Feature Coverage Videos Test Driven Weekend Drive

Discovering the city of Tripoli in Lebanon on board the Mazda CX-5

As the weekdays come to an end, we have decided to go on an out of ordinary trip for our weekend getaway.

We have decided to adventure in discovering a Lebanese ancient city, one of the oldest in the world and the 2nd in the world to contain the largest quantity of historical monuments in one city; we have decided to tour the city of Tripoli in Lebanon.


Moreover, and as we were planning our discovery journey, our eyes were set on one extraordinary location to be our first stop in Tripoli. We’ve heard about “The Rashid Karameh International Exhibition Center”, the fifth among the largest exhibition centers in the world in terms of dimensions and variety of construction. An exhibition center that was built in the late 60s’ and early 70s’ of the 20th century with a futuristic vision and a forward-looking outlook.

To match the concept of this chosen location, we needed a car that influenced the automotive manufacturing industry and set the future trend for its manufacturer. We chose Mazda’s compact crossover The “CX-5” 2018 model. This car has revolutionized the Japanese automotive trends and set the path for future designs specifically with the Japanese manufacturer Mazda. In 2011 and during the Tokyo International Motor Show, Mazda introduced for the first time the concept of the Kodo Design or the “Soul of Motion” through the CX-5 first generation. Afterwards the Kodo design became an integral part of the Japanese manufacturer’s identity in all its modern designs.

On D-day and as the sun began to rise, our journey on board the all-new Mazda CX-5 2018 initiated as we hit the Beirut-Tripoli highway. The roads were almost empty, so we took benefit of the occasion and juiced the CX-5 engine in different conditions. The 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine coped with a six-speed automatic transmission producing 188 horsepower was exactly what we expected it to be. The CX-5 is also equipped with SkyActiv Technology which helps significantly in providing the right amount of power when needed and also helps in reducing fuel consumption and fuel emissions.


Reaching our first destination in Tripoli, “The Rachid Karameh International Exhibition Center”, we were stunned with the amazing scenery and the variety of sights from concrete to greenery. We took advantage of the superb weather and nature’s mix of lights and colors to take some astonishing photos for the Mazda CX-5.

Mazda’s black colored compact crossover has a captivating exterior. The front of the CX-5 is stylish yet aggressive with a large new design grille centered by Mazda’s enlarged emblem with a 3D effect, a bold statement by the Japanese manufacturer conveying its message of Mazda’ evolution over the past few years and providing a sense of pride when owning any new vehicle from the Mazda’s lineup. The front is also characterized by a chrome strip underneath the grille connecting the two headlights and swept inside the headlights’ design for that “Continuity in Design” feature that symbolizes Mazda’s new identity. The “Continuity in Design” is clearly shown with the similarity in shape between the headlights and taillights of the CX-5 and noticeable with the side lines connecting those lights from front to back for that extra aerodynamics. These lines combined with the muscular shaped fenders provides a more athletic looks on the All-New CX-5.

The photoshoot session is done and now it was time to meet our guide for that promised tour of Tripoli’s historical monuments.

As soon as we entered the inside cabin of the CX-5, a puzzled smile appeared on the face of our guide. He was intrigued with the modern and elegant design of the CX-5 interior. Mazda has adopted a modern and future interior design with a clear change from the previous generation. The materials used from leather and elegant plastic reflected the stylish scheme required in this type of cars. Our guide had a specific question about that peculiar looking wood element carefully laid on the console and door panels. And the answer was simple, Mazda used the “Wood-Metal” material to reveal its intention of combining the elegant feel of classic wood and the modern and futuristic touch of the inside cabin elements. On top of that and for that extra spice of elegance, Mazda also relied on handcrafted stiches for its super comfortable leather seats and steering wheel. The distance between the stiches is exactly the same proving once more that the CX-5 is inspired by classic, handcrafted elegancy with a futuristic approach and design.

Mazda also gave the rear area a “noteworthy” attention in terms of design, comfort and space. The rear seats are as elegant as the front zone and are supported with a hand rest containing a USB charging port and cup holders dedicated for the rear cabin passengers. For storage space, the CX-5 is equipped for both family and adventure seekers, we therefore find a relatively large trunk storage space. The space can be extended considerably for those extra shopping bags or adventure cargo by lowering the rear seats using the designated handles in the trunk of the CX-5.

After that careful dissertation of the interior and exterior designs, we were ready to move and have set course for our 2nd destination: The Crusader Fortress of Tripoli built in the early 12th century. We took some narrow roads and were faced with traffic jams. The Mazda CX-5 is well equipped for that extra comfort in daily drives, the “Auto Hold” option made our life easier in traffic jams. it holds the car standing still on full stop even when the feet are lifted of the brake pedal and moves forward when needed with a single touch on the gas pedal.

After the fortress, we cruised to visit another two archaeological sites located in one destination; the 13th century ” Barsbay Tower ” and the “Ottoman railway station” in the harbor. Although access to them is not that easy, the All-Wheel Drive system with the Active Torque Split functions came in-handy to overcome some mud and rough terrain surrounding the two sites. This have proved that despite the fact that the CX-5 is not built initially for rough off-roading however it does the job when needed for those adventure seekers.

As the day come to an end, our journey in Tripoli came to its last moments with a promise to return soon and continue our visit to the remaining archaeological sites. The trip onboard the Mazda CX-5 was far from being over. As the night laid its wings on the highway, we took benefit from our return trip to Beirut and got the chance to experience the “G Vectoring Control” on those curvy turns and also experience the vast variety of the CX-5’s safety and technological options such as: Adaptive LED Headlights, 7″ screen infotainment, TCS, ABS and so much more.

At the end, it must be said that Mazda has evolved significantly over the generations of the CX-5, and has given Mazda lovers a new car entirely worthy of carrying the Badge of the Japanese distinguished manufacturer “Mazda”.



By Nabil Moustafa

Nabil Moustafa, a professional automotive Journalist with more than 13 years of experience in Automotive Journalism.
Founder of Arab Tuning Magazine and Co-Founder of Arab Motor World.
Guest Speaker in many Radio Shows, TV Shows.
Jury in Arab Wheels Awards and SEMA SHOW
Managing director of Xclusive SARL the creators of Lebanon Motorsport and Tuning Show and many others shows
A record of more than 300 cars tested.