Mazda CX-5 Review

Gumtree Rating

4.5 rating

If it starts with a CX, it’s one of Mazda’s SUV offerings and, size-wise, the CX-5 sits right in the middle. It first appeared in 2012 following the rise in popularity of crossovers like the Nissan Qashqai, and it proved a worthy competitor to its rivals. The latest model arrived in 2017 and is every bit the (albeit updated) equal to its predecessor. So, if you’re looking for a mid-sized family SUV, the CX-5 is well worth a look, and there are both petrol and diesel engines available.

Read the full review or head to the CX-5 model page to see our listings and learn more.

What we think about the Mazda CX-5

This attractive mid-sized SUV has a lot on offer to draw your eyes away from the competition.

Pros

+

Stylish looks

+

Quality interior

+

Drives well

Cons

Petrol engine lacks punch

No electric options

The Mazda CX-5 is available in four trim levels: SE-L, Sport, GT Sport and Kuro Edition – kuro is Japanese for black. Though all trim levels have a well-spec’d, stylish interior, stepping up from the base SE-L gives you a real sense of premium quality. Engine-wise, the diesels will be the popular choice thanks to better fuel economy than the petrols, but the petrols will be cheaper to buy.

Driving performance of the Mazda Cx 5

Our Driving Rating8 / 10

The ride is comfortable (though it can be a little firm at times) and the driving position just feels right. The CX-5 handles well, especially for an SUV, and steering is responsive without being overly tight. Mazda’s Skyactiv-G 2.0 petrol engine is a bit out of its depth in the CX-5, but even the base-level diesel has more than enough grunt for most. Manual and automatic transmission options are available, and both do a fairly smooth job of shifting gears.

Safety and reliability of the Mazda Cx 5

Our Safety Rating9 / 10

Both the 2012 and 2017 safety tests by Euro NCAP delivered a five-star rating, with adult occupancy rated an impressive 94% and 95% respectively. There’s a host of safety tech as standard and, in later models, you can spec AEB (Autonomous Emergency Braking) that applies the brakes for you in case of an accident. Mazda has a good reputation for reliability and the CX-5 feels well put together, meaning it’s unlikely to cause you issues.

Under the bonnet of the Mazda Cx 5

Our Engine Rating7 / 10

There are two engine choices: a 2.0-litre petrol (Skyactiv-G) or a 2.2 diesel (Skyactiv-D), tuned to an output of either 150 or 184 bhp. The petrol lacks the turbocharger that has become the norm these days and feels hard to get going as a result. The diesel is the better choice with plenty of power available, though expect to pay extra for one – it’ll cost you even more for the 184 bhp version, but it’s unlikely you’ll feel the difference. 0-62 mph times all fall around the ten-second mark.

What you'll find in the Mazda Cx 5

Our Design Rating9 / 10

With a large grille and narrow, angular headlights, the latest CX-5 has striking, individual looks that most will find they enjoy having out on display. This is also true of the earlier (2012) model, but those look, understandably, less modern. The Kuro (black) Edition is the trim that really makes this Mazda pop, thanks to black accents and black 19″ alloys. Truth be told, however, it looks great in any trim.

Comfort and interiors in the Mazda Cx 5

Our Comfort Rating8 / 10

As you might expect from an SUV, the CX-5 is a practical family vehicle, with plenty of storage space in the cabin and boot. Accessing the boot is easy too, and upgrading to Sport trim will bag you a powered tailgate. Up in the front, you’ll find that the visibility is very good and the driving position is nice and comfortable. Generally speaking, the interior is well-spec’d and feels high quality, especially at higher trim levels.

Mazda CX-5 dashboard

What features you'll find in the Mazda Cx 5

Our Features Rating9 / 10

The Mazda was designed with all your supplementary needs in mind. There’s a touchscreen infotainment system, which is also controlled by a rotary controller in the centre console (for safer use on the go). The Sat-Nav is built-in, and you’ll even find Android Auto and Apple CarPlay from 2019. A similar set-up was also on the earlier (2012) model but with a smaller touchscreen. For the audiophiles, a Bose sound-system comes with the Sport trim or above.

What fuel efficiency to expect from the Mazda Cx 5

Our Fuel Consumption Rating7 / 10

The most fuel-efficient option is the 150 bhp diesel engine paired with the manual transmission, with a range between 47.9 and 49.6 mpg. Opt for the more powerful diesel and you’ll see that drop to 42.8 mpg, and that figure isn’t a million miles from the petrol’s figures (39.2 – 39.8mpg with the manual gearbox). The auto box shaves a fairly sizeable amount off all these numbers, and the lack of a plug-in hybrid or full-electric option means they don’t reach the heights of some competitors.

Running costs of the Mazda Cx 5

Our Cost Rating8 / 10

The Mazda CX-5 shouldn’t prove particularly expensive to run – fuel efficiency is reasonable and Mazda servicing/parts are not especially costly. While CO2 emissions are in line with similar vehicles in this class, the absence of a hybrid or electric model means there’s no low-tax option. Mazda’s reputation for reliability should keep repair costs down on out-of-warranty used cars though. Insurance groups in latest cars range from 15 for the petrol in SE-L trim to 23 for a GT Sport with the 184 bhp diesel.

Our verdict of the Mazda Cx 5

4.5 rating

4.5 / 5 Gumtree rating

The Mazda CX-5 is a solid contender in the medium SUV market, with good driving manners and a quality interior. We'd say it's well worth a look.