Mazda has shaken up the mid-size AWD SUV market with its all new CX5 especially with the .2L diesel we are testing here. Externally the CX-5 strikes an imposing presence with its large front end treatment and smooth upward flowing lines through the side to the rear.
Sitting in the Grand Tourer the leather 8-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat (including lumbar support) was extremely comfortable, for my 190cm frame and have enough room behind me for a teenager. Heaps of head room.
The thick rimmed reach and height adjustable steering wheel houses the controls for the stereo and cruise control etc. The three dial dash is clear and easy to read with a multi-function display on the right All round visibility for the driver is excellent especially with the standard reversing camera.
The centre stack features a 5.8-inch touchscreen monitor located at the top-centre of the dash. The infotainment system features a USB connector and Bluetooth® wireless connectivity as well as iPod® audio playback. The navigation system*, based on TomTom® technology, offers a top-quality connected service. For the audiophiles amongst us the 9 speaker Bose® surround sound system* will delight.
The lower portion of the centre stack features dual zone climate air-conditioning and controls for seat warmers. Unfortunately there are no vents for the rear passengers.
Storage is catered for with a relatively large glove box, centre console, cup holders, bottle holders in front and rear doors and cup holders on a centre fold down tray for the rear passengers.
Rear seat passengers have adequate head, shoulder and leg room and seats that are fairly comfortable. The boot area is cavernous as a result of clever design. Fold down the 40:20:40 split rear seats flat and you have 1,560 of volume. The tailgate lifts high enough and the load height won’t cause any problems.
The 2.2-litre SKYACTIV-D common-rail diesel is a beauty and produces 129kW @ 4,500 rpm of power and 420Nm at 2,000 rpm of torque and matched to the Tiptronic auto produces economical driving with i-stop.
The CX-5’s handling, sportiness and smoothness is impressive. It hung onto the road better that it had a right to as an AWD SUV. When pushed hard into corners there was minimal understeer and on the dirt it lost a little of its shape when pushed hard. The AWD system has variably controlled rear torque and ultra precise slip detection .I wouldn’t venture too far off road though, treat it as a 4WD and it won’t be pretty.
As you would expect there all is a host of active and passive safety technologies including 6 SRS Airbags, reverse camera, ABS, DSC, EBA, EBD, TCS and Hill Launch Assist (HLA), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) and High Beam Control (HBC).
So Mazda has produced something quite special in the mid-sized AWD SUV market. It has a subtle style about it, is roomy and comfortable, drives better than it has a right to, is chock full of standard features and safety and is priced to reflect its quality.
What is good:
• Roomy and comfortable inside
• Handling dynamics
• Build Quality
What is not so good:
• No rear seat air-conditioning vents
• Counter intuitive Tiptronic transmission
• slightly pricey
Model Mazda CX-5 GT Diesel AWD
Model Price $51,426 RDAP
Drivetrain 2.2L Diesel AWD 6AT
Power 129kW @ 4,500rpm
Torque 420Nm at 2,000rpm
Safety 5 Star
CO2 Emissions 160 g/km
Green Vehicle Rating 3 1/2 Star
Economy (ADR comb) 5.7 L/100km
Tow Capacity – Max 1800 kg
Tow Ball Rating 150Kg
Warranty 3yr/ unlimited km with full roadside assist
Overall OzRoamer Rating 83/100
Behind the Wheel 9
Ride & Handling 8
Fit for Purpose 9
Towing Ability 8
Off Road Ability 5
Value for Money 8