapped in automated leather comfort.

The cabin layout defies fatigue with instrumentation deigned to be functional rather than flash but sorry, Mazda, there are better navigators although the ability to use the screen via a central dial control makes life safer on the move.

There's no shortage of equipment with the expected safety and comfort package added to at Nav level by including keyless entry, power tailgate, reversing camera, 19-inch alloys and Bose 10-speaker band.

You get a head-up display, something I support with enthusiasm in this speed camera age.

Even if the latest generation CX-5 is a roomy car with statement lines and a high quality finish.

Many will buy further up the perceived food chain and get no better for their money.

There is bags of practicality, a huge boot area and with the seats folded a reassuring echo.

The new version is not exactly a stag's leap from the outgoing model but it still maintains my premise that Mazda does not make a bad car.

I like to think Desmond would approve of the CX-5, a lot of car this for £28,695, but he would probably want the i-ACTIV 4x4 option.

The best value in the range, however, is at SE-L level from less than £24,000.

At the hall entrance is a huge sign reading Get Lost while in smaller type inviting punters into the maize maze.

I wonder if he would go for a similar idea I have for the conveniences.

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