West Coast meander

A look at the CX-5

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The new CX-5 is the perfect vehicle for the open road, with its 2.2 TDI eating up the road with little trouble, allowing you to cruise along at around 8l/100km at 140 km/h, while barely slipping the juice at lower speeds.

The interior is very comfortable, with plenty of leg room for rear passengers, while boot space is a touch limited as a result. The slanted back windscreen gives the car great lines, but does hinder boot space somewhat compared to a square backed SUV, which you don’t see very often on SA roads.

After a relaxing drive up the N7 towards Citrusdal, we reached our first overnight destination of Piekenierskloof Mountain lodge, which has won countless awards for being the premier family getaway in the region.

The resort is split up in the main lodge, and has breathtaking views down the mountain towards Citrusdal, a full restaurant and bar, indoor pool and games room for kids. Not to mention a crystal clear pool outside to lounge around, sipping the afternoon away.

Then there are luxury self-catering units with thatched roofs, which we stayed in. Our particular unit had three bedrooms and an ideal outside braai place to wind down after a hard day’s activities. And activities there are a plenty, with a spine-tingling zip slide down the valley, mountain biking, hiking, bird watching, sunbathing, 4x4ing, chess and putt-putt to name just a few.

The area also boasts some of the nicest driving roads, and I was able to find a quiet one with no traffic to test out the top speed of the CX-5. She pulled hard out of the gate, and in no time it was up to 160km/h, putting the foot flat to the floor and barrelling through the air at over 200km/h, making it the fastest city clicker SUV that I’ve ever driven.

After all that fun and games, it was time to head on over to our second destination, an hour and a half away at Rocherpan Nature Reserve just outside Velddrif. We decided to take the scenic route to Elands Bay and cut back down along the gravel road along the coast.

The CX5 was very similarly at home on the fast sweeping bends of the tar road, as opposed to the technical gravel sections once you reach the coast. The AWD system on the CX-5 is first class, never putting a wheel out of line, and makes driving on gravel a pleasure, for even novice drivers. Thankfully they have fitted regular tyres on the car, as opposed to low-profile tyres in the previous year’s model, making for a firm ride.

Within no time we reached the beautiful Rocherpan, a world famous bird oasis, and a fantastic place to unwind, getting away from the stresses of city life. It is fast turning into one the jewels of the Cape Nature accommodation offerings, and is as close to five star bush self-catering as you’d hope to find.

The Shoveler unit that we stayed in was brand new, with a gorgeous deck overlooking the bird sanctuary, perfect for sundowners and of course, with the braai going at fever pitch.

There’s plenty to do, or not to do if you just want to ‘veg’ out. For the active visitor, mountain bikes are on offer, and there are plenty of hikes around the reserve. The reserve also boasts several kilometres of unspoilt beach, which is a prime fishing spot for anglers, provided you have a permit.

In terms of eating out, you’ll find some options in Eland’s Bay and Velddrif, although don’t expect any five star cuisine out there; it’s more true West Coast tucker.

All in all, a good time was had by all at both venues, while the CX-5 proved itself as one of the premier mid-sized SUV in SA. 

Gregory Simpson

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