Design and Engineering

Design and Engineering

Good The Mazda CX-5 petrol range arrived down under in February 2012 before being joined by a diesel range in March 2012.

Replacing the CX-7 the slightly smaller CX-5 features Mazda’s new design theme called ‘KODO’ which translates to ‘Soul of Motion’ – whatever that means, all we know is that it looks great.

From the front the CX-5 features Mazda’s trade mark smiley face that is highlighted by the shape of the grille. The sleek headlights make up part of the high front wheel arches.

Side on, the Mazda CX-5 features flowing lines that give the medium SUV the element of forward motion. The 17-inch alloy wheels on the mid spec Maxx Sport look good, but for full visual impact you can’t go past the 19-inch alloy wheels on the Grand Touring. Making our way to the rear of the vehicle, the CX-5 looks very compact, yet this SUV is still fairly wide so it gives the CX-5 a hunkered down look that definitely gives the SUV some on-road presence.
Not so good Visually the CX-5 is very feminine with its flowing lines and compact behind. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Interior and Styling

Interior and Styling

Good Inside, the cabin is quite a nice place to be, Mazda has made use of some high-quality soft touch materials that are used on the instrument panel and door trim which contrast well with the satin chrome finish of the steering wheel spokes and door handles.

Sitting in the middle of the dash and positioned high for great visibility the 5.8-inch colour touchscreen features USB, Bluetooth connectivity, as well as iPod playback and AUX jack.

In the back, passengers have great levels of rear legroom, knee clearance and foot space, plus the rear seats can fold down in a three-piece 40-20-40 configuration. Meanwhile, rear cargo space is 403-litres and can be expanded to 1,560-litres with all three rear seats folded down.
Not so good Design wise the interior is one classy place to be with its high quality materials; however Mazda could have injected a little colour into the cabin.
Performance

Performance

Good The CX-5 range is powered by Mazda’s new SKYACTIV line of engines. There are two engines on offer - petrol and diesel.

Powering the front-wheel-drive Maxx & Maxx Sport is a 2.0-litre in-line four cylinder petrol engine that produces 114kW of power and 200Nm of torque when matched to a six-speed manual transmission or six-speed automatic transmission.

All-wheel-drive models get a more powerful 2.5-litre SkyActiv engine, producing 138kW of power and 250Nm of torque when matched to a 6-speed sports automatic transmission.

Next up is the 2.2-litre diesel in-line four cylinder turbo diesel that produces 129kW of power and 420Nm of torque when matched to a six-speed automatic as standard.

The 2.2-litre diesel engine feels like the perfect match for Mazda’s new SKYACTIV-Chassis and SKYACTIV-Body, power delivery is smooth and linear. The diesel also feels quite refined with minimal noise and vibration noticeable - now don't get me wrong vibration is still present but it’s not as noticeable as some of its Japanese competitors.

Both diesel and petrol engines are pretty good on fuel, this is thanks in part to Mazda’s i-Stop technology which turns the engine off when you come to a complete stop and re-engages the engine when you take your foot off the brake pedal.
Not so good The 2.0-litre petrol found in FWD models has good mid-range power but then power seems to just drop off, this makes the CX-5 petrol feel a little underpowered - which is a shame because the SKYACTIV-Chassis and SKYACTIV-Body feel great.
Ride and Handling

Ride and Handling

Good The combination of the new SKYACTIV-Chassis and SKYACTIV-Body give the CX-5 a nimble and dynamic driving characteristic. The CX-5 feels great on the road with sharp steering response and high levels of driver feel.

The higher seating position and the raised suspension of the CX-5 give the driver a better view of the road; this is particularly handy during the daily commute to work or school.
Not so good Given that this is an SUV, the CX-5 is more of a ‘soft-roader’ and isn’t really design with off-road driving in mind.
Buying and Owning

Buying and Owning

Good The CX-5 range comes pretty well equipped with a 5.8-inch colour touchscreen, great new chassis, Bluetooth handsfree with audio streaming, cruise control, MP3/WMA-compatible CD-player with steering wheel mounted audio controls, USB input, power windows and mirrors, remote central locking, smart keyless push-button start, tilt and telescopic adjustable steering wheel, trip computer and tyre pressure monitoring system.

Plus for peace of mind every model across the CX-5 range comes standard with the highest level of safety features including 6 SRS Airbags, DSC, ABS, EBD, plus reverse camera.
Not so good The diesel variants have a pricy starting point because the diesel engine is only available on the mid Maxx Sport and high spec Grand Touring.