Mazda CX-5 2.2 Sport

Nav Manual

Mazda CX-5, 2017, front
Mazda CX-5, front action 2
Mazda CX-5, 2017, side
Mazda CX-5, 2017, side, static
Mazda CX-5, 2017, rear
Mazda CX-5, 2017, rear, action
Mazda CX-5, 2017, interior
Mazda CX-5, 2017, rear seats
Mazda CX-5, 2017, boot

ANY car maker fighting for sales success in a highly competitive sector of the market knows that to stay ahead of the game they need to keep their offering bang up to date but without making drastic changes.

So it's sensible that Mazda has made what can only be called subtle changes to the CX-5 Sports Utility Vehicle/Crossover.

Any motorist taking a first glance at the latest model might think there's little difference in looks to the original 2012 model.

However, there are three key areas of change led by a slightly more stylish front end look, overall interior improvements in terms of comfort and refinement inside and lastly to make it a much quieter car to drive.

Crucially, despite newer levels of sophistication and higher standard equipment prices have only risen on average by between £200 and £900 compared to the outgoing models.

With a choice of either a 2.2-litre turbo diesel (with two different power outputs of 148bhp or 178bhp) or two-litre 158bhp petrol engines as before, prices start at a competitive £25,695 for the former and £23,695 for the latter.

Driving the two-wheel-drive Sport Nav six-speed manual and the most striking improvements are that it handles much better being more agile and with better, direct steering and it's so much quieter and even sitting on 19-inch wheels the ride is firm but comfortable for both driver and passengers.

This version, costing from £28,695, is expected to be the best seller in the range and it's easy to see why.

It returned a creditable 49.7mpg - quite good for a car of this seize and weight.

The subtle styling changes show a nice slightly wider grille at the front and better headlights along with slimmer tail lights which overall gives the car a smarter and welcome freshen up.

Interior-wise again on initial inspection there may not appear to be too many changes but there are, with far better all round quality, including soft-touch trim finishing with plenty of chrome on the dashboard and doors and the seats are more comfortable.

There's now the regular Mazda feature of one rotary large control know down between the front seats for navigating the car's menu with small buttons elsewhere for shortcuts - quite reminiscent of BMW's renowned iDrive system.

The seven-inch infotainment screen is now free standing while the main instruments and controls are much the same as before but for the driver there's a new head-up display shown on the windscreen rather than the pop-up out of the top of the dashboard last time round making it much easier for the driver to use.

A minor improvement is that all interior storage pockets have been deepened to give more room so avoiding that niggle on the first version I encountered where bottles of water and the like kept falling out of them when on the move.

Underneath Mazda claim this model has 15 per cent more torsional rigidity thanks to a revised chassis and a new torque vectoring system as already seen on the Mazda3 hatch and Mazda6 saloons and better overall stability is helped by the car sitting 35mm lower than the previous model.

To cut out the noise inside, which some owners complained about on the original model, Mazda engineers have added 50kg of sound deadening and it has to be said that this has worked - sitting in the cabin and on the move it's so much quieter with hardly any noise intrusion from the engine or road surface.

The 2.2-litre 2WD Sport Nav with the manual gear change is impressive with a nice gear change movement.

Out on the road it has good mid-range acceleration and the driving is enhanced with nicely weighted steering which provides accurate turn-in on twisty country bends and hardly any body roll to notice.

One advantage the original and now this latest version has over most rivals is the spacious amount of leg both in the front and rear of the cabin while boot space is decent too - 506 litres with the rear seats in use rising to 1,620 litres when they are dropped down.

Drivers will also appreciate Mazda's now renowned SKYACTIV system which helps improve fuel economy.

Whatever model the overall ride and drive is much smoother and quieter and this latest CX-5 is all round better in terms of comfort and lower noise levels.

The more budget conscious buyer looking at the high levels of standard equipment on the SE-L Nav models won't be disappointed - it has much more on offer than before and includes an impressive list of privacy glass, LED headlights and fog lamps, front and rear parking sensors, heated auto power folding door mirrors, rain sensing front wipers and more.


Mazda CX-5 2.2 Sport Nav Manual

Price: £28,695

Mechanical: 148bhp, 2,198cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 127mph

0-62mph: 9.4 seconds

Combined MPG: 56.5

Insurance Group: 20

C02 emissions: 132g/km

Bik rating: 28%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles


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