What’s the use of all the cool features if you can’t easily operate them? A great user experience in a vehicle is far more than how you choose a radio station or how easy it is to set a route in the navigation system. The user experience is everything you touch, look at or control in a vehicle, and more importantly, how it all works together. When the editors at Wards Automotive, an industry leader in automotive trends and analytics, choose their “10 Best UX” nominees, they look at more than just the size of the touchscreen or the texture of the climate controls knobs. They’re looking at every interaction between the vehicle and the occupants inside.
Wards rigorously evaluates every automotive brand sold in the U.S. Its independence and integrity have made it a respected arbiter of quality, and achieving a “10 Best UX” award is a major recognition for the 2017 CX-5.
With a scoresheet developed, each Wards editor awards points based on how user-friendly and intuitive the vehicle is during their routine daily commutes. Then after their alone time, Wards will cram as many editors as possible inside to test and evaluate the vehicle as a group. They share comments, likes and dislikes and look for user experiences that surprise and delight, but also have a great overall value.
Recognizing the CX-5
This year, the Wards Automotive editors selected the 2017 Mazda CX-5 as a “10 Best UX” winner, beating out many other nominees for the honor.
“This is our second annual event rating the user-friendliness and overall effectiveness of a vehicle’s user experience,” said Tom Murphy, Wards senior editor. “Our scoring of 22 nominees this year was even more rigorous than it was last year, making the CX-5 truly deserving.”
The award is an honor, but it’s also an achievement earned through Mazda’s dedication of creating vehicles focused on a human-centric design. To achieve the best user experience, the 2017 CX-5’s features must be both premium and have intuitive function. Mazda’s engineers performed a comprehensive study of driver ergonomics to learn how best to create a vehicle that will drive drivers the comfort and responsive performance necessary to achieve Jinba Ittai–“horse and rider are one.”
Attention to detail was taken when positioning all of the 2017 CX-5’s features, such as the MAZDA CONNECTTM infotainment system with 7-inch, full-color touchscreen display, multi-function Commander control and standard Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio. With everything where they need to be for easy operation, the driver can better enjoy one of the best driving dynamics on the market courtesy of Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control system–another intuitive feature that makes the driver feel more confident and in control.
The CX-5 has more to offer than its four USB ports and a BOSE® 10-speaker surround sound system. Owners also enjoy an intuitively designed cabin, built to the most exacting standards. The CX-5 maximizes driver engagement, and that’s being recognized over and over again. In addition to WardsAuto, Digital Trends recently named the 2017 CX-5 the Best Crossover SUV of the Year and earned the Institute for Highway Safety “Top Safety Pick+”, the non-profit organization’s highest rating, joining every 2017 Mazda vehicle tested, when equipped with available Smart City Brake Support and Adaptive Front-lighting System.
Part of the Mazda family
The CX-5 isn’t the only Mazda vehicle earning recognition from WardsAuto these days. Just this year alone the 2017 Mazda CX-9 midsize crossover SUV was awarded among the 10 Best Interiors, while the turbocharged 2.5-liter SKYACTIV-G engine made their 10 Best Engines list.
Mazda seeks to imbue every vehicle in its lineup with Jinba Ittai–“horse and rider are one”–philosophy. In practical terms, it means that the Mazda CX-5 responds to your control the way you want it to respond, so you don’t have to spend your all-important attention on distractions. This driving dynamic extends to that the comfortable seats and the climate system keeps the cabin at the temperature you specify, so that your attention can be where it needs to be. Overall, Jinba Ittai is the way Mazda seeks to deliver another core Japanese value: Hashiru Yorokobi, which translates as driving enjoyment, a central part of the user experience.
What these awards are telling you is that if you haven’t experienced a Mazda for yourself, it’s about time you saw what the fanfare is all about.