That is not to say that it is a bad product, it is a very good one in fact, but when I first drove it, I couldn’t help but feel that it felt behind its Mazda siblings in terms of interior and exterior design.
Despite it being slightly older than the likes of the CX-3 and Mazda3, the CX-5 has consistently been the brand’s best seller and is among the top three in terms of sales in its class. Now though, the CX-5 has been updated and after a week or so with the revised model, I was left rather impressed.
The marketing lingo for the Japanese car maker’s design language is Kodo and despite the fact that I dislike the use of marketing lingo, the way in which Mazda has aligned its products to this principle is commendable.
The revised CX-5 looks great with its slender front lights, large, textured front grille and overhanging bonnet. In side profile, it cuts a great medium-sized SUV look while at the rear, there are new LED taillights. The overall design is much improved and will ensure continued sales success.
The inside of the CX-5 has also been updated with extensive changes made to the centre console and dashboard. On top of the new dash sits the familiar tablet-like infotainment system as seen in other Mazda products. I find this to be one of the best systems on the market in terms of usability and layout. Pairing your smartphone and making use of applications such as Stitcher internet radio is really easy and convenient.
There are also dual USB ports and on the Dynamic model I had on test, there was cruise control, leather seats, a multi-function steering wheel, keyless entry, automatic wipers/mirrors, LED headlamps, reverse camera, dual-zone climate control and six airbags.
It’s when transporting goods and people that the CX-5 really makes sense. Interior space is ample with enough space for five occupants to sit comfortably with generous leg, head and knee room.
The boot is also large with 442-litres of luggage space available, making it big enough for those long family holidays. It can also tow up to one-ton and has 185mm of ground clearance as a well as traction and stability control, meaning that tackling the occasional dirt or gravel road is certainly possible.
Under the bonnet of my test unit was the well-known 2.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol motor with 121kW/210Nm, mated to a six-speed torque converter automatic gearbox. Mazda claims that fuel consumption is 6.8-litres/ 100km, yet my time with the car yielded a figure of 9.9-litres/100km, which isn’t particularly light, although some of the blame can be attributed to the drivetrain and near two-ton kerb weight
With the high consumption and lack of low-down torque from the petrol models, I’d say that the 2.2-litre turbodiesel is likely the best option within the CX-5 range. The diesel is also available with four-wheel drive if you’re after something more capable. If you are after petrol power though, then it must be the 2.5-litre model as this 2.0-litre just felt underpowered.
Service plan and warranty
As with all Mazda models, the CX-5 comes with a three-year/unlimited mileage service plan and warranty.