With competition in the SUV market so fierce, any car that manages a top five-star rating in our road test is worthy of praise, and the Mazda CX-5 managed just that. We were impressed with its practical interior, economical engine range and sharp, car-like handling.
10 reasons to buy a Mazda CX-5
10. Cheap to buy and run
The CX-5 range starts from £23,195, which is competitive against key rivals, but no other car in this class can touch the CX-5's running costs. Mazda's Skyactiv engine technology means you'll see impressive fuel economy and low CO2 emissions across the board, saving you money at the pumps and on your tax bills.
9. Impressive standard kit
Every Mazda CX-5 gets a generous amount of equipment, including dual-zone climate control, front and rear parking sensors, satellite navigation, automatic lights and wipers, Bluetooth connectivity and cruise control.
8. Economical diesels
Diesel is by far the most popular choice in the SUV market, and the CX-5's 2.2-litre Skyactiv-D 150 engine is our preferred choice. It pulls well from low down in the rev range and also returns impressive fuel economy. It can be had in both front and four-wheel-drive forms, too.
Mazda as a brand has an excellent reputation for reliability, and customers have found cars that do have problems are relatively cheap to fix. The CX-5 gets a three-year/60,000-mile warranty, too, with various ways to extend that if you choose.
Safety is another of Mazda's strong suits, with the CX-5 scoring the maximum five stars when it was tested by Euro NCAP. Standard safety kit includes automatic emergency braking (AEB), six airbags and stability control.
5. Drop-down seats
The rear seats in the CX-5 can be folded down quickly and simply by using levers on the side of the boot and, once down, they create a load area that's almost flat.
4. All-round visibility
You sit high up in the CX-5, and the car's thin pillars provide great forward visibility, and are especially helpful at junctions. The view out the back isn't as good, but you do get front and rear parking sensors as standard, and top-end versions get a rear-facing camera to aid parking.
3. Clever boot
Mazda has given the CX-5 a large boot, but there's also a usefully large storage area underneath it - perfect for high-value items or for if you need to hide something (say, birthday presents) out of sight.
2. Hot handling
The CX-5 is one of the best-handling SUVs around. In fact, it feels like a much smaller car on the road - a real acheivement for a large SUV. Its light, accurate steering makes low-speed manoeuvres a breeze, too.
1. Strong resale values
The good news, especially if you're thinking of buying a CX-5, is that the majority of the money you spend on one will be returned when you come to sell the car on - something that can't be said of all the cars in this class.
The Mazda's diesel engine refinement is well below the class best, and if you opt for higher-powered versions there can be vibrations sent through the pedals.
What about buying used?
The Mazda CX-5 hasn't been on sale for very long - it was introduced in 2012 as part of Mazda's 2013 model year line-up - so we don't yet have a full used car review.
Our latest used car data for the Mazda CX-5 reveals that it's better than the class average when it comes to consumable items like wiper blades and brake discs, and it comes out average for brake pads, too. Owners have reported few problems, but the most common one seems to be the windscreen cracking.
Budget for around £9000 for a high-mileage CX-5, but it's worth spending more (around £13,500) for our favoured 2.2-litre diesel model in SE-L trim.
As always, insist on a thorough test drive of any car you're thinking of buying, and use that time to make sure everything (mechanical and electrical) works as you would expect. Unsure how to take a test drive? Click here for our full guide.
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