Mazda CX-5 2.2 Sport

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

THERE'S an old adage that says: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" and that may be true, but there is always room for improvement as Mazda has proven with its classy CX-5 SUV.

It's the car that introduced Mazda's SKYACTIV technology along with the company's KODO: Soul and Motion design philosophy when it was launched back in 2012 and it scooped numerous awards for its combination of style, driving dynamics and efficiency.

And with global sales topping the 1.5 million mark, it now accounts for almost a quarter of Mazda's sales with more than 32,000 CX-5 models purchased here in the UK.

Now, with a fresh look, along with an all-new interior design plus added refinement, Mazda has really raised the bar.

The new CX-5 boasts a lower roofline, a powerful front end with a wider grille, improved lighting and narrower tail lights.

This car, priced at £29,495 which included the option of Soul Red Crystal paint, also boasted 19-inch Gunmetal alloys and a powered tailgate.

Move inside the cabin and it oozes modern styling with a very upmarket and premium feel to it with black leather upholstery and power adjustable heated seats (eight-way for the driver and six-way for the front passenger).

There is a wealth of technology to explore including a 10-speaker Bose sound system, DAB radio, a seven-inch colour touch-screen display with Mazda's integrated navigation system, dual-zone climate control and a head-up display that reflects information directly onto the windscreen rather than via a unit that pops up from the dash on earlier models.

The car was powered by a 2.2-litre 150ps diesel engine mated to a six-speed manual gearbox and it could sprint from 0-62mph in 9.4 seconds and maxed out at 127mph.

According to official figures, the CX-5 could deliver combined fuel economy of 56.5mpg with carbon emissions of 132g/km. I was seeing just over 49mpg which is very close to the official mark.

Many of the latest CX-5's improvements may be under the skin, but they serve a valuable purpose. For example, Mazda engineers have gone to great lengths to reduce noise and vibration levels within the cabin.

A stiffer body, improvements to the steering, suspension and brakes along with the introduction of G-Vectoring Control help to make the compact SUV more comfortable and responsive than its predecessor.

And the dazzling new Soul Red Crystal paint is a new colour choice that's guaranteed to turn heads.

The original CX-5 was a fabulous car to drive and the new version is even better.

It feels sharper and more dynamic in its handling, with greater driver feedback through the steering. It's a car that can be driven with confidence when tackling long sweeping bends and the improved suspension helps to iron out any creases along the way.

There is ample power from the 2.2-litre engine and the gear changes were smooth and responsive making it a car that is happy ambling around town or eating up the motorway miles.

The elevated driving position results in excellent all-round visibility and the space within the cabin is impressive too with ample room for two or three adults in the back.

The boot capacity is 506 litres which is increased to 1,620 litres with the 60:40 split-folding rear seats dropped flat. And there are numerous handy storage compartments scattered throughout the car.

The glovebox is shaped to hold a 10-inch tablet, the console box beneath the centre armrest has a larger capacity and now has a groove to accommodate the power cord of devices attached to the USB - this is a particular pet hate of mine when the box lid has to be left open so it doesn't press down on the wire. In addition all the door pockets have been deepened and their bases now feature a non-slip finish.

FAST FACTS

Mazda CX-5 2.2 Sport Nav

Price: £28,695

Mechanical: 150ps, 2,191cc, 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: 25%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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