Tow Test: Mazda CX – 5 2.2d AWD AT

Words and images by Godfrey Castle

Judging by the number of trailer and caravan manufacturers building so-called gravel-roader and off-road caravans and trailers, the spirit of adventure has never run higher among South Africans! Initially, most of these were being towed by big SUVs, Land Cruisers and the like, but on recent country travels we noticed that many owners seemed to switching to more economical tow vehicles, including midsized SUVs. Economically, it just makes sense!

This new trend also includes what we call ‘soft-roaders’. These look like SUVs and 4WD, but don’t have lowrange or massive ground clearance. That said, soft-roaders are perfectly capable of tackling gravel roads and good tweespoor tracks. These vehicles often run in 2WD until wheel slip is detected, at which point they engage 4WD, thus combining the benefits of front- and rear-wheel-drive vehicles in one package.

So what makes the CX-5 different from its competitors? It’s a tough call, but I can’t help feeling that it’s simply born to tow! When one is sitting behind that steering wheel, the natural inclination is to steer in the direction of them distant mountains, set course via the seldom-travelled and non-signposted roads… and to stomp on that accelerator pedal to get there quickly! We’re not the only ones who think the CX-5 is a great tower, as it recently won its class in the UK Towcar of the Year competition in the 1 550 to 1 699 kg category.

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