2017 Mazda CX5 GT I Active AWD SUV Review

Mazda CX5 Clever AWD SUV

Mazda CX5 GT Overview

Since the original CX5 was launched some four or five years ago it has proved to be a sales success for Mazda with the public taking to its subtle style and feature packed value.

Fast forward to 2017 and the all new CX5 has now been released and we chose the CX5 GT diesel for the nominee for COTY.

Sitting just below the range topping Akera the GT is probably the best selling of the range.

Mazda CX5 GT

Mazda CX5 GT External

There is no doubting that the CX5 has always been a stylish vehicle and the new model continues this trend. External features of the GT include:

  • LED headlamps,
  • power mirrors,
  • advanced keyless entry,
  • front parking sensors,
  • 19-inch alloys,
  • Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS),
  • a power operated tailgate and sunroof.

The exterior looks fantastic. I love the rich colours that are available, eight in total, my favourites being, Soul Red Crystal Metallic and Deep Crystal Blue Mica combined with the smooth lines of the Mazda CX5.

It does have a distinctive look that is definitely their own which separates them from the pack.

Mazda CX5 GT Internal

Inside the CX5 GT the first impression we had was the white leather seats contrasted with the black surrounds. It was quite stunning and inviting.

Mazda CX5 GT

The front seats proved to be extremely comfortable with electronic adjustment for the driver and both heated. There is also dual zone climate controlled ait conditioning.

The leather steering wheel is both height and reach adjustable and adds to the sporty nature of the CX5 GT. It has the audio and cruise control buttons and the indicator and wiper stalks sit proud of the spokes for added visibility.

The dash had three round dials, centre is speedo, left one is tacho and the right is the MFD. Note that the active driving display, or as others call it head up display.

Whatever it is, it is great and doesn’t polarise out with sunglasses and shows your speed and navigation, and adaptive cornering functionality for its LED headlights. Starting is by advanced keyless push button.

Mazda CX5 GT

The rear seats are sculptured for two people but will take three at a pinch and have a recline function. Again they are pretty comfortable and have adequate head, shoulder, and knee and foot room for normal sized passengers.

The centre armrest and storage is handy. It’s fair to say that the rear seats are amongst the most comfortable in the segment and the doors open wide for easy entry and exit. The rear wheel arch does restrict this slightly though.

There are air vents back there as well as USB ports. They will fold almost flat in a 60/40 configuration to increase the already adequate boot space.

Mazda CX5 GT

This ranges from 442 – 1342L of volumetric space. It was large enough for my daughter’s boyfriend to put his drum kit in there for his rock band.

The electric tailgate is a bonus and there’s a high-quality sliding cargo cover fitted, a rear 12V outlet and handy shopping hooks.

Mazda CX5 GT

Mazda CX5 GT Features

On top of the centre stack protrudes the 7 inch colour screen. This houses the infotainment system with the Bose 249w amplifier and 10 speakers. Awesome sound.

It also houses the sat nav, digital radio and Bluetooth as well as other features. It is controlled by either touch screen method or the multi-function dial controller on the centre console.

This system from Mazda is really easy to use, intuitive and simple. Complicated doesn’t mean better! Surprisingly the volume control is also here which takes a little getting used to.

Mazda CX5 GT

Just for information the top of the range Akera offers Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC) with a Stop and Go function, Adaptive LED Headlamps (ALH), Driver Attention Alert (DAA), Forward Obstruction Warning (Fow), Lane Keep Assist System (LAS) and Smart Brake Support (SBS), plus a side camera

Mazda CX5 GT

Mazda CX5 GT Engine and Drivetrain

The Mazda CX-5 GT we tested came with a 2.2 litre SKYACTIV-D diesel, mated with a 6-speed SKYACTIV-Drive automatic transmission, and the impressive i-ACTIV AWD all-wheel drive system.

