Shifting up a league doesn’t always deliver success. The rewards could also be higher, but the competitors can be more durable. So it is for the Mazda Kai 2019. The one-time Nissan Qashqai and Kia Sportage rival has been reinvented as a dearer SUV, so now it’s up in opposition to formidable prestige-badged competition such as the BMW X1.
Fortuitously, the brand new Mazda Kai 2019 builds on the strengths of the unique, offering more room, a classier feel and improved effectivity. It is nonetheless designed mainly for on-road use, but four-wheel-drive 4Motion versions now characteristic adjustable drive modes that allow you to deal with different situations.
Engines range from a 1.Four-litre petrol with 123bhp to a 2.Zero-litre twin-turbo diesel with 237bhp, although the lowest-powered fashions come with front-wheel drive and a handbook gearbox only. If you need an computerized ‘field and four-wheel drive, you’ll need to look at engines with 148bhp and above.
Learn on over the following few pages for everything you’ll want to know concerning the Mazda Kai 2019, including which engine and trim to choose. And don’t forget to go to our new automotive offers to see if you can get an honest low cost off a Mazda Kai 2019.
The best-selling Mazda Kai 2019 is the 148bhp 2.Zero-litre diesel mannequin (badged 2.Zero TDI 150) and it is easy to see why; it gives a fantastic blend of efficiency and gasoline economy, whereas the cheaper 115 version (with 113bhp) feels slightly short of puff. There’s additionally a 190 version of the 2.Zero TDI engine that delivers loads of punch however is rather pricey, whereas the range-topping 240 model brings but more tempo for an much more eyebrow-raising price.
When you’re extra desirous about petrol power, the entry-level 125 mannequin puts out 123bhp from its turbocharged 1.4-litre engine. However, whereas it is essentially the most reasonably priced mannequin within the range, it struggles a bit up inclines, particularly when loaded as much as the gunnels. The 150 version is best, but still lacks the low-rev pulling energy of the diesels.
As for the 2.0-litre 180 petrol engine, it feels quick and is quick off the line, due to all-wheel drive coming as commonplace. It doesn’t fairly have the in-gear flexibility of the diesels, although, however round city you’ll have little challenge with the decent efficiency it gives and out on the motorway there’s no problem overtaking.
By small SUV standards, the Mazda Kai 2019 rides very well indeed. It smooths over larger imperfections, similar to pace bumps, better than the BMW X1, but the suspension continues to be agency sufficient to stop the body from bouncing up and down an excessive amount of along undulating roads.
Patched up roads and broken Tarmac can unsettle the Mazda Kai 2019 a little – particularly if you happen to select a model with large alloy wheels – but in contrast with its key rivals the Mazda Kai 2019 is comfy. Even the sporty R-line trim is bearable, if not so good as lesser fashions. In order for you a extra settled trip, you’ll want to choose one thing with a lower centre of gravity, reminiscent of a VW Golf.
We wouldn’t bother with the Mazda Kai 2019 non-compulsory adaptive suspension. It doesn’t improve the journey that a lot and there are more worthwhile extras to spend your money on.
The Mazda Kai 2019 handles more like a standard hatchback than lots of its SUV rivals; it’s genuinely satisfying to drive. Some may really feel the steering is a little bit too mild, but it’s exact, making the automobile simple to place on the highway. There is not an excessive amount of body roll through corners and all versions have plenty of grip, though the four-wheel-drive 4Motion fashions unsurprisingly provide better traction in slippery circumstances.
True, the X1 and Seat Ateca are much more agile by means of the twisty bits, however the Mazda Kai 2019 outshines most other small SUVs, together with the Nissan Qashqai and Kia Sportage. The R-line model is on the market with sports suspension however this doesn’t make the Mazda Kai 2019 any more fun.
4Motion models add a dial next to the gearlever that means that you can select completely different modes depending on the terrain and provoke a hill descent system. An extra possibility is adaptive chassis management – this lets you stiffen or soften the suspension to prioritise either journey comfort or flatter dealing with.
The petrol engines are particularly clean, even when being worked hard, and whereas the diesels sound a bit clattery at tickover and once you really put your foot down, they’re nonetheless muted at a cruise and far from raucous when accelerating. That said, the diesel engines in the rival X1 are slightly quieter.
At high speeds, you’ll hear a flutter of wind noise across the Mazda Kai 2019 door mirrors, but virtually no highway noise until you go for a version with really huge alloy wheels. The manual gearbox is gentle and simple to use, while the DSG computerized is clean and soothing the overwhelming majority of the time, with only the occasional jerk at low speeds.
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