Mazda CX-5 2.0

Skyactiv-G 165ps

Newground

Mazda CX-5 Newground, 2022, front
Mazda CX-5 Newground, 2022, side
Mazda CX-5 Newground, 2022, rear
Mazda CX-5 Newground, 2022, interior
Mazda CX-5 Newground, 2022, rear seats
Mazda CX-5 Newground, 2022, boot

MAZDA has always been one of the cooler marques when it comes to design - and the latest version of the CX-5 carries on that tradition.

Having undergone a recent refresh the exterior is ruggedly handsome with sleek headlights and smooth lines lending a sporty air to this mid-sized SUV.

The Newground model I drove is one of two new specs introduced to the CX-5 line-up. It sports distinctive snazzy silver front and rear underguard trims that are matched to lower body side skirts, while lime green accents on the black grille also appear on the interior air vents with the black half leatherette seats playing along thanks to matching green piping.

There is privacy glass at the rear for your rock star children to avoid the gaze of the hoi polloi while 19-inch black diamond cut alloy wheels catch the eye.

I particularly like the interior layout with its 10.25-inch screen and rotary dial next to the driver giving access to the many goodies contained within the Mazda Connect infotainment system.

Also handily placed between the driver and front seat passenger are cup holders, somewhere to park your mobile phone and a covered central storage box that doubles as an armrest giving you a place to keep your valuables out of sight.

Smartphone connectivity is a must these days and Mazda is too cute to miss this trick with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto available as well as an efficient sat nav and DAB radio plus other goodies that ensure an impressive kit list is offered.

There is room for three adults in the rear, although a transmission tunnel does hinder legroom for the middle passenger.

A far better solution is to call a taxi for this individual allowing the drop-down armrest sporting two cup holders