Mazda crossover SUVs offer efficient AWD options for drivers

By Product Expert | Posted in Mazda CX-3, Mazda CX-5, Mazda CX-9 on Tuesday, October 16th, 2018 at 7:53 pm
A left profile photo of the 2019 Mazda CX-9.

How does the Mazda i-ACTIV AWD® system work?

Tennessee might not be a winter wonderland like our neighbors to the north, but we get just enough each year that it pays to be prepared. It doesn’t take much snow to make winter driving difficult if not actually treacherous. Mazda engineers understand that being able to drive with confidence is important in providing a positive ownership experience with its vehicles. The current Mazda lineup available at the Gwatney Mazda of Germantown offers three models with the automaker’s all-wheel-drive system, the Mazda CX-3, Mazda CX-5 and Mazda CX-9. So, how does the Mazda i-ACTIV AWD® system work? Let’s take a look at why you might want to consider a Mazda crossover SUV with this feature when you’re shopping for a new vehicle.

READ MORE: Don’t get into a cold vehicle this winter

All-wheel-drive isn’t new. However, Mazda has taken an innovative approach to the i-ACTIV AWD® included on several trims of its crossover SUV lineup. In the old days, drivers would have to remember to activate all-wheel-drive and having to remember to do things is the last thing anyone wants to do when they’re already dealing with slippery roads.

The other problem common in the competition’s AWD system is that drivers can lose the feeling of a connection between the vehicle and the road surface.

READ MORE: 2019 Mazda CX-9 adds smartphone compatibility

“What we’re trying to do with the i-ACTIV all-wheel-drive® system is take that same precise driving feel that we’ve got on dry pavement, and expand where we can feel that,” Mazda development engineer Dave Coleman, said in a press release. “We want to be able to hit a puddle in the middle of the corner and have the car continue to do exactly what you want it to do. When we’re on snow, we want to feel as precise and controllable as we do on pavement.”

The secret behind the available Mazda all-wheel-drive system is a suite of 27 sensors that provide as many as 200 inputs per second to the vehicle’s computer system. This allows the Mazda all-wheel-drive system to stay ahead of potential problems. Instead of reacting to a scenario where wheels lose traction on a slippery surface, the system recognizes when the conditions are ripe for a loss of control and make adjustments to prevent it from happening. Basically, if the system is working properly, the driver will never know.

Does AWD hurt fuel economy?

There is no denying the fact that a vehicle with all-wheel-drive is not going to be quite as fuel-efficient as one with front-wheel-drive. However, the Mazda i-ACTIV AWD® system is designed to mitigate this problem as much as possible. In fact, a quick look at the fuel economy scores of the Mazda vehicle that offer Mazda i-ACTIV AWD® system compared to front-wheel-drive versions, the difference is statistically negligible, at worst.

Model
FWD
AWD
Mazda CX-3
29/34
27/32
Mazda CX-5
25/31
24/30
Mazda CX-9
22/28
20/26

If you would like to schedule a test drive with any of the Mazda crossover SUVs that feature the Mazda i-ACTIV AWD® system, make an appointment with a Gwatney Mazda of Germantown product expert today.

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