Mazda CX-5 review: An SUV you’ll indeed suffer pushing – Pocket

The initial Mazda CX-5 kicked off a series during Mazda. It was Mazda’s initial mainstream SUV and a initial automobile to underline a company’s new “Kodo – essence of motion” pattern language. Mazda ran that character by a successive 2, 3, 6, CX-3 and MX-5 and it now has one of a best-looking operation of cars on a road.

This new CX-5 builds on a plain foundations of that initial model. Essentially a same length and width, it’s somewhat reduce than before, and a pattern sticks with a Kodo pattern theme, updating it with some-more worldly aspect language, sum and technology.

The new automobile sits on a mutated chronicle of a aged car’s platform, stability with Mazda’s SkyActiv record – that prioritises a use of light-weight materials and a opposite proceed to engineering a automobile – in office of softened engine potency and incomparable pushing pleasure.

Core to a CX-5’s interest is a sporting intent. Let’s face it, Mazda is a usually mainstream association that’s managed to build out a operation around a sports car, the seminal MX-5. It competence be a suspicion you’d not deliberate (or that’s deeply buried in a subconscious), yet by shopping a Mazda you’re partly shopping into a sporting extraction of a code that’s built on 30 years of creation a a world’s best-selling sports car.


The new CX-5 positively looks sportier than before. That’s taken caring of by a softened proportions – they come from relocating a A-pillar rearwards, obscure a roofline and afterwards adding some-more difficult details. The new indication also facilities many slimmer lamps, and many bolder sections of chrome sum that approximate elements like a grille.

Yes, a CX-5 could still usually be an SUV, yet it’s significantly better-looking than many big, difficult lumpen SUVs, and is graphic yet being in any approach magnificent or in-your-face.

Only a circle pattern of this top-spec Sport Nav lets a side down. The wheels are large 19-inch units, yet somehow demeanour mislaid in a arches. On bigger rims, or a opposite design, a CX-5 would demeanour honestly stand-out. As it is, Mazda’s engineering and pattern group chose to come down on a softened float side of a float contra looks trade-off.

The sporting thesis continues when we take to a road. As many as we can ever pattern a diesel SUV to be fun to drive, a CX-5 moves down a highway in a unequivocally beguiling way. It feels car-like and is easy to drive. It’s light and responsive, yet there’s a unequivocally certain greeting to each submit we make. The steering is not large on feel yet is ideally weighted – so are a pedals, and a rigging change has a good certain movement and a stubby push that creates it fun to quarrel adult and down a 6-speed primer box.


If you’re in a precipitate on an normal British B-road, a CX-5 is a automobile you’ll wish to be in, when deliberate opposite a rivals. It feels energetic and accurate – it competence eventually be formed on a same height as a automobile it replaces, yet around 50 per cent of a cessation components are new, giving a CX-5 some-more intrepidity in corners. It rides with considerable composure; a certain footed-ness and a skip of physique gaunt gives we a certainty to pitch it into corners in a approach that few of a rivals do, assisting this 4.5m-long SUV cringe around you.

But a CX-5 has always been a decent drive, so what stands out about a new CX-5 compared to a aged indication is that it’s many some-more refined. Mazda has worked tough on insulation and refinement, and now usually a sound of a Toyo tyres booty a party. Even then, we’re nit picking. The CX-5 is a good motorway cruiser and a unequivocally gentle place to sit.

One area a CX-5 lags compared to some of a rivals is in a choice of engines and powertrain options on offer. There’s one petrol (a 2.0l 163hp domain that scarcely isn’t turbo-charged) and dual diesels (a 150hp, or a 175hp chronicle we drove). Want a petrol? You’ll need to hang with a primer gearbox and front-wheel drive. The diesels are accessible in both dual and four-wheel expostulate formats, with possibly primer or automobile boxes. But if we wish a higher-output diesel, you’ll need to buy a tip spec Sport Nav version, as tested here in a four-wheel-drive manual-box spec.


All a engines advantage from Mazda’s SkyActiv technology, that means they’re lighter, have reduction attrition and run aloft application ratios than their rivals. What does that meant for you? The title CO2 and economy total are good, yet not all class-leading, yet it’s practically a tiny easier to get nearer to a economy total quoted, in genuine driving. We got 42mpg during a 200 miles of driving, that was mostly firm to city and nation roads, where we gathering a Mazda sincerely hard. Expect 50mpg or some-more on motorways.

