Vicky Parrott
25 August 2011

What is it?

The cheapest way you’ll find into the new Mazda CX-5. Fitted with a 2.0-litre 162bhp petrol motor and a manual gearbox that sends drive to the front wheels, this is the only flavour of petrol CX-5 due to hit UK showrooms.

Mazda’s new compact SUV is new from the ground up, and whilst the diesel models will form the bulk of the UK sales this petrol variant is crucial to the car’s global appeal and therefore has been lavished with the same technical innovations as the diesel.

The all-alloy motor gets a benchmark compression ratio of just 14.0:1, the structure is lighter and 30 per cent more rigid than previous mainstream Mazdas, and the car as a whole is a showcase of just what the Japanese maker can do when it starts with a clean sheet.

What’s it like?

Very good. This petrol model has a lighter feel to its responses than the diesel, which remains the heavier car despite its alloy construction, and for all that it lacks the four-wheel drive it turns-in well and offers an impressively sharp and predictable drive for a car of this type.

The new six-speed manual transmission is a big leap forward on the ‘box it replaces, offering a satisfyingly short and precise shift that encourages you to make the most of what the car has to offer. And the engine responds well to that sort of hard use. It’s very linear, gradual power delivery doesn’t sit so well with the utilitarian nature of the car as the torquey diesel but by any standards it’s an exceptionally competitive and enjoyable engine.

Going with the base model means 17-inch alloys, which endows the CX-5 with a pliant ride that should serve UK drivers well. Though body movement is noticeable it’s all very progressive, and occupants are well-isolated from the road’s surface.

Perhaps more impressive even than the flowing, precise responses of the car is its packaging. In this class buyers want liveability, and the CX-5 offers interior space that matches the best in class – particularly in terms of the generous rear passenger space.

Refinement is also hard to criticise. Some wind flutter over the wing mirrors and general tyre noise makes for a noticeable background hum but by class standards cabin noise is relatively hushed.

It’s a seriously well-judged package in terms of usability and driver reward. Think well-sorted everyday hatchback with SUV appeal and interior practicality, and your expectations of the CX-5 will be about spot-on.

Should I buy one?

When it eventually hits the showrooms early next year, yes. Much of the car’s success will hang on its pricing, but expect standard kit levels to be very high even if the CX-5 will be placed closer to the premium rivals.

This petrol car is one of the most rewarding models to drive, even if the impressive running costs of the diesels will guarantee that the petrol will make up for a very small percentage of sales. Even so, predicted C02 output of around 139g/km for this car is still impressive, and those covering fewer miles shouldn’t discount it. It should make for very easy motoring.

Mazda CX-5 2.0 manual


Price: £20,500 (est); Top speed: 125mph (est); 
0-62mph: 8.7sec (est); 
Economy: 48mpg (est); 
Co2: 139g/km (est)
; Kerb weight: 1480kg (est); 
Engine type: 1997cc, 4cyl, petrol; 
Power: 162bhp at 6000rpm; 
Torque: 155lb ft at 4000rpm; 
Gearbox: 6-spd manual

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Comments
12

Re: Mazda CX-5 2.0 manual

3 years 8 weeks ago

Smart and attractive car with some impressive emissions figures. If this really emits 139g/km CO2 and does 0-60 in 8.7s what could this engine do in a 3, 6 or MX5? Less keen on the satnav/radio on the car in the pictures. Looks a bit cheap.

Re: Mazda CX-5 2.0 manual

3 years 8 weeks ago

I like the look of this but am trying to work out its size . So is it bigger than a Quashquai or about the same size .

Shame there will be no 1.6 Petrol .

Re: Mazda CX-5 2.0 manual

3 years 8 weeks ago

Good Lord! A sensible car that is enjoyable to drive. On small wheels with a petrol engine. Where will it end? Mazda might be on to something here...

Bring back steel wheels.

Re: Mazda CX-5 2.0 manual

3 years 8 weeks ago

The right size and looks promising. Quote: 'The all-alloy motor gets a benchmark compression ratio of just 14.0:1,' Just? The 14:1 ratio is exceptionally high for a petrol - do you mean the diesel as it's CR is also 14:1, exceptionally low?

Re: Mazda CX-5 2.0 manual

3 years 8 weeks ago

Old Toad wrote:

So is it bigger than a Quashquai or about the same size .

Shame there will be no 1.6 Petrol .

From what I have read it seems to be on the same scale as the standard Quashquai. I like the external look of this and the Quashquai but have never been that impressed by the Quashquai performance numbers. For me the CX-5 seems to address the weaker points of the Quashquai. We all know how successful the Quashquai is. Based on these early reports I can see the CX-5 doing very well. Interesting to see what the replacement Quashquai brings to the table. I don't think it really matters if it is a 1.6 or a 2.0 it's the performance figures they produce that counts. From across all types of cars the general trend seems to be the bigger the engine the more likely you can match the quoted performance figures (gut feeling). I'm looking forward to taking a closer look at this.

Re: Mazda CX-5 2.0 manual

3 years 8 weeks ago

Walking wrote:
Old Toad wrote:

So is it bigger than a Quashquai or about the same size .

Shame there will be no 1.6 Petrol .

From what I have read it seems to be on the same scale as the standard Quashquai. I like the external look of this and the Quashquai but have never been that impressed by the Quashquai performance numbers. For me the CX-5 seems to address the weaker points of the Quashquai. We all know how successful the Quashquai is. Based on these early reports I can see the CX-5 doing very well. Interesting to see what the replacement Quashquai brings to the table. I don't think it really matters if it is a 1.6 or a 2.0 it's the performance figures they produce that counts. From across all types of cars the general trend seems to be the bigger the engine the more likely you can match the quoted performance figures (gut feeling). I'm looking forward to taking a closer look at this.
I too believe it to be a similar size to the QASHQAI. This is also the first time we've seen the CX-5's rear end, I think - and it's a very good looking car. Not as rugged/tonka-toy-cool as the Yeti, but perhaps offering something a bit sportier, a bit more athletic to look at. I'll be interested to see what the diesel's like too...

"The creative adult is the child who survived."

Re: Mazda CX-5 2.0 manual

3 years 8 weeks ago

I like this car a lot and I would have considered it had I not bought my new car earlier, but I have to say it's dashboard is a shameless X1 ripoff!

Re: Mazda CX-5 2.0 manual

3 years 8 weeks ago

I love it when manufacturers come up with engineering brilliance. The SkyActiv engines seem to be absolutely amazing, and the fact they're fitted to a genuinely excellent product... well, all credit to them, I say.

Re: Mazda CX-5 2.0 manual

3 years 8 weeks ago

Mazda seem to be on a roll with this advanced new engine tech and a competitive model range.It will be interesting to see how it does in an overcrowded market sector

Re: Mazda CX-5 2.0 manual

3 years 7 weeks ago

Walking ,

You have a point . A 1.2 TSI Yeti has 149 CO2s so if the figures are correct for this then it is at the top of my " must look and drive" list in preferance to a Yeti .

Im still finding it hard to beleive that this might be cheaper to run than a 1.2 turbo petrol .

Will be very interested in some real world driving figures .

So it looks like I can have my cake and eat it.

Hmm I wonder if it is technically possible to turbo a petrol engine with such a high compression ratio.

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