From £21,710
The lightest, fastest, most efficient and fun to drive in the segment, the new Mazda CX-5 has been worth the wait

Our Verdict

Mazda CX-5

Can efficiency-boosting SkyActiv technology help the Mazda CX-5 raise the crossover bar?

  • First Drive

    Mazda CX-5 2.2 Skyactiv-D 150PS 2WD

    The headline-grabbing Mazda CX-5 returns the best fuel economy and lowest CO2 emissions of any model in the range, and is a top-level contender in the class
  • First Drive

    Mazda CX-5 2.2D Sport Nav

    The lightest, fastest, most efficient and fun to drive in the segment, the new Mazda CX-5 has been worth the wait
16 April 2012

What is it?

We’ve already driven the CX-5 back when it was still a prototype and came away impressed, but this is our first chance behind the wheel of the finished article. It’s the first model from the firm to use all of the Skyactiv technology in one place, and thankfully for Mazda the end result plays true to our early expectations.

What’s it like?

There’s one petrol and two 2.2-litre diesel engines, the latter available with either 148bhp or 173bhp outputs. It’s the four wheel drive high power model tested here, which from the moment it’s started proves to be suitably special. There’s little in the way of clatter or vibration, even on ignition, and on the move the only noise that detracts from the experience is wind or tyre roar.

This sensation of refinement prevails all the way to the legal limit too, and the performance is almost petrol like in its style and rate of acceleration. Matched to a six-speed manual gearbox with a shift action inspired by the MX-5’s delicate lever it makes for an involving and altogether sportier driving experience than many rivals.

Unfortunately the steering isn’t quite as weighty as the early car’s helm, but though the ride remains firm and roll is admirably resisted, there is some extra compliance - even on the 19inch rims of our test car. In fact, it’s this supple suspension that really contributes to the overall experience, and you soon realise this CX-5 offers one of the most complete drives in the segment.

It’s an exciting design, both from the outside and in – the cabin is without doubt the best we have seen from the firm with quality materials and cohesive detailing. Those in the driving seat will appreciate the well-judged seating position, while those behind benefit from class leading legroom; it also trumps most rivals with its 503-litre boot space.

Should I buy one?

Overall the Mazda has what it takes – it’s one of the cleanest, fastest and most fun to drive crossovers on the market. But it’s also one of the more expensive, and that may just be enough to stop it taking top honours.

Mazda CX-5 Skyactiv-D 2.2 Sport NAV

Price: £27,595; 0-62mph: 8.8 seconds; Top speed: 129mph; Economy: 54.3mpg; Co2: 136g/km; Kerbweight: 1530Kg; Engine type: 2191cc, 4cyl, twin-turbodiesel; Power: 173bhp at 4500rpm; Torque: 310lb ft at 2,000rpm; Gearbox: six-speed manual

Join the debate

Comments
14

17 April 2012

I really like the look of this car if not this top of the range model . The lower spec 150 ish ps 2.2 diesel with 2wd and 17" wheels make much more sense for about £5k less . See reveiw in what car .

Will definitely be on my need to test drive list alongside the albeit smaller Yeti . Both should prove reliable and practical wihtout breaking the bank .

17 April 2012

This looks to be a very good car. I wonder if it will be as successful as the Qashqai.

17 April 2012

Nice motor although the price seems a little steep without reference to its competitors.
Mazda deserve to do well with this.

17 April 2012

I know there will be a chorus of disapproval from the usual quarters as this car is a crossover, but these cars reall make sense for many people like me.

It can cruise comfortably and economically at 80-90 mph, carry the dog, get me to the station car park every day, not be too large to park at that car park, tow a 2 tonne horsebox or caravan, provide a bit of fun when I'm driving on my own etc etc.

Having looked at the pics there are also some really neat design features like the one touch rear seat fold and being abe to stow the luggage cover under the boot floor.

As for pricing, I was going to wait for the secondhand BMW X3's to come down to my level. However, I could probably buy this new or ex demo if I get a decent discount.

17 April 2012

Been invited for a test drive this weekend - will do if the weather is fine. My gripe is the price. Come on Mazda - you keep creeping up into another bracket and thats going to lose you potential sales because previously you were considered seriously good value.

I would (if I ever did go Mazda again - that depends on the insurance premium) would go for the 148BHP 4wd because here in Russia if you go over 150 bhp you get a much higher taxation bracket. So 148 is perfect.

jer

17 April 2012

Try option a Q3 to the same level and it's well north of 30k

17 April 2012

Saw quite a few of these during a visit to Canada over Easter since its obviously been out there a while. I came away thinking that it's one of those cars that is very colour sensitive. The lighter ones looked just right while for some reasons dark colours looked awkward. Just a personal opinion I guess.

17 April 2012

[quote petrolheadinrussia]Come on Mazda - you keep creeping up into another bracket and thats going to lose you potential sales because previously you were considered seriously good value[/quote]

Strong yen is ruining the jap manufacturing base, they can#t compete on price with the Loreanms etc - it's made in Hiroshima I expect.

DKW

17 April 2012

[quote justi]Loreanms[/quote] ?

17 April 2012

[quote DKW][quote justi]Loreanms[/quote] ?[/quote]

Once you notice that the "L" key is next to the "K" key it all becomes reasonably clear, or should that be Korea.

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