The engine contributes to a altogether certain pushing impression. Apart from an peculiar bent to reason a revs high for a notation on cold start-up (presumably so it warms adult quicker), a diesel is still and refined. The 6-speed primer gearbox is slick, certain and beguiling to use. In 175hp format, a CX-5 is an easy automobile to make swell in. It’s not undisguised fast, yet a engine is unequivocally torque-rich opposite a wide-band of a rev range, that means you’re mostly carrying some-more speed than we competence think. And it generally sounds well-spoken and clatter-free.

To demeanour during and drive, a CX-5 is amply good adequate to make we consider twice about spending an additional £10K (or more) on a reward SUV like a Audi Q5. Beyond badge snobbery, there’s tiny in a approach a Mazda looks or drives that it gives divided to many some-more costly competition.


The disproportion is suggested when we step on board: it’s a one stand-out area where Mazda has clearly pushed a poignant ascent compared to a out-going model. Yet a diversion in this area has changed on quickly, so a Mazda’s interior pattern still feels uninspiring, verging on hum-drum. If you’re a fan of simplicity, there’s many to like. But a domain of a dash-top, a pattern of a atmosphere vents and a approach a (faux) wooden trim on a dashboard is practical make it demeanour and feel utterly antiquated already.

Adding to this is a skip of element or colour choice – there’s tiny ability to personalise your CX-5 over selecting a opposite leather colour. Which is a contrition in a automobile that’s in such a rival marketplace and differently has so many of a qualities it needs to take on a reward brands.

Luckily a pushing position is good and simply adjustable, a interior is comparatively easy to use with no genuine ergonomic flaws and there’s copiousness of space.


The foot is good sized (506 litres), yet it’s usually a bag of sugarine bigger than a aged car’s 500l boot. Some rivals offer adult to 50 litres more. Back chair space has good leg room and those up-front are unequivocally doubtful to feel short-changed. There’s no 7-seat option, sadly. Space for your things is reasonable – there’s a neat cubby during a bottom of a centre console, a large executive bin, span of crater holders and low doorway bins. Though these are tough plastic, so your things tends to clap in them. It’s not Honda clever, yet it copes flattering good with a tiny family’s stuff.

Mazda is flattering singular outward of a reward brands in charity an infotainment setup that gives we both a touchscreen and console-mounted rotary controller. While a complement is distant from perfect, Mazda deserves credit for clearly meditative about how a complement works, and eventually formulating a safer system, rather than usually lobbing a touchscreen during a lurch that army lots of eyes-off-road time.


The shade itself, that now pokes adult by a tip of a dash, is on a tiny side for a code new car. It’s a 7-inch unit, that feels a bit meant when many city cars now foe 8-inch or more. Plus a clarity of sparseness is exacerbated by a fact that if feels a prolonged approach away, perched underneath a windscreen. It runs in a some-more difficult 16:9 aspect ratio, though, to a advantage of a mapping display.

Below 5mph we can use it as a touchscreen, that if you’re still is mostly a fastest approach to punch in an address, for instance. On a move, a rotary controller behind a gearstick takes over control duties, and – like BMW, Audi and Mercedes’ systems – allows we to scroll, poke adult and down, side to side and press down to select, many to advantage of tasks like perplexing to corkscrew by your phone contacts or a list of radio stations.

You can store favourites stations, destinations and numbers on a star by-pass button, while there are standalone buttons for nav, media and home. This setup means it’s tough to get too confused by a infotainment system, and in ubiquitous it’s sincerely easy to use – we usually consider that a crafty complement setup deserves some-more difficult on-screen graphics and a somewhat reduction step-laborious routine for certain functions.


Unfortunately, notwithstanding media connectivity in a form of USB and HDMI ports, there’s no Apple CarPlay or Android Auto functionality. Mazda says it knows this is an emanate and is “working on it”.

Like many Mazda cars, a CX-5 comes in dual pivotal trim grades: SE-L Nav and top-of-the-range Sport Nav (the latter as reviewed).

