Mazda CX-5 review

Caroline Kidd reviews the new Mazda CX-5 on Irish roads.

Pros: High-end finish, interior quality, fun to drive

Cons: Interior design starting to show its age, no hybrid

The Mazda CX-5 is Mazda’s mid-size SUV that slots between the CX-30 and the upcoming CX-60 in the Mazda range.

Now in its second generation, the Mazda CX-5 has established itself as the brand’s bestselling model in Ireland, known for its fashionable SUV looks and high-quality interior.

Mazda CX-5 Design

The Mazda CX-5 is easily one of the best-looking SUVs on Irish roads with a high-end finish that really makes it stand out. It’s sleek and sporty with beautiful lines and surfacing that look great particularly in Mazda’s signature Soul Red Crystal, or the ultra-modern Polymetal Grey Metallic.

This latest version of the CX-5 gets a new grille design, as well as new lights and bumpers front and rear. There’s a new colour - Zircon Sand - and a new trim level - Newground - that gives the CX-5 a more outdoors look.

The Mazda CX-5 Homura sits near the top of the range and stands out for its sporty looks enhanced by black 19” alloy wheels, black door mirror caps, gloss black trim around the wheel arches and lower bumper sections, and a red signature accent in the front grille.

Mazda CX-5 Interior

The latest version of the Mazda CX-5 is based on the second generation of the Mazda SUV launched in 2017. Without any significant revision, the dashboard design is starting to show its age. But the CX-5 makes up for it in quality with lots of soft touch materials. It’s still one of the most classy and premium cabins in the segment. Leather upholstery comes as standard on higher trim levels.

All versions of the CX-5 get a 10.25" screen as standard. Unlike rivals, it’s not a touchscreen and you control it via a rotary dial on the centre console. It’s doesn’t look like the most high-tech infotainment system these days but it’s very simple and safe to use on the move, with handy shortcut buttons and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There’s also new wireless smartphone charging available for the first time.

From the driver’s seat the CX-5 offers plenty of shoulder room and a high driving position for a genuine SUV feel from behind the wheel. In the back, there’s enough space for adults to get comfortable, with good headroom and legroom. The middle seat is quite narrow but there are Isofix anchors on the two outer seats. The rear doors open wide making access easier.

A powered tailgate is standard on higher trim levels. It opens to reveal a boot of 522 litres, which is competitive for an SUV like this, with some under floor storage as well. The floorboard is also level with the boot sill so you get a useful flat space for loading the boot. You can also let down the rear seats from the boot with a simple flip of a switch.

Mazda CX-5 Performance & Drive

In Ireland, the Mazda CX-5 is sold with petrol and diesel engines. There’s no hybrid available like some rivals. You can choose from a 2.0-litre petrol engine with 165 hp or a 2.2-litre diesel with 150 hp in front wheel drive versions, or 184 hp in all wheel drive versions. 6-speed manual and automatic gearboxes are available.

The CX-5 petrol offers a smooth and quiet driving experience. But the CX-5 diesel offers a more satisfying driving experience overall with more torque and the best efficiency of the range. It’s one of the most refined diesels of the segment and has enough power so it never gets too noisy under acceleration.

Mazda has tweaked the ride and handling again in the latest version of the CX-5. It’s still one of the best SUVs to drive. It feels athletic on the road with lots of grip and precise steering. It’s also one of the most comfortable SUVs and rides well, even on large wheels.

Mazda CX-5 Pricing

The new Mazda CX-5 goes on sale from €36,745 for a petrol, and from €40,625 for a diesel. There are six trim levels – GS-L, Newground, GT, GT Sport, Homura, and the range topping GT Lux. Standard equipment includes 17” alloys, LED lights, keyless entry, cruise control, automatic air con, automatic lights and wipers, and parking sensors. Going up the trim levels adds more premium features and safety equipment. The Newground with a unique outdoors look starts from €38,745, while the sporty Homura starts from €43,895. All wheel drive is reserved for the top of the range GT Lux diesel and starts from €54,770.

Carzone Verdict

The Mazda CX-5 has matured and it’s not the most high tech offering in the segment anymore. But the CX-5 still stands out for its design and quality, along with the practicality of being a five-seat SUV. It’s one of the best SUVs to drive and there are now more options than ever in the CX-5 range.

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