What's the used Mazda CX-5 like?
The success of the original Mazda CX-5 almost took the firm by surprise. Launched into a burgeoning family SUV market then dominated by the Nissan Qashqai at one end and the premium Volvo XC60 at the other, the CX-5 went on to be Mazda’s best-selling car, with a global output of over 1.5 million.
When this new version came along to replace it in 2017 it kept all the bits that worked – the size, the space and the tidy handling – and upped the overall efficiency and the driving ability by neat fractions, producing a product of exceptional competence.
On offer under the bonnet are two diesel engines and one petrol. The diesels are the bigger sellers, and can be found in 148bhp and 173bhp 2.2-litre versions, while the lone petrol is a 2.0-litre 163bhp unit that is fairly smooth but feels a little underpowered lower down, just where the more relaxing diesels push out plenty of shove. On the road, the difference between the two diesel engines is marginal, although the more powerful version is only available with four-wheel drive and the lower powered version has the better claimed fuel economy figures.
There are just two trim levels to choose from: SE-L Nav and Sport Nav. The former gets you plenty of kit, including cruise control, climate control, front and rear parking sensors and automatic light and wipers, while Sport Nav trim offers fully electric leather seats (heated in the front), keyless entry, a powered tailgate and a head-up display.
Where the car really shines out in this class is in its handling. Push it in to a bend and it grips well, its driver appeal upped by steering that is both accurate and sharp, and it handles with a rare dignity for an SUV. The only payback for this eager handling is a rather firm ride, which can occasionally turn nasty if caught out by road imperfections and potholes. It’s not a terrible ride, but there are others that are more comfortable.
Inside is an interior of soft-touch materials with an air of good quality, and it’s an improvement on the car it replaced. The driving position is excellent, as is visibility. The infotainment system is slick and relatively easy to use, too, with logical controls and all on-screen action accessed via a rotary controller.
Needless to say space in the front and rear is good, too, although one or two of its rivals have more, and some have the ability to seat seven. The rear seats fold down in a flexible 40/20/40 arrangement and they have a two-stage reclining mechanism too, while the boot is large with a flat load bay when the rear seats are folded down.