2018 Mazda CX-5 review
Our Rating

4.5/5

2018 Mazda CX-5 review

We take a look at the Japanese brand’s largest car and see whether the practical SUV offers as much driving pleasure as the smaller Mazda models.

Introduction

Mazda is well-known for producing cars that perform well, look stylish and come with a practical outlay.

The CX-5 is the largest vehicle on offer from the Japanese brand in the UK, and after the model was first unveiled in 2012, we take a look at the new version which is built to improve and continue the success of the first generation.

With a new exterior design that looks sharper than before, the CX-5 also comes with a new interior layout and a refined finish.

But does the new version of the large SUV offer the same great package as before and can it perform as well as other Mazda models? We take a look…

2017 Mazda CX-5

Performance

Available with a 2.0-litre petrol and a 2.2-litre diesel with two power options, we tested the least powerful diesel that offers 148bhp – the one expected to be the most popular in the UK. Here it was paired to a six-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel drive.

The four-cylinder diesel unit helps you get from 0-60mph in 9.2 seconds and on to a top speed of 127mph, which is more than fast enough for a family car like this.

2017 Mazda CX-5

Ride & Handling

What is so surprising about this car is that it drives like a taller and larger MX-5, making this one of, if not the best affordable SUVs to drive. When you put your foot down and throw it into a corner, the grip is excellent and you get plenty of feedback so you can make suitable adjustments and handling elsewhere is superb.

The ride is also brilliant, as the CX-5 has been set up to soak up the bumps and ruts in British roads, and the car’s refinement is up there with the very best. This helps make the CX-5 great for long distance driving, as wind and road noise is kept to a pleasingly low level that means you can relax in there while on the move. The gearbox is equally great, as its smooth changes help make it easy to click through the gears in a direct fashion.

Enquire Now on a new Mazda CX-5
2017 Mazda CX-5

Interior & Equipment

Although it comes with basically the same interior style as most modern Mazdas, the CX-5 offers more space than most and the Japanese brand has given it the same attention to detail as with every other model it makes. With lots of space in the back for taller adults, the CX-5 can still offer 506 litres of boot space and 1,620 litres when the rear seats are folded down.

From the base SE-L Nav spec, CX-5s come handsomely equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and daytime running lights, front and rear parking sensors, a multi-functional leather steering wheel, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth and USB connectivity and advanced smart city brake support.

In the top-end Sport Nav we tested, Mazda also adds 19-inch gunmetal alloy wheels, a head-up display, a reversing camera, a power tailgate, leather upholstery, a heated steering wheel, traffic sign recognition, a Bose 10-speaker sound system and a powered sunroof.

For the top spec model, you’re also able to add the safety pack, which includes blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, lane-keep assist and rear smart city brake support, and Mazda’s radar cruise control.

2017 Mazda CX-5

Cost

Prices for the CX-5 start from £23,695, placing it in the middle of the competitive mid-size SUV segment, while the Sport Nav model we tested started from £26,695 – which is reasonable considering the amount of kit onboard.

With the lowest powered diesel fitted, the CX-5 can achieve 56.5mpg and emits 132g/km, which helps to keep overall running costs down and make the CX-5 relatively cheap to run.

2017 Mazda CX-5

Verdict

If you’re an SUV that offers a complete package in terms of space, style, performance and quality, the CX-5 should be near to the top of your wish list. With driving dynamics similar to that of the MX-5, lots of good equipment as standard and a reasonable cost outlay, it really has plenty to offer for anyone in the market for an SUV. Rivals are nowhere near as good to drive either, so it is a no-brainer with the CX-5 – it’s excellent.

Test drive a new Mazda CX-5

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