MAZDA CX-5: likeable alternative to a premium SUV

YOU don’t need to have a premium brand badge on the bonnet to become the proud owner of a decent SUV.

It’s a given that there are plenty to choose from but if your box ticking exercise includes practicality and five seats with smart but not OTT styling, Mazda’s CX-5 should catch your eye.

It fits nicely into the size gap between the likes of the Ateca and Qashqai and bigger offerings like Kia’s Sorento and the Skoda Kodiaq.For a family of four/five the CX-5 fits the bill and while its recently had a facelift it still retains its understated look – and you won’t be spending the kids inheritance on it as it has a more acceptable price tag than its premium alternatives.

That’s not to say that you’re going down market with the Mazda, as it’s still a very well built vehicle – always has been, probably always will be, and a tag it has held on to for a long time now.

It’s well engineered, so you won’t suffer the excessive body roll of some of its competitors. That equates to fairly firm suspension, though ride comfort isn’t too compromised for the occupants.It’s also a popular choice of towcar for the caravanning fraternity, renowned for its safety and capability when towing a big white box around the countryside.

There are more trim options than before, so something for all tastes, with a choice of petrol or diesel engines as well as manual or automatic gearboxes. Two or four wheel drive is also available.The automatic gearbox is available as an option with all engine choices and changes through the gears smoothly and quickly.

If you like to sit high up in your car, you’ll appreciate the Mazda CX-5’s lofty driving position, and its slim windscreen pillars means you’ve got a good side to side view out front.  Not so rearwards though as the C pillars are quite big. It helps that the rear screen is a decent size.

It’s easy to get comfortable, too. The driver’s seat comes with plenty of adjustment and has adjustable lumbar support as standard, and the steering wheel has movement up, down, in and out.

The dashboard is neat – almost traditional in appearance – and everything is exactly where you’d expect. And good old-fashioned physical buttons instead of touch sensitive ones that seem to be the norm these days are a welcome addition.The top of the range GT Sport AWD has front and rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera, and a 360-degree camera that displays a bird’s eye view of the car. So no excuses for poor parking!

Every CX-5 comes with a 10.25in infotainment screen and DAB radio, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone mirroring and built-in sat-nav. GT Sport models add an upgraded 10-speaker Bose sound system.

The display is clear and sits high on the dashboard, so it’s easy to see without taking your eyes off the road for too long. It’s controlled by a rotary dial just behind the gearleverCX-5 really delivers when it comes to the quality of the interior, which is really solidly put together.

The amount of space in the front is good. There’s enough head and leg room for tall adults to sit comfortably, and they won’t struggle for shoulder room either.

There are long, deep storage pockets in the front doors, a large cubbyhole at the base of the dashboard where the wireless phone charger is located.

You get generous amounts of space in the back too with plenty of headroom and a fair gap between their knees and the front seats.


Mazda CX-5 GT Sport AWD

Price: £38,905
Engine: 2.5 litre, four cylinder, SkyActiv-G, petrol
Power: 191bhp
Torque: 190lb/ft
Transmission: six speed automatic
Top speed: 121mph
0-62mph: 9.3 seconds
Economy: 35.3mpg
CO2 emissions: 182g/km

© 2022