Mazda CX-5 review

Category: Large SUV

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:diesel, petrol
Available colours:
Mazda CX-5 2021 infotainment
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RRP £27,245What Car? Target Price from£26,045
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

A CX-5 petrol 2.0 Skyactiv-G feels a little weaker on the road compared with the diesels, but is the pick of the line-up for private buyers because it's much cheaper to buy and still offers decent fuel economy. The Mazda costs less than the equivalent Peugeot 5008 and Skoda Kodiaq but slightly more than the Citroën C5 Aircross.

It 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 and want the best fuel economy in the range, the manual 2.2 Skyactiv-D 150 is for you. Our favourite 2.0 Skyativ-G petrol engine offers very competitive real-world fuel consumption for a petrol though. 

CO2 emissions are on a par with the Mazda's rivals, but because there’s no hybrid CX-5, there are better options if you want to reduce your company car tax. The Ford Kuga PHEV plug-in hybrid and others are in much lower tax bands.

Equipment, options and extras

There are three Mazda CX-5 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 lots of luxuries, including 17in alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control, power-folding door mirrors, dual-zone climate control, and automatic lights and wipers.

If your budget can stretch to it, Sport trim is not drastically more expensive and brings some extra luxury. It adds leather seats (heated in the front), a heated steering wheel, keyless entry, an electric tailgate and a head-up display (HUD), which projects speed and other information on to the windscreen in front of the driver.

The range-topping GT Sport, which comes with softer Napa leather, front-seat ventilation and heated rear seats, is too expensive to recommend.

Mazda CX-5 2021 infotainment

Reliability

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

As a whole, Mazda was 17th out of 31 manufacturers, which was better than Peugeot and Citroën but below Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia and Toyota (one of the most reliable brands in the survey).   

CX-5s come with a fairly average three-year/60,000-mile warranty, which can be extended for a fee. Kia’s warranty is the longest, running to seven years as standard.

Safety and security

You get a healthy list of safety equipment with the CX-5, including city emergency braking, stability control and six airbags, plus features that many manufacturers charge extra for, such as lane-keeping assistance, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. The Mazda scored a maximum five-star rating in Euro NCAP tests. 

A closer look at the results show it was better than the Honda CR-V and Skoda Kodiaq at protecting adult occupants in a crash but not as good at keeping child passengers safe. The Toyota RAV4 and Volvo XC60 were among the best cars in the class, getting the highest individual category scores from NCAP.

A safety pack is available as an option on the CX-5 with Sport trim, and comes as standard with GT Sport. The pack isn’t a necessity but it does include useful extras including a driver attention monitor. The Mazda has an alarm and engine immobiliser, and security experts Thatcham awarded it four out of five for guarding against being broken into and five out of five for resisting being stolen.

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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

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