The engine produces 136 kW @ 4,000 rpm of power and 400 Nm @ 1,750 – 2,750 of torque. These allow for a very relaxed and economical driving style. The diesel sips fuel at a combined ADR rate of just 6.8L/100K.

Mazda CX5 GT What is it like to Drive

The combination of torquey diesel engine and the inclusion of G-Vectoring Control, which adjusts torque flow to the wheels to transfer the car’s weight, means that the CX5 ride and handling is even more dynamic and for an AWD SUV it is downright good.

The differentially weighted steering is slightly heavy at parking speeds but comes into its own during spirited driving.

Mazda CX5 GT

Diesel models also take on the High-Precision DE Boost Control, Natural Sound Smoother and Natural Sound Frequency Control technologies recently introduced on Mazda6, which combine to further evolve the level of driving performance and quietness.

Also note that driving the Mazda CX5 GT is fun. It has a feeling about it that is engaging.

Not in a sports car way, but as mentioned for an AWD SUV it feels more car of hatch like than many of the competitors. That comes from Mazda’s KODO philosophy.

Mazda CX5 GT

Mazda CX5 GT Dimensions

The Mazda CX5 dimensions are:

  • 4550mm long,
  • 1840mm wide,
  • 1675mm high and
  • A wheelbase of 2700mm.

This places it around the middle of the segment in size.

Off road driving is limited also with a low hanging front spoiler and a ground clearance of 185mm. It will happily traverse forest trails, sandy entrances and of course loves going for weekends away to the snow.

But any further than that and you will start leaving bits and pieces of your loved GT behind.

However towing at 1800kg and a tow ball weight of 150kg means that it is more than useful for the jet skis or small boat or lightweight camper etc. It does promote an active lifestyle.

Mazda CX5 GT Safety

With a 5 star ANCAP safety rating, the Next-Gen CX-5 also offers an array of refined i-ACTIVESENSE safety technologies.

The Next-Gen Mazda CX-5 GT features:

  • front (driver and passenger), side (front) and curtain (front and rear) SRS Airbags,
  • with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS),
  • Dynamic Stability Control (DSC),
  • Emergency Brake Assist (EBA),
  • Emergency Stop Signal (ESS),
  • Hill Launch Assist (HLA),
  • Traction Control System (TCS)
  • Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM),
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA) and
  • Smart City Brake Support [Forward/Reverse] (SCBS F/R, Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR) and
  • front and rear parking sensors and a
  • reversing camera as standard.

Mazda CX5 GT

Mazda CX5 GT Conclusion

Mazda hit a home run with its first CX5 becoming the bestselling SUV in the class and the new model only improves the vehicle.

It is fun to drive in a spirited way, has a sumptuous interior, average interior space and practicality, and stylish looks. It gets a thumbs up from me!

What’s Good:

  • Slick styling – Urban Chic
  • Road handling and agility
  • Flexible cargo space

What’s Not:

  • Premium pricing for diesel
  • Tiptronic reversed
  • No Apple Car Play or Android

Model: Mazda CX5 GT I Active AWD SUV

  • Model Price $51,912 RDAP
  • Engine          2 L I-Active diesel
  • Drivetrain 6 Sp AT 4WD
  • Power               129 kW @ 4500 rpm
  • Torque               420 Nm @ 2000 rpm
  • Safety               S Star ANCAP
  • CO2               158 g/km
  • Economy actual 0L/100 km ADR
  • Servicing Fixed price plan
  • Tow Rating Max 1800 kg
  • Tow Ball Rating 150 kg
  • Warranty 3 Yrs / Unlimited  km 3 Yrs Roadside Assist


Overall OzRoamer Rating:      82/100

  • Behind the Wheel 9
  • Comfort 9
  • Equipment 9
  • Performance 9
  • Ride & Handling 9
  • Practicality 8
  • Fit for Purpose 9
  • Towing Ability 6
  • Off Road Ability 5
  • Value for Money 9