Mazda CX-5 long-term test: report 4

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 dashboard

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

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

Mileage 8255 List price £38,905 Target Price £37,389 Price as tested £39,485 Test economy 33.1mpg Official economy 34.2mpg 

8 November 2022 – The simple life

My Mazda CX-5 harks back to a bygone era when you could jump in a car for the first time and instinctively know how everything works. It’s a stark contrast to several cars I’ve spent time with recently, the Volkswagen Golf among them, whose minor controls and infotainment systems take some getting used to – to put it mildly. 

Mazda CX-5 2022 long term safety systems

That’s not to say the CX-5 lacks today’s must-have technology – it’s fully loaded. You get Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity, 360deg manoeuvring cameras and a host of other toys, and they generally have a specific, easily located button to turn them on or off. Okay, tweaking some of the settings does involve going into an infotainment menu, but only the kind that you set once and forget about, such as the more intricate elements of the driver-assistance system. And hooray for the air conditioning system having proper knobs and buttons that you can find by feel alone.

But it's the instrument cluster that wins my highest praise. Yes, as is all the rage, its colour TFT panel (7.0in) gives you a spangly animation at start-up, but it then settles into a clear, analogue display that you wouldn’t even know was digital if it wasn’t for the extra information it puts at your disposal. Rather than impressing with visual dazzle, it quietly, without distraction, makes itself useful. Just like the rest of the car, really.

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