Mazda CX-5 2.0 Sport

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

IN a jam-packed SUV/crossover marketplace you need something to help you stand out from the crowd.

Whether it is design, practicality, comfort, refinement or fuel efficiency there must always be something to grab the attention of a potential buyer.

When it comes to the second generation of the CX-5 it is when you get behind the wheel and start to drive this crossover that you really appreciate its talents.

It is nimble for a relatively big beast with Mazda's G-Vectoring system ensuring agile handling as power to the wheels is directed for maximum effect.

At times the responses are so sharp there's more sports car than SUV in the CX-5's genes. The steering is well weighted and informative while body control in corners and general levels of grip in this front-wheel-drive version are excellent.

The 2.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine, linked to a slick six-speed manual gearbox, is a reasonable performer both in terms of get up and go and fuel economy.

The power unit propels the SUV from 0 to 60 in 10.5 seconds on its way to a top speed of 122mph. Stop/start is fitted to all the CX-5's engine range, which in this case means emissions of 149g/km and average claimed fuel economy of 47.1mpg.

In the real world the miles per gallon figure is a bit lower, but not substantially so, and represents a respectable effort for a pretty big individual.

However, it is likely to be the diesel engines that most buyers opt for with the 2.2-litre unit, available with power outputs of 148 or 173bhp, offering a gutsy performance.

The CX-5 is a refined motor providing a quiet and comfortable ride thanks to effective sound proofing and an efficient suspension. They combine with a relaxing cabin to ensure long journeys are anything but a chore.

The interior benefits from several nice touches including reclining rear seats which also have a drop-down arm rest featuring cup holders and connections for your smart phone.

Four adults are transported in comfort as the cabin has plenty of head, leg and shoulder room, while the boot can easily cope with a family's needs as it boasts space ranging from 506 to 1,620 litres.

Mazda offer the CX-5 in two levels of trim - SE-L Nav and Sport Nav - with all models featuring a natty seven-inch colour touchscreen which is home to an efficient sat nav, as well as a useful auto hold function for the electronic parking brake.

Choose the Sport Nav version and the price increases by £3,000 but you do get eye-catching additions such as a head up display for the driver beamed on to the windscreen as well as 19-inch alloy wheels, a rear view camera and a handy powered tailgate.

Other goodies include a top-notch Bose sound system while useful features for the winter include heat for the front seats and steering wheel, as well as de-icer for the wipers.

The CX-5's price-tag reflects its move upmarket with the range-topping all-wheel-drive diesels now breaking the £30,000 ceiling while this front-wheel-drive petrol-driven version comes in at £26,995.

FAST FACTS

Mazda CX-5 2.0 Sport Nav

Price: £26,995

Mechanical: 165ps, 1,997cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 122mph

0-62mph: 10.5 seconds

Combined MPG: 47.1

Insurance Group: 15

C02 emissions: 149g/km

Bik rating: 30%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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