An all-new mid-size SUV, the CX-5 is exactly what Mazda needed in our market. Designed to be the MX-5 of SUVs, the CX-5 is nowhere near as sharp or confidence inspiring as thefamed roadster, but it's a great cruiser down the highways.
It still looks unmistakably like a Mazda, with the flowing lines and stance that the company has using over the last few years. The CX-5 comes with Mazda's new design language known as 'Kodo', which gives a very attractive expression on the overall appearance.
Powered by a 2.0-litre engine, the Skyactiv technology doesn't really shine over here, where the CX-5 struggles to pick its pace from a standstill due to its AWD powertrain. The six-speed auto gearbox offers a smooth shift at least, but you're better off using the manual shifting mode when you really need to pick up speed during an overtake.
Mid-range pull is one of its strong points, and its handling is acceptable for a vehicle this size. Body roll and control remains well controlled and the steering response is solid enough compared to other small crossovers. The CX-5 absorbs uneven road surfaces with ease and offers a reasonable ride comfort.
Interior-wise, it features an attractive centre-stack but the quality in some parts of the cabin remains questionable. Hard plastics are placed at easily spotted areas, and easily-scratched trims are placed in the lower parts of the cabin. The front seats are supremely comfortable, but the rears are too upright and lack thigh support.
It excels in space and comfort, along with impressive practicality to match its rivals. Rear passenger legroom is large enough to keep occupants comfortable on a long journey and it comes with a vast boot. The rear seats can be folded flat to provide class-leading space.
Other makes are offering better-priced alternatives but they pale next to the CX-5 when it comes to genuine Japanese reliability and quality, plus it's predicted to hold its resale value better than any of its Korean rivals. The CX-5 is better suited in 2WD form that handles better, feels lighter and gets off from a stop quicker too.
The important bits:
- 4 cyls
- 152bhp at 6,000rpm
- 198Nm at 4,000rpm
- 0-100km/h 10.5sec
- Top speed 197km/h