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Mazda CX-5 Review

Mazda CX-5
Mazda CX-5
Mazda CX-5
Mazda CX-5
Mazda CX-5
Mazda CX-5
Mazda CX-5
Mazda CX-5
Mazda CX-5
Mazda CX-5
Mazda CX-5

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Mazda CX-5

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Mazda CX-5

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Mazda CX-5

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Mazda CX-5

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Mazda CX-5

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Mazda CX-5

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Mazda CX-5

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Mazda CX-5

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Mazda CX-5

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heycar review

      Launch year
      2017
      Body type
      Crossover
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel
Andy Brady

Written by

Andy Brady

00/10
heycar rating
Family SUV with stylish cabin

Best bits

  • Ultra stylish and comfortable interior
  • Great to drive with strong diesel engines
  • Very safe with five-star Euro NCAP safety rating

Not so great

  • Petrol engine’s a bit weak
  • Media system in early models isn’t as good as rivals
  • No seven-seater

Read by

Mazda CX-5 70 plate

Overall verdict

Mazda CX-5 interior

On the inside

Mazda CX-5 rear on road

Driving

Mazda CX-5 static

How much does it cost to run

Mazda CX-5 side profile

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"The latest Mazda CX-5 really is as good as it looks. The interior is superb, with high-quality materials, plenty of space and generous equipment levels on even the most affordable models. It’s also great to drive, although it’s a shame the petrol engine feels a little underpowered."

Mazda CX-5 70 plate


Admit it. You’re here because the CX-5’s stylish looks have caught your attention. Can you have your cake and eat it? Could the stunning CX-5 carry all your family in comfort, while being good to drive and without costing the earth?


The answer is a resounding ‘yes’. Launched in 2017, the latest Mazda CX-5 really is a superb family car. It has an interior which is far better than mainstream alternatives like the Ford Kuga and Skoda Kodiaq, with plush materials and lots of neat touches. It’s not an exaggeration to say it’s in the same league as pricier alternatives like the BMW X3.


It’s generously kitted out, too. Mazda doesn’t offer extensive options lists, yet all used CX-5s will have pretty much everything you could wish for. The exact model line-up has changed a few times over the years but, generally, trim levels with ‘SE-L’ in their name are the more affordable models. Those containing ‘Sport’ are more upmarket, with the GT Sport being the current range-topper.


Some buyers will be disappointed that the CX-5 isn’t offered with seven seats. There’s not much you can do about that - if you need as many seats as possible, you’d be better looking at the Skoda Kodiaq. Or, even better, an old-fashioned people carrier (remember them?) like the SEAT Alhambra. 


A shortage of seats aside, the CX-5 is a fairly practical choice. There’s plenty of space for rear-seat passengers, while those in the front get uber-comfortable seats and plenty of useful storage features. The boot’s not quite as big as the Kodiaq’s, and you can’t have clever sliding rear seats (although they do recline), but you’re unlikely to find this a big problem.


Unlike a lot of SUVs of this size, the CX-5 isn’t remotely boat-like to drive. It feels just as agile as smaller crossovers like the SEAT Ateca, with superb steering and little in the way of lean through the bends. Ride quality’s pretty good, too, although not as forgiving as the Citroen C5 Aircross - especially if you get one with 19-inch alloy wheels.


The 2.0-litre petrol will probably come up a lot in your search for a CX-5, and it’s not a bad engine. Indeed, it should be fairly frugal and no doubt very reliable. It just lacks a bit of urgency compared to turbo’d rivals.


The diesels are better, especially if you cover a lot of miles. We’d recommend the 150PS unit, unless you really need four-wheel-drive (in which case, there’s a more powerful model).


So, while it’s not without its flaws, we rate the Mazda CX-5 very highly. If it meets your needs (i.e. you don’t have lots of kids and you’re not fussed about having a powerful petrol engine), it’s a really superb choice. Rivals like the Ford Kuga might be cheaper on the used market, but you get what you pay more. And the CX-5 is up there with more premium alternatives.

Ready to get your top quality Mazda CX-5?

  • All cars come with a warranty
  • Selected dealers only
  • All quality checked

Mazda CX-5

2.2d [175] Sport Nav 5dr AWD Auto

  • 2018
  • 31,011 miles

Manufacturer Approved

  • Rockingham Cars Mazda Corby
  • Northamptonshire, NN175DU
Price:£21,000
PCP: £321.43/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 37 months, 36 Monthly Payments: £321.43, Customer Deposit: £3,150.00, Total Deposit: £3,150.00, Optional Final Payment: £9,527.19, Total Charge For Credit: £3,248.67, Total Amount Payable: £24,248.67, Representative APR: 7.9%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 4.07%, Excess Mileage Charge: 14.9ppm, Mileage Per Annum: 10,000

Is the Mazda CX-5 right for you?

If you’re after a stylish SUV with a superb cabin and aren’t too fussed about a premium badge, the Mazda CX-5 is a superb choice. It’s not quite as practical as the Skoda Kodiaq - not least because it’s only available with five seats - but it’ll be big and spacious enough for the majority of buyers.


One of the CX-5’s biggest let-downs is its petrol engine. It should be a reliable choice but, if you want performance without having to work for it, we’d recommend looking for a turbocharged alternative like the Peugeot 5008 or Skoda Kodiaq.

What’s the best Mazda CX-5 model/engine to choose?

All CX-5 models are well equipped so we’d be inclined to look for a lower-spec model. Not only will this save you money, but you’ll also get the smaller 17-inch wheels for a more compliant ride and less road noise. Go for a higher-spec model (such as the current Sport and GT Sport trim levels) if you don’t mind a firmer ride and want an even classier interior.


In terms of engines, the 150PS diesel is our choice. It suits the car better than the lethargic 2.0-litre petrol, although a diesel won’t be the most appropriate choice for every buyer.

What other cars are similar to the Mazda CX-5?

You should also look at the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V - both of which will be very sensible and reliable used choices and are available as hybrids, which might appeal if you cover a lot of town driving. You could also consider the Ford Kuga, which represents good value for money but feels dated and has a drab interior compared to the plush CX-5.


Then there’s the quirky and comfortable Citroen C5 Aircross which has a softer ride and punchier petrol engines while, if you think you might need to occasionally carry extra passengers, we’d recommend seven-seat alternatives like the Skoda Kodiaq and Peugeot 5008.

Learn more

Mazda CX-5 interior

On the inside

Mazda CX-5 rear on road

Driving

Mazda CX-5 static

How much does it cost to run

Mazda CX-5 side profile

Prices, versions and specification

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

Is the Mazda CX-5 a good car?

It is hard to find a car that does everything you need it to, but the CX-5 comes mighty close. It looks good, drives really well, is comfortable, practical, and good value for money too.

heycar editorial team

Answered by

heycar editorial team

Where is the CX-5 made?

For the European market, the CX-5 is manufactured and built in Hiroshima, Japan. This is the headquarters of Mazda, although other markets get cars built in Malaysia, Russia and China.

David Ross

Answered by

David Ross

Is the Mazda CX-5 reliable?

The previous generation had teething problems with the braking system, but the engines in the new CX-5 are tried and tested, and the brand has an excellent reputation for durability.

Andy Brady

Answered by

Andy Brady

What is Skyactiv technology?

This is the name Mazda gives to its fuel-saving technology, so despite using relatively large capacity engines, this SUV will return very reasonable economy and lower CO2 emissions.

Russell Campbell

Answered by

Russell Campbell