Used Mazda CX-5 2012-2017 review

Category: Large SUV

Section: What is it like?

Mazda CX-5
  • Mazda CX-5
  • Mazda CX-5 12-17 interior
  • Mazda CX-5 12-17 rear corner
  • Mazda CX-5 12-17 front corner
  • Mazda CX-5 12-17 side
  • Mazda CX-5
  • Mazda CX-5 12-17 interior
  • Mazda CX-5 12-17 rear corner
  • Mazda CX-5 12-17 front corner
  • Mazda CX-5 12-17 side
Used Mazda CX-5 2012-2017 review
Star rating

What's the used Mazda CX-5 estate like?

On the face of it, the Mazda CX-5 is an SUV for those who find the Nissan Qashqai a fraction too small and the BMW X3 too expensive. However, this car is actually far better than the halfway house such a description implies.

The CX-5 is different from its rivals in that it’s available only with a 2.0-litre petrol or 2.2-litre diesel engine, rather than a raft of downsized turbocharged petrol units, smaller diesels or hybrid engines. The petrol version has 163bhp and is available with front-wheel drive and a manual gearbox, while the diesel can be had with 148bhp or 173bhp and the option of four-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox.

Unsurprisingly, because it was cheaper to buy than premium-badged SUVs of the same size, the CX-5 doesn't feel quite as plush inside. The dashboard design, for example, majors on clear, easy-to-operate controls rather than anything that looks too flashy. It's pretty painless to live with, and the fact that the infotainment screen can be operated via a rotary controller down by the gearlever makes it very easy to use on the move.

There's more room in the CX-5 than in the Qashqai. The boot, for example, will easily hold enough luggage for a family camping holiday, while the rear seats are just wide enough for three people to sit abreast. Head and leg room for all occupants are excellent.

As you’d hope in a family-friendly SUV, safety standards are excellent. In fact, the CX-5 was among the earliest mainstream cars to feature automatic emergency braking as standard across the range. It also outperformed the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 for occupant protection in Euro NCAP’s crash tests and achieved a maximum five-star overall safety score.

In early 2014, Mazda revised the CX-5’s suspension settings to improve ride comfort and reduce road noise, followed in 2015 by a facelift that resulted in improved equipment levels across the range. This included a larger, 7.0in infotainment screen that replaced the 5.8in system and more safety kit, such as the option of blindspot monitoring.