2017 Mazda CX-5 priced from Β£23,695

The second-generation Mazda CX-5 will go on sale in June, and rivals the Honda CR-V and Land Rover Discovery Sport

Words By Mark Tisshaw

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Mazda CX-5

The all-new Mazda CX-5 promises a significant boost in comfort for the popular SUV in its second generation. We've already been impressed with driving the new model, and you can read our full review of the new car here.

What's new about the Mazda CX-5?

The five-seat CX-5 is Mazda’s rival to the likes of the Honda CR-V and Land Rover Discovery Sport, and is one of the world’s most popular SUVs. The first-generation model, launched in 2012, ushered in a quality new era for SUVs for Mazda, and it has performed strongly in What Car? tests ever since.

Although an all-new model, the new CX-5 is effectively an evolution of a successful formula Mazda found with the first generation car. Think of how Volkswagen constantly improves and updates the Golf rather than radically overhauling it and you’ll get the theory behind what Mazda is trying to achieve with this CX-5.

The second-generation CX-5 is a similar size to its predecessor, but looks sleeker and sportier due to some evolved styling that has been borrowed from the larger CX-9 SUV, which Mazda doesn’t sell in the UK.

Mazda says it has given the CX-5 new suspension settings to allow for a more comfortable drive. The body has also been made stiffer, which should improve the handling of the car and make its body roll less in cornering.

What engines can I choose from in the Mazda CX-5?

The engine line-up is retained from the existing CX-5 for the new model. That means a 2.2-litre diesel will again be the most popular choice, with a 2.0-litre petrol model the other option.

Unlike most rivals, Mazda does not provide smaller capacity turbocharged engines. That's because it feels these engines, although strong on paper, do not provide buyers with as good real-world fuel economy figures as larger engines that operate under less stress in normal driving conditions.

A six-speed manual gearbox will again be standard with a six-speed automatic gearbox optional. Front-wheel drive is standard, with four-wheel drive available as an option.

What’s the Mazda CX-5 like inside?

A great deal of focus on the development of the new Mazda CX-5 has been on the interior, with Mazda looking to boost the quality feel, connectivity options, and, in particular, comfort over the car's predecessor.

The new front seats have their own β€˜suspension mats’ to better support the driver and front passenger and isolate them from bad road surfaces, while the rear seats have a new two-step reclining mechanism for better comfort. Rear passengers also get their own climate control system and heated seats.

Mazda has also raised the centre console and position of the gearlever in both manual and automatic models, in order to make the driving position more comfortable.

Key driver information is displayed on a 4.6in TFT screen in the instrument display, while a 7.0in infotainment screen sits atop the dashboard. Mazda’s MZD Connect infotainment system is offered on the CX-5, providing sat-nav, smartphone mirroring and access to social media apps, among other functions. A 10-speaker Bose sound system is optional.

Mazda is offering three different interior trims on the new CX-5: standard black cloth, and white or black leather as an option.

Boot space has been increased slightly, rising from the 500 litres of the current car to 505 litres in the new model. The Honda CR-V has a 589-litre boot. Either way, you should be able to fit your holiday luggage inside without any trouble.

Mazda also claims to have improved visibility with the new CX-5 over the existing model.

How much equipment does the Mazda CX-5 have?

In standard SE-L Nav form, the CX-5 comes with LED headlights, dual-zone climate control, a DAB radio, and the 7.0in touchscreen interface. Sport Nav cars additionally receive a reversing camera, powered driver's seat, heated front seats and steering wheel, a head-up display, powered tailgate and keyless entry.

Safety-wise, Mazda is offering its full suite of i-Activsense technology and related functions such as radar cruise control that allows the car to follow the speed of the car in front. The CX-5 is aiming for the full five stars from Euro NCAP safety testing thanks to a stronger body and preventive crash safety technology functions, although it has yet to be tested.

On the driving dynamic front, Mazda is offering its new G-Vectoring Control system. This electronic system works with the engine to ensure the right amount of power goes to each wheel while cornering to make the car feel more stable.

How much will the Mazda CX-5 cost?

Despite its new technology, Mazda hasn't increased the CX-5's starting price too much over the Β£23,195 of the old car. The range now starts at Β£23,695 for an entry-level car, with our recommended 2.2-litre diesel option starting from Β£25,695. For a range-topping diesel car with four-wheel drive, an automatic gearbox and Sport Nav specification, you'll need to pay Β£33,195.

How good are the Mazda CX-5's rivals?

The CX-5 competes in one of the most hotly contested markets. It is one of the larger five-seat SUVs available, and can count the likes of the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V among its key rivals. Our favourite car in this market, though, is currently the Skoda Kodiaq.

See more of the Skoda Kodiaq in the video below.

Read more - our full Mazda CX-5 review

Read more - the best (and worst) large SUVs on sale

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