On a Sport Nav models we don’t wish for many in a approach of kit. Not usually do we get a infotainment complement with sat nav, DAB radio and Bluetooth as standard, yet a Bose stereo complement that offers some of a best sound peculiarity during this cost point. Notably, Toyota’s JBL complement does seem to container incomparable punch and abyss of sound, yet a Bose in a Mazda isn’t distant behind. Be aware, a SE-L class usually gets a 4 orator setup.

Those bemoaning a disappearance of CD players as customary fit from difficult cars will also be gratified to learn we still get a CD lurch container here. Those who’ve not overwhelmed a CD for several years will see it as a purposeless further and rubbish of space.


Beyond that, a Sport Nav comes as customary with 19-inch wheels, a sunroof, powered bootlid, reversing camera, leather seats that are exhilarated and electrically tractable on a driver’s side, as good as keyless entrance and a head-up arrangement (HUD) that is a full windscreen projector complement that works unequivocally good in and with a trade pointer approval system.

All of these facilities are possibly taken or discretionary on a next-level down SE-L Nav, nonetheless it’s frequency what you’d call frugally equipped. You barter a 19-inch wheels for 17-inch, get LED headlamps, front and behind parking sensors, a 7-inch touchscreen/rotary control complement with navigation as customary and a leather steering wheel.

At £31,395, a Sport Nav 175hp indication is commencement to intrude into a reward brands’ territory, though. That said, it’s softened versed than any of a entry-level German brands and softened to expostulate than some of them too. Is it value a additional over a SE-L Nav model? The difficult answer is that they’re tough to directly compare, as a SE-L can’t be had with a 175hp engine. If we review a 150hp, 2WD SE-L with a 150hp 2wd Sport Nav, that are expected to be a biggest sellers, a disproportion in grades is £3,000. That’s a lot, yet afterwards we get a lot additional for your money. It’s your scream eventually – in a perspective a 4WD Sport Nav 175hp during £31,395 leaves we wanting for nothing, while a £26,495 150 hp 2WD SE-L Nav looks like celebrated good value.


Mazda has selected not to happen with a winning regulation when conceptualizing a new CX-5. It’s appealing to demeanour at, appealing to expostulate and has a softened interior than a effusive model.

The interior competence be better, yet it’s not eventually one of high adequate peculiarity to contend with a Audi SUVs of this world. That, and a Mazda’s skip of Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a wider engine operation are a usually things holding a CX-5 behind from being a genuine 5-star contender.

But usually since it’s blank those things doesn’t meant we should skip this SUV off your list of contenders. The CX-5 is a some-more appealing charity than a pivotal Japanese rivals – a Toyota Rav4 and Honda CR-V – as it’s distant softened to drive, softened matched to European tastes and a some-more dull experience. It also has newer tech facilities and a softened space package than mainstream cars like a Ford Kuga.

In several ways, it’s a no compromises SUV, for intelligent people who suffer driving, don’t feel a need to uncover off yet wish something that’s good engineered and conspicuously giveaway of irritating quirks. It competence skip undisguised wow factor, yet outward of a reward code models, a CX-5 offers one of a best mid-sized SUVs on a market, quite if you’re after a closest thing probable to an MX-5 with space for five.


Slightly incomparable than a CX-5, a CR-V is a choice for those wanting to get a many out of their SUV, space-wise. The foot – and cabin generally – is many bigger than a CX-5’s and also packaged out with crafty tiny features. It’s refined, and Honda’s 1.6l, 160hp diesel is a shining performer – nonetheless in a real-world we found it reduction fit than a Mazda.

Read a full article: Honda CR-V review


The evergreen Tiguan is an SUV favourite in a UK, and one area it out-punches a Mazda is in a choice of engines and trim levels. You can go all a approach from a 125hp, 1.4l petrol, adult to a fire-breathing 240hp twin-turbo diesel. Most can be had as primer or automatic, and with four-wheel expostulate should we wish. The Tiguan feels car-like and a interior is standard Volkswagen (grey, yet high quality). However, notwithstanding a infotainment complement being outwardly some-more silken and graphically difficult than a Mazda’s, it’s indeed not easier to use. It also gets costly as we bucket a automobile adult with equipment, and a Mazda is a softened drive. The Mazda’s some-more spacious, yet a Tiguan counters by being that tiny bit some-more compress and easier to park and place in town.

Read a full article: VW Tiguan review

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