SUV buyers are the kind of people who want a car that combines space, practicality, dependability and safety – and here’s a car that’s been doing since it took its initial bow.
The Mazda CX-5 goes down in their history as a landmark car, being the one that introduced SKYACTIV technology and KODO:Soul of Motion design to the motoring public.
And they obviously like it – it’s been a popular seller for the Japanese marque, proving they could make an SUV that was stylish, great to drive, and also capable of luring customers away from premium badged rivals.
The 2.2 diesel Sport Nav model sampled here sets you back £28,695 – not bad for something so well equipped. It’s a step up from the original CX-5, and needs to be at a time when the large mainstream SUV market is getting a bit cut-throat, with so many to choose from.
It has a good solid look to it and the biggest grille this side of James Martin’s back garden.
In use it proves to be remarkably smooth and pretty quiet too, and as others have noted you can hit the loud pedal, give it plenty of revs and you won’t see any protest banners waving from the engine bay.
There’s a lively spread of power all the way up the range as you’d expect from a modern day diesel, with 380Nm on tap, so tick the boxes for a good turn of speed, good economy and a CO2 figure of 132g/km.
It’s a car you could very quickly be at home with. The driving position is commanding, and the beauty of the doors with their lower section that wraps around the sills is that you never get your strides dirty getting in and out. From a comfort point of view it’s hard to fault, and that’s a definite box ticker when you’re transporting the family around.
The seats are supportive and there’s good room for all, with a good view out at the surrounding traffic. You don’t notice external noises and the engine is far from intrusive, so what you’ve got is an SUV with the refinement levels of something a bit pricier.
Dynamically, in the way it steers and handles, it’s right up there with the best. It’s actually fun to drive, and there aren’t that many SUVs, apart from the Ateca, you can say that about. Well equipped, plenty of space – a family SUV that actually works and a great all rounder.
Base SE-L Nav models get adaptive LED headlights, privacy glass, auto lights and wipers, adaptive high beams, front and rear parking sensors, plus a seven-inch touchscreen with sat-nav, DAB and Bluetooth.
Sport Nav spec gives you a goodly amount of extra toys to play with, notably a powered tail lift and a useful reversing camera, as well as keyless entry, 19 inch gunmetal alloys, a windscreen projected active driving display, black leather seat trim, a heated steering wheel and heated front seats. Not forgetting the premium Bose sound system.
Anyone looking for a well proportioned family orientated vehicle should make sure this is on their check list.
FOR: one of the best
AGAINST: no Apple Carplay or Android Auto
FASTFACTS: Mazda CX-5 2wd Sport Nav diesel; £28,695; 2191cc DOHC 16v turbo diesel, 150ps, 380Nm; six speed manual; top speed 127mph, 0-62mph 9.4secs; combined fuel consumption 56.5; CO2 132g/km; will it fit the garage? 4550/1840/1680 (l/w/h); three year/60,000 mile warranty.