Mazda CX-5: Is Sky the limit?

There’s no denying Mazda’s new CX-5 SUV is a popular piece of machinery.

It’s a good job the interior dimensions are good because they need to be to carry home all the awards and plaudits it has picked up since it hit the streets.

And anyone looking for a well proportioned family orientated vehicle should make sure this is on their check list.

It’s a smart looking vehicle by any measure, although maybe not one that will get the pulse racing like an Evoque but being a Mazda you can pretty well be assured of nailed on reliability.

It’s the first vehicle to incorporate Mazda’s new Kodo design language which gives it a muscular and assured stance. It looks a decent sized car from the outside and bears spending a few moments walking round it because looking at a picture is no substitute for seeing it in the flesh.

Where the Mazda really differs from its rivals is in its Skyactiv technology. Another name to sum up a few bits I won’t notice, you might be thinking. But you’d be wrong.

Because what they’ve done here is produce a 2.0 petrol and a 2.2 Diesel engine that both have a 14:1 compression ratio. For a petrol engine that’s high, for a diesel remarkably low.

According to Mazda, with the diesel engine sampled here that makes it cleaner in use,  reduces all round mechanical loads and results in a lighter engine.

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 power all the way from 1500rpm to 3500rpm as you’d expect from a modern day diesel, so tick the boxes for a good turn of speed, good economy and a co2 figure of 119g/km.

Certainly the 2.2 diesel version in sport trim sampled here is 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.

Sport upgrade adds £2200 to your bill, and in return you get xenon lights, a reversing camera, leather heated seats, keyless entry and decent sized alloys to enhance the looks.

And check out the sat nav. The TomTom system lets you pick the voice for the audible directions, from a softly spoken Irish lady to a full-on Aussie. Ripper, mate! And while a bit gimmicky, you can always revert to the more sober tones we’ve all become accustomed to.

You can also have additional kit similar to Volvo’s lane change alert system, which in the Mazda sounds like your tyre has exploded as it emits its warning.

From a comfort point of view it’s hard to fault. The seats are supportive and there’s good room all round, 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 fun to drive, and there aren’t that many big  cars you can say that about.

It replaces the larger CX-7 in the Mazda lineup, a much under appreciated vehicle by the motoring public

CX-5 gives off the initial sense that it will be a very good family car that will serve you well.

Well equipped, plenty of space – it’s a family SUV that actually works and a great all rounder.

 FASTFACTS: Mazda CX-5; Prices from £21,385 to £28,995; Trim levels: SE-L, SE-L Nav, Sport and Sport Nav; Six speed manual or automatic, two wheel drive or all wheel drive depending on model.


Wheelwrite 2012