Mazda CX-5 AWD 2.2

Sport Nav

Mazda CX-5, front
Mazda CX-5, front
Mazda CX-5, interior
Mazda CX-5, detail
Mazda CX-5, front
Mazda CX-5, rear

IN an industry that thrives on awards and recognition, the trophy for modesty would go to Mazda.

To many it's a one-model marque made famous by the sporting MX-5, but in reality and among those in the know, there is a much bigger range behind it including hatchbacks, business executive models and SUVs.

The CX-5 is one of the least known SUVs and probably not on the radar of many, which means it has a rarity value unusual in this sector.

Later this year it will be replaced with a new model but we have been trying out the current generation CX-5 as a benchmark - and it's good.

So good that Mazda is going to have to do a lot to better it with the newer version.

Currently there are ten models in the range based on a petrol and two diesel engines with two-wheel-drive (2WD) or four-wheel-drive (4WD) and three trim levels giving manual or automatic/manual transmission options.

The 2.2 turbo-diesel manual is one of the most popular and the powertrain is impressive. From rest and through the gears it pulls well and cruises economically.

Gearchanges are feather light and precise, the steering well balanced and easy with strong foot and parking brakes.

Secondary controls fall immediately to fingers, the instruments are clear if not calibrated in detail, and well lit at night while the infotainment system is straightforward and clearly displayed as well.

Heating and ventilation is simple and works well throughout the cabin with precise control, direction and good output backed up by powered windows and a decent sized sunroof.

Oddments space is reasonably good for a family car, the boot a good size even with the back seats in use but it more than triples if you fold them down and that's easy to do as well.

Access is good into the bootspace and back as well as infront and the seats are very well shaped, supporting and comfortable with reasonable adjustment range on the front pair.

Visibility to the front and sides is good, less so to the side when pulling out and to the back when reversing, so the sensors and camera come into their own to help. Lights and wipers do a splendid job.

Room inside is excellent infront, slightly short on knee-room behind but head and shoulder space is good throughout.

The Mazda CX-5 ride quality is generally slightly firm but still comfortable with a little body roll on tighter turns but little wallow or pitching over some roads.

You can hear the suspension coping with the bad bits and the ever present road rumbles from the tyres are the only intrusion as mechanical and wind noises are low.

For a family SUV, the performance is good, and it's almost effortless once you get going from rest where it's slightly hesitant.

Mid-range pull will keep you out of trouble and it's very composed on main roads and motorways, with a possible 40mpg when cruising.

There really is a lot to like about the Mazda CX-5 and nothing to really dislike, but you'd hardly know about this modest model when its over-hyped and over-priced rivals seem everywhere.

FAST FACTS

Mazda CX-5 AWD 2.2 Sport Nav

Price: £29,995

Mechanical: 175ps, 2,198cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed:126mph

0-62mph: 8.8 seconds

Combined MPG: 38.2

Insurance Group: 21

C02 emissions: 136gkm

Bik rating: 29%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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