Mazda CX-5 long-term test review
The previous version of the CX-5 was one of our favourite large SUVs. Can this new model follow in its footsteps?...
- The car Mazda CX-5 2.2d 150 Sport Nav
- Run by Darren Moss, deputy editor
- Why it’s here The previous CX-5 was one of our favourite large SUVs. Can this new version shine in the face of even stronger competition?
- Needs to Be economical on the daily commute, be comfortable on long journeys and have plenty of space inside. In short: be the perfect car for a growing family
Price £28,695 Price as tested £29,495 Miles covered 8934 Official fuel economy 56.5mpg Test economy 43.7mpg CO2 132g/km Options Soul Red Crystal paint (£800)
16 May 2018 – saying goodbye to the Mazda CX-5
Remember Bob? He’s been standing outside his local Mazda dealership for, oh, about six months now (sorry, Bob), wondering whether he should go in to take a look at the latest CX-5 or if he’s better off with the plusher large SUV offerings of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
On the face of things, that’s rather a cruel question. You see, the CX-5 would feel more comfortable if it were up against the Skoda Kodiaq or Land Rover Discovery Sport, but having run an Audi Q5 before taking over the Mazda keys, I wanted to see if the CX-5 could do everything its plusher brethren could do for a much lower price.
Let’s start with the driving experience. The 2.2-litre diesel engine of our car offered a fairly punchy 148bhp and, despite its 1600kg weight, the CX-5 never felt short on power. Indeed, because power arrived in abundance from as little as 1100rpm, things such as getting away from the lights became a welcome daily occurrence. I saved a fair amount on my fuel bills, too; despite not reaching the heady official 56.5mpg, I did get near to our True MPG result of 47.4mpg, with a test best – admittedly under the stewardship of my green-footed colleague Matt Burt – of 43.7mpg recorded on a trip to the Lake District.
What impressed me most, though, was how well the CX-5 hides its bulk, especially around town. You might remember that I took the car into central London to see a friend’s show and, despite my heart rate climbing rapidly as the minutes until curtain up ticked away, the CX-5’s nimble handling helped me to arrive with seconds to spare. Indeed, the ability to dart down a side street and beat a long queue without worrying about the car’s bulk never stopped being impressive.
We did have a few issues, though. When I was on jury duty recently, the usually brilliant sat-nav repeatedly tried to lead me down streets that either a) were one-way systems; or b) had bollards across them. This frustrated me so much that I turned to the free Waze app instead. And, on a few occasions, the front parking sensors went beserk, throwing warnings up on what was a completely clear road.
But these are niggles, because I’ve come away having fallen quite in love with Mazda’s largest SUV. It’s incredibly spacious inside, regularly tackling airport runs with suitcases and parents on board in absolute comfort, it’s generously equipped in Sport Nav form and, despite costing in excess of £15,000 less than the Q5 I tested previously, matched up to it on almost every level. I say almost, because my car missed out on the automatic gearbox of the Q5. Having tried a CX-5 with an auto 'box, it’s definitely an option I would choose, for a price premium of just £1700.
So then, Bob, here’s your answer: do it. Head right in and sign on the dotted line. Having lived with a CX-5 for the past half a year, I can safely say that it is among the very best large SUVs around right now.
Mazda CX-5 – test data
Dealer price now £26,002 Private price now £23,113 Trade-in price now £23,435 True MPG 47.4mpg Contract hire £326.10 Cost per mile 10.2p Total running cost £913.21 Insurance group 19 Typical insurance quote £580