Parkers overall rating: 3.7 out of 5 3.7

Should you buy one?

Yes, if don’t need any form of hybrid option. The CX-5 faces a tough challenge in tearing buyers away from the likes of more popular SUVs including the Ford Kuga, new Kia Sportage and Volkswagen Tiguan. The appealing combination of the distinctive styling and SkyActiv fuel-saving tech – plus a raft of standard high-end kit – maintain its appeal following its mid-life facelift.

And that’s what makes the CX-5 appealing – it makes a decent fist of driving well, has a classy and well-trimmed interior, and despite being an oh-so practical SUV-shaped car, it has swoopy and stand-out styling. It offers one of the more sharp handling experiences for the class, yet also rides well and surprisingly upmarket such a reasonable cash price.

What we like

The biggest thing our testers noticed was the CX-5’s agility. It’s a midsize SUV, but it can often feel much slimmer when you’re driving it around. The interior is also pleasingly minimalist to look at and refreshingly interesting without having to resort to gimmicky features.

What we don’t like

Some people might find the simple interior a touch underwhelming. And while the engines are reasonable performers, the 2.0-litre petrol takes some revving to make swift progress, while the 2.5-litre version can be coarse, is uneconomical and lacks mid-range punch. This is not what general SUV buyers have grown accustomed to.

Which CX-5 is best for you?

The best overall choice is the manual diesel version. Luckily, you won’t feel short-changed if you choose the entry-level petrol model, especially when it comes to equipment, as it’s well-equipped in every trim level. The only caveat with this engine is that it drinks more fuel than the diesels.

Drivers who cover long distances regularly or tow will be best off with the diesel. The additional pulling power means there’s much less effort or gearchanging going into overtaking manoeuvres, and the superior fuel economy will mean fuel bills will be lower long-term, too.

Trim level-wise, the mid-range Sport has many of the niceties people require, but if you’re the kind of person tempted to tick multiple option boxes, just progress up to the GT Sport instead.

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