Having driven a handful of Mazda CX-5 models since first launched a decade ago. The second and current generation came to market around 2018.
This quietly confident model suits the needs of many, it has become a good seller for Mazda. But I was somewhat confused as to why I had custody of the model pictured and tested.
At a quick glance it doesn’t look any different to the car I reviewed within the previous twelve months, so I assumed a new engine had been added to the range.
When sitting down to write about what Mazda offer within the CX-5 today, though, I soon realised that this SUV has received a very mild facelift in the form of restyled front and rear bumpers as well as a different front grille.
This Japanese maker has, for years, been building super reliable and incredibly well built motors with favourable pricing. Yes, they have always been a little no-frills inside, but that’s always been fairly reflected in the brand’s pricing.
During the last couple of years I have managed to sample most of the Mazda range and, one could argue, they are still a little behind their German rivals in regards to the materials used within the cabin.
I’ll be the first to admit that the difference is so slender, if noticeable at all, that it isn’t something that would come into my mind when shopping. Especially since the Mazda drives impeccably.
Unlike most manufacturers today, Mazda doesn’t seem to be going hybrid, or fully electrified, on a platform that has been designed and developed around internal combustion engines. As such, the Mazda CX-5 is only available with either a petrol or diesel engine.
Unquestionably Mazda, the CX-5 features the signature ‘Kodo’ styling and front end design that runs across the full range, and I rather quite like the ‘Zircon Sand Metallic’ paint finish on the model tested which contrasts perfectly against lime-green features both inside and out.
Described by its maker as a driver’s car through and through, the CX-5 comes equipped as standard with Mazda radar cruise control; smart City brake support; and Mazda Connect infotainment featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The model range starts from £29,135 with the entry level, yet well-equipped ‘SE-L’ which includes advanced blind spot monitoring, LED headlights, 10.25-inch infotainment display, flat floor boot area.
A ‘NEWGROUND’ trim, as tested, is priced from £30,135 and showcases additional silver side accents, as well as silver front and rear under garnishes, green styling on the grille, with this green styling continuing inside where the half leatherette seating is stitched in green.
Priced from £31,580 is a ‘SPORT EDITION’ which offers a full leather interior, heated front seats and heated steering wheel, 19-inch diamond cut alloy wheels, and a windscreen projected colour active driving display.
A ‘SPORT BLACK EDITION’ starts from £33,580 giving you an urban sportiness thanks to a plethora of gloss black paint around all of the usually utilitarian SUV plastics, as well as gloss black mirrors and extended gloss black front grille surround.
The range topping ‘GT SPORT’ starts from £34,745 and adds extra comfort and luxury thanks to Nappa leather upholstery and wood decor within the cabin. Lower bumper and arch mouldings are all colour coded to match the paint work, and a Bose audio system completes the package soundly.
Engine wise, there are a few options depending on trim.
The CX-5 range starts with a front-wheel-drive 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G petrol engine, producing 165PS and available with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic gearbox, seeing a combined return of around 41.5 mpg and 38.2 mpg respectively.
An all-wheel-drive 2.5-litre Skyactiv-G produces 194PS and comes only with a 6-speed automatic gearbox, seeing a combined return of 35.3 mpg.
Should you require more economy, there is a diesel front-wheel-drive 2.2-litre Skyactiv-D which produces 150PS and is available with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic gearbox, seeing a combined return of 50.4 mpg and 46.3 mpg respectively.
Available also with 184PS, this diesel engine is available as front-wheel-drive with either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic gearbox, seeing a combined return of around 50.4 mpg and 46.3 mpg respectively.
For those living rural, or perhaps doing some towing, there is an all-wheel-drive version of this higher powered diesel engine which is paired only to a 6-speed automatic gearbox, giving a combined return of 42.8 mpg.
Load space comes in at around 506-litres, more than enough for family life, even one with younger kids that come with their own wheeled mode of transport that must be chucked into the boot with everything else young children command.
Inside, the half leather seating is comfortably supportive. The layout of the cabin is incredibly user friendly with stitched soft touch material throughout, adding an edge of quality and refinement.
Off-road, the CX-5 will cope with most rural lanes, undulating fields and the odd small obstacle thanks to the circa 200mm of ground clearance that’s on offer – though it’s most at home on-road where it excels in the class and drives in a way that many SUV’s struggle.
Maximising Mazda’s Skyactiv technology, weight is in all the right places and the CX-5 has minimal roll and, outside of the school-run, is very capable and confident on even the most meandering of journeys.