The interior layout, fit and finish
Driving position and dashboard
The Mazda CX-5 has a lofty driving position that SUV fans will appreciate (you feel higher up than in smaller family SUVs such as the Peugeot 3008 and Seat Ateca). The driver's seat is pretty comfortable, too, with height adjustment and adjustable lumbar support fitted in all trims. The top two trims – Sport and GT Sport – have a fully electrically adjustable driver’s seat as standard.
The CX-5's pedals line up neatly with the seat so you’re not sitting at an awkward angle, the adjustable steering has a good range of height and reach settings, and the dashboard controls are sensibly arranged and easy to use.
Sat nav and infotainment
The Mazda CX-5’s infotainment system is relatively easy to use. You can control it with the touchscreen when you're parked, but not when you're driving (Mazda considers it too distracting, and we agree). Most rivals have a touchscreen too.
In motion, it’s far safer to use the dial controller, which is mounted just behind the gearlever. It works much like the iDrive system in the BMW X3 – you simply twist it to scroll through the menus and press down to make a selection. The 10.25in screen is quite clear and the software is far more responsive and intuitive to use than in the Citroën C5 Aircross or Peugeot 5008.
Built-in sat-nav and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration are standard with all trim levels, as are two USB ports, which are positioned above a tray where you can put your phone. There are two more USB sockets in the back of the car. A punchy 10-speaker Bose sound system is standard with Sport and GT Sport trims.