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The rear exterior of a red Mazda CX-5

Mazda CX-5 review

The Mazda CX-5 is comfortable with room for five adults and it has a huge boot. This car has been built to be soundproofed against the wind, road and tyre noise for a quiet and relaxing drive.


  • Good to drive with strong performance
  • Spacious and well built interior
  • Cost-effective to buy and run


  • Limited choice of engines
  • Only three trim options
  • Petrol engine is less economical


“Striking looks, a roomy interior and good to drive.”

The high point of the Mazda CX-5 is its smartly designed interior. Not only is it packed with premium materials and plenty of kit, it’s also roomy and features a big boot. There’s plenty of handy storage, which is perfect if you’re driving the family and all their belongings around.
There’s a limited engine line-up and trim choice, but all CX-5s offer lively performance and stacks of standard equipment. They also drive with more precision than most of their SUV rivals.

The latest model arrived in 2017 and was improved in almost every area, with greater style, a more upmarket interior and a more fun drive.

What's the interior like?

“With an upmarket feel and plenty of space, the Mazda CX-5’s interior is a nice place to spend time. It’s also well equipped.”

The latest Mazda CX-5 took a step up in quality. Its interior features plenty of high-grade materials, including soft touch plastics and a satin metal-finished gearstick.

The dashboard is well laid out and features a clear and easy to use MZD Connect infotainment screen that sits on top of the dash. Featuring both a touchscreen and traditional rotary controller, it’s simple to use on the move, plus it’s packed with features, including Bluetooth and a wide variety of apps. Not all models include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard, but these features can be added by a Mazda dealer.

The Mazda CX-5 has enough space for growing families. Up front, the high set driving position is comfortable and offers a commanding view of the road, while in the rear there’s lots of head and legroom.
The boot is large at 503 litres, rising to 1,620 litres with the rear seats flat which is bigger than most rivals. It’ll easily fit two large suitcases and a baby buggy.

What's it like to drive?

“Combining comfort and agility, the Mazda CX-5 is one of the best driving SUVs.”

With its precise steering, slick six-speed manual gearbox and strong grip, the CX-5 is surprisingly enjoyable on twisting roads. There’s little difference in feel between the front- and four-wheel drive versions. Although it’s the four-wheel drive that shines during wintry or off-road conditions.

The CX-5 handles bumps well and remains quiet when cruising, even if there’s wind or tyre noise.

The 2.2-litre diesels are the pick of the bunch. Available with either 148 or 182 hp (horsepower), these smooth and refined cars offer plenty of power. The 2.0-litre petrol delivers 163 hp, but it can feel a little lethargic.

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“It’s not as expensive to buy as its rivals but it’s better equipped.”

The CX-5 is a great value choice for used buyers. There are only three trim levels to choose from (SE-L Nav, Sport Nav and GT Sport Nav), all of which are extremely well equipped.

The 148 hp front-wheel drive 2.2-litre diesel is by far the most cost-effective choice, with fuel economy of up to 56.5 mpg and CO2 emissions of as little as 130 g/km.
Servicing costs are reasonable on the CX-5, but the relatively short 12 months and 12,500 miles maintenance intervals, mean it requires more frequent trips to the dealer workshop.

How reliable and safe is it?

“Mazda has a good reputation for dependability and quality, while the CX-5 comes with all the latest safety kit.”

The Mazda CX-5 has always scored well in reliability and customer satisfaction surveys, with owners highly rating the car’s impressive dependability and solid build quality. Problems are few and far between, while many will still be covered by the manufacturer’s new car warranty.

In terms of safety, the CX-5 is an impressive performer, securing a five-star EuroNCAP crash test rating. It features electronic stability control and autonomous emergency braking, while GT Sport Nav and Sport Nav models also include blind spot monitoring and lane keep assist.

Which one is best for you?

Best for economy - 2.2D 150 SE-L Nav

Best for families - 2.2D 150 SE-L Nav

Best for fun - 2.2D 185 AWD

The 148 hp 2.2-litre diesel is the best bet, particularly if you don’t need four-wheel drive. In day-to-day use it feels as quick and refined as the more powerful diesel, yet it’s more efficient.
For most people, the entry-level SE-L Nav specification has all the kit you’ll need. Sat nav and cruise control are just a couple of the standard items. The GT Sport Nav and Sport Nav models add more equipment, such as leather seat trim, but don’t necessarily justify their higher price in the used market.

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