Mazda CX-5 review

Category: Large SUV

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:diesel, petrol
Available colours:
Mazda CX-5 2019 RHD infotainment
Add to shortlist
  • Mazda CX-5 2019 Right hand cornering shot
  • Mazda CX-5 2019 left rear cornering
  • Mazda CX-5 2019 RHD dashboard
  • Mazda CX-5 2019 RHD rear seats
  • Mazda CX-5 2019 RHD infotainment
  • Mazda CX-5 2019 RHD front right cornering
  • Mazda CX-5 2019 left rear cornering
  • Mazda CX-5 2019 left panning shot
  • Mazda CX-5 2019 RHD front seats
  • Mazda CX-5 2019 boot open
  • Mazda CX-5 2019 Right hand cornering shot
  • Mazda CX-5 2019 left rear cornering
  • Mazda CX-5 2019 RHD dashboard
  • Mazda CX-5 2019 RHD rear seats
  • Mazda CX-5 2019 RHD infotainment
  • Mazda CX-5 2019 RHD front right cornering
  • Mazda CX-5 2019 left rear cornering
  • Mazda CX-5 2019 left panning shot
  • Mazda CX-5 2019 RHD front seats
  • Mazda CX-5 2019 boot open
RRP £27,020What Car? Target Price from£26,161

Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

y6While the petrol 2.0 Skyactiv-G may feel a little weaker on the road compared to the diesels, the fact that it’s much cheaper to buy and still offers decent fuel economy means it’s the pick of the lineup for private buyers. And in a like-for-like specification, the CX-5 is cheaper to buy than the Skoda Kodiaq and Peugeot 5008, but is priced slightly above the Citroën C5 Aircross.

The CX-5 is predicted to hold on to its value slightly better than those rivals over three years, and that helps to keep Mazda’s PCP deals competitive. If you’re a high-mileage driver who wants the best fuel economy in the range, then the manual 2.2 Skyactiv-D 150 is for you, but our favorite 2.0 Skyativ-G petrol engine offers very competitive real-world fuel consumption for a petrol. 

It’s a similar story for CO2 emissions, which are also on the money like-for-like with its rivals, but because there’s no hybrid option for the CX-5, there are better options if you want to reduce your company car tax. Rivals such as the Ford Kuga PHEV plug-in hybrid are in much lower tax bands.

Equipment, options and extras

There are three trim levels to choose from: SE-L, Sport and GT Sport. Entry-level SE-L is our pick of the range because it is really well equipped and reasonably priced. It comes with loads of luxuries including 17in alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control, power-folding door mirrors, dual-zone climate control and automatic lights and wipers.

However, Sport trim brings a bit of extra luxury and isn’t drastically more expensive if your budget can stretch to it. It adds  leather seats (heated in the front), a heated steering wheel, keyless entry, an electric tailgate and a head-up display (a system that projects speed and other useful info onto the windscreen in the driver's field of vision).

The range topping GT Sport comes with softer Nappa leather, ventilated front seats and heated rear seats, but is too expensive to recommend.

Mazda CX-5 2019 RHD infotainment

Reliability

The CX-5 performed very well in the 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey. In the large SUV class, it finished second behind the Volvo XC60. In the process, it beat the previous-generation Ford Kuga, the Skoda Kodiaq and the Mercedes GLC

Meanwhile, Mazda as a brand came 17th out of 31 manufacturers, which was above Peugeot and Citroën, but below Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia and Toyota, the latter being one of the most reliable brands in the survey.   

Mazda offers a fairly average three-year/60,000-mile warranty, although this can be extended for a fee. Kia’s is the longest, running to seven years as standard.

Safety and security

The CX-5 comes with a healthy list of safety equipment. This includes city emergency braking, stability control and six airbags, but also some features that many manufacturers charge extra for, such as lane keeping assistance, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-hny6traffic alert. All of that helped the CX-5 score a maximum five-star rating in Euro NCAP tests. 

A closer look at the crash test results show the CX-5 outscored the Kodiaq and CR-V for adult occupant protection, but received fewer marks for child crash protection. The best cars in the class for safety, with the highest individual category scores from NCAP, include the Toyota RAV4 and Volvo XC60. A safety pack is also available as an option on Sport and standard on GT Sport. It isn’t a necessity, but includes a few useful additions such as a driver attention monitor. 

Security measures include an alarm and engine immobiliser. Security experts Thatcham awarded the CX-5 four out of five for guarding against being broken into and five out of five for resisting being stolen.

​​​For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

Mazda CX-5 2019 Right hand cornering shot
Open Gallery10 Images

Overview

The Mazda CX-5 is one of the best large SUVs you can buy. Why? Well, it may not have the additional practicality of seven seats that a Peugeot 5008 comes with as standard, but it's well priced, very well equipped, safe and classy inside. Stick with the 2.0 petrol in entry-level SE-L trim for the best value for money, although the diesels are well worth a look if you do above average mileage.

  • Classy interior
  • Tidy handling
  • Very well equipped
  • Overly firm ride
  • No seven-seat option
  • Rivals have more space for passengers and luggage

Also consider

Mitsubishi Outlander

2019 - present

The Mitsubishi Outlander wins no prizes for refinement or inte...

Seat Tarraco

(2019 - 2020)

The Seat Tarraco has plenty to recommend it, including an enjo...

Nissan X-Trail

2019 - present

The Nissan X-Trail is okay in isolation, but there are rivals...

Peugeot 5008

2017 - present

Stylish, practical and good to drive – one of the best se...