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Mazda CX-5 Review

The Mazda CX-5 is revamped for 2017 to keep up in the competitive mid-size SUV segment.

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From £23,695

Pros:
  • Really comfortable, supportive seats
  • Good boot space
  • Quiet cabin
Cons:
  • Steering lacks in feel
  • Lack of headroom up front

Introduction

The Mazda CX-5 first joined the lineup in 2012 with just under 35,000 of them sold since then in the UK. Making up 20% of total UK sales the model has been overhauled for 2017 and with the original UK launch for it taking place on the West coast of Scotland, Mazda launched this all-new version right up near Inverness.

So how does it compare to the rival Nissan Qasqhai or the more premium Audi Q3? Read on to find out.

On The Road

  • Performance
  • Ride Handling
  • Refinement

There is a diesel 2.2-litre available with 150PS which has a 0-62mph time of 9.4 seconds, it’s a lively yet quiet engine with 380Nm of torque which is also available with 175PS. The 2.2 litre diesel with 150PS emits just 142g/km of CO2 and has fuel economy of 52.3mpg so running costs will be good.

A 2.0-litre 165PS is a really good petrol option, mated with a smooth 6-speed manual gearbox it has a top speed of 125mph, a 0-62mph time of 10.4 seconds and CO2 emissions are around 149g/km and mpg is 44.1.

They do say you can experience four seasons in one day in Scotland and the Mazda CX-5 had to tackle torrential rain and flooding, so not the best conditions but the most challenging ones.

The ride is really comfortable and agile thanks to their SKYACTIV technology which has improved the suspension to tackle the roughest of roads.

Steering is quite light and at times lacked some feel especially on tight corners, the grip was there thanks to Mazda’s i-ACTIV AWD system but you had to overcorrect the steering somewhat, so it didn’t give you as much confidence as expected even though it comes with their new G-Vectoring Control system which is supposed to improve handling.

Mazda have produced a really refined car, they’ve massively improved the insulation so the cabin is a very quiet and relaxing place to be.

Looks wise Mazda have really nailed it, it’s sleek, the front has a very distinctive grille with narrow front headlights and in their new Soul Red Crystal Metallic paint colour it is eye catchingly stunning.

The cream coloured leather interior with its contrasting, bronze stitching definitely makes it look sophisticated, although it won’t take long before it would attract the dirt unfortunately.

In The Car

  • Behind the Wheel
  • Space & Practicality

We spent five hours driving around the Highlands, so comfort was key when you’re travelling that long in a car, the Mazda excelled in this area as seats are extremely supportive and comfortable, they’re even electronically adjustable, which usually is an added option on the Audi Q3.

Simplicity is the key when it comes to the interior of the CX-5, it is free from clusters of buttons, a CD slot sits above the air vents and above that is a 7-inch display screen. This can be operated by a scroll dial in the high centre console.

The instrument panel is kept simple too, but is this way of design lacking in style? Gone is the flip up heads-up display screen which looked very dated, it is now beamed straight onto the windscreen which is great.

The boot holds 506 litres, it sits level with the boot lip so is easy to throw bags and cases into it, with seats down it can be increased to 1,620 litres, so it’s hugely practical if you’re looking to use the car to transport bikes for example.

Tall front passengers might struggle with headroom up front due to the sloping roofline but legroom is decent.

Rear passengers benefit from reclining seats and the middle armrest has two USB points in it as well as cup holders.

Ownership

  • Running Costs
  • Quality & Reliability
  • Safety & Security

So how much does it cost? The all-new Mazda CX-5 is priced from £23,695, the rival Nissan Qashqai is £18,955 and the Audi Q3 is £27,610.

The CX-5 is a genuine contender in this segment, it looks great, is well-equipped with a premium feel and is well-priced.

With just two trims, SE-L NAV and Sport Nav, and a choice of two-wheel or all-wheel drive, Mazda have won us over with no huge list of trim levels and engine choices. Simplicity is the key with the Mazda CX-5 in all areas.

Gloss black, dark wood effect and aluminium inlays don’t look flashy but the hues compliment each other well in the cabin. Plastics feel durable, the leather has a nice, soft-touch feel to it and all-round quality seems really good.

Mazda fare well in the reliability stakes, they’re still not up to the level of rival Japanese manufacturer Toyota, but the previous CX-5 had owners commending it on its practicality, driving enjoyment and good performance.

The Mazda CX-5 was last tested in 2012 with the first generation model in the Euro NCAP safety tests, where it scored a full five stars. This new car is likely to score the same as it features their i-ACTIVSENSE safety technologies, has airbags, hill hold assist, ISOFIX child points, traction control and Sport Nav models come with a safety pack which has Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane-Keep Assist and adaptive LED headlights.

Security comes in the form of a Thatcham Category 1 alarm and immobiliser.

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