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View all Mazda CX-5 reviews
Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

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

Mazda CX-5 SUV rivals

Ford
Kuga
3.7 out of 5 3.7
Volkswagen
Tiguan
4.4 out of 5 4.4

The Mazda CX-5 is the largest SUV in the Japanese company's range for the UK, sitting above the compact CX-3 and CX-30 crossovers offering a large interior for families, as well as a large, practical boot. The CX-5 goes up against plenty of rivals, however, as medium-sized SUVs are incredibly popular with buyers, including the Volkswagen Tiguan, Peugeot 3008, Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson and Ford Kuga. However, the CX-5 sits at the more premium end of this class, so it wouldn't be unreasonable to put it up against entry-level versions of the BMW X1, Audi Q3 and Volvo XC40, too. 

That means the CX-5 has its work cut out, but it's off to a good start with sharp exterior design (Mazda calls it Kodo) and a refined feel to the interior with a simple design, plush materials and a long list of standard equipment available across the CX-5 trim level line-up. It's also responsive to drive while remaining comfortable most of the time, too.

SkyActiv engines are trend-busting

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 compared with the previous car, while tweaks were 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

Interior and trim levels

The previous model had started to fall behind in the equipment stakes though, so this CX-5 packs in loads of contemporary tech like a powered tailgate, crisp head-up display and heated steering wheel. Even the entry-level models include tonnes 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. The CX-5 range is made up of SE-L Nav+, Sport Nav+ and GT Sport Nav+ models.

In fact, the CX-5 feels a match for premium rivals from BMW and Audi when it comes to interior quality. The dashboard is covered in leather on higher-spec models, with high-quality buttons and fittings used on the dashboard and doors. It's only in some other parts lower down the cabin where fixtures from far cheaper Mazdas can be found, but there's very little to complain about when it comes to the overall look and feel of the CX-5's spacious interior.

What's it like on the road?

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. What this translates to is an agile feel that makes it more enjoyable to drive than a VW Tiguan or Hyundai Tucson, but remains comfortable thanks to well-balanced suspension and wheels that don't prioritise size and style over comfort.

Mazda CX-5 SUV rivals

Ford
Kuga
3.7 out of 5 3.7
Volkswagen
Tiguan
4.4 out of 5 4.4

Other Mazda CX-5 models: