Mazda CX-5 long-term test: report 2

Our sub-editor wants a car that's relaxing on the motorway, capable on tricky terrain and fun to drive elsewhere. Can this family SUV deliver?...

Mazda CX-5 2022 long-term rear seat release

The car Mazda CX-5 2.5 AWD GT Sport Auto Run by Chris Haining, sub-editor

Why it’s here To see how a traditional, petrol-powered, four-wheel drive large SUV fits in with daily life today

Needs to Shrug off rough roads and tough weather, soothe in motorway traffic, entertain on a twisty road

Mileage 3485 List price £38,905 Target Price £37,389 Price as tested £39,485 Test economy 35.5mpg Official economy 34.2mpg 

4 October 2022 – Hedging our bets

It was only natural that, soon after taking delivery of my Mazda CX-5, I’d be filling its commodious rear end up with garden waste and taking it to the tip. This is the kind of mucky duty that any family SUV worth its salt should shrug off as part of its weekly routine.

Mazda CX-5 2022 long term rear view

Handily, my wife and I had trimmed several feet of chaos from a row of fern trees at the bottom of our garden, and the resultant carnage was considerable. The questions were: how many trips to the tip would it take before it was all gone, and how easy could the Mazda make the job.

Well, for starters, the CX-5 made light work of reversing down my buttock-clenchingly narrow drive to get as close as possible to the pile of dead tree, thanks to its 360deg camera system. This gave me a wide-angle, waist-high view of what’s immediately astern, while the overhead view shows exactly how far I am from the brick wall of the house on one side and the wooden fence on the other. Since we moved in, this was actually the first time I’ve managed to reverse a car all the way up without having to get out and visually check my progress.

Mazda CX-5 2022 long-term rear seat release

CX-5 suitably positioned, I opened the (electric) tailgate and prepared the boot for action. Mindful of the enormity of the load, I knew this would be a ‘seats down’ job, so I tugged the handy boot-mounted levers (one on each side) to put the car into two-seat van mode, and they dropped down to create a long, flat load bay. With the car’s spotless carpet in mind, I laid a tarpaulin and started cramming the boot with foliage.

And before we knew it, the CX-5 had swallowed the whole lot. Some of the bigger chunks were more than six foot long, and it all went in without a struggle, that electric tailgate pulling itself home without fuss. Just the one trip to the dump, then. And unlike some rivals, the CX-5’s boot is sufficiently free of awkward crevices that I won’t be picking errant greenery out for months to come.

The whole endeavour showed just how well thought through the CX-5 is when it comes to practicality. Before long, we'll know if it can prove itself on the fun and comfort side of things too.

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