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Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5
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Pricing, equipment and strong diesels make great SUV

Mazda CX-5 SUV (17 on) - rated 4.5 out of 5
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PROS

  • Distinctive styling inside and out
  • Tonnes of standard equipment
  • Agile handling for an SUV
  • Very competitive list prices

CONS

  • Official CO2 figures slightly high
  • Petrol engine lacks low-rev punch
  • Steering could be more precise
  • Quality lacking in entry-level cars

PROS

  • Distinctive styling inside and out
  • Tonnes of standard equipment
  • Agile handling for an SUV
  • Very competitive list prices

CONS

  • Official CO2 figures slightly high
  • Petrol engine lacks low-rev punch
  • Steering could be more precise
  • Quality lacking in entry-level cars

Verdict

The Mazda CX-5 is a mid-size SUV that goes up against an ever-growing number of off-roader rivals. Sitting above the CX-3 compact crossover, this is one of the Japanese company's biggest-selling and most important models. Now in its second generation, the CX-5 sports Mazda's latest design language, with its sharp, angular lines and comes with several punchy diesel engines and the rarity of a non-turbocharged petrol to choose from. The CX-5 faces stiff competition, though, as it takes on everything from the Volkswagen Tiguan and Ford Kuga to the Peugeot 3008, Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson

Mazda CX-5: familiar SkyActiv engines and underpinnings

Despite the sharpened look, the CX-5 retains the strong diesel engines from the previous model, meaning you can have a 2.2-litre diesel with either 150hp or 175hp, plus a 165hp 2.0-litre petrol. All use Mazda’s SkyActiv technology to boost fuel economy and bring running costs down.Underneath the body, the CX-5’s platform is 50% new, while tweaks have been made elsewhere to improve the sound deadening throughout the car – it’s much quieter inside than the previous model, and the upgraded interior is also far more refined and higher quality, too. 

Mazda CX-5 interior

Good handling and improved equipment in the Mazda CX-5

Like all Mazdas, the CX-5 is a surprisingly agile handler – much better than most rivals and on a par with some smaller hatchback models. As well as a stiffer body, this CX-5 benefits from the rather wordy G-Vectoring Control, which helps tighten up the car’s handling even further. The previous model had started to fall behind in the equipment stakes though, so this new CX-5 packs in loads of contemporary tech like a powered tailgate, new head-up display and heated steering wheel. Even the entry-level models include tons of standard kit, so whichever version you choose you’re likely to get pretty much all the kit you could want – without having to head to the options list and pay more.

Read our long-term review of the Mazda CX-5

Should you buy a Mazda CX-5?

The Mazda CX-5 SUV faces a tough challenge in tearing buyers away from the likes of established off-roaders including the Ford KugaKia Sportage and Volkswagen Tiguan. Mazda hopes that the combination of angular Kodo styling and Skyactiv fuel-saving tech – plus a raft of standard high-end kit – will be enough to get drivers’ attention. The second-generation CX-5 takes over where the previous car left of by offering sharp handling for the class, but this car offers much greater refinement – making it feel much more upmarket. The fantastic diesel engines are another high point.

Mazda CX-5 rear view

Read the full Parkers Mazda CX-5 review to find out why it deserves your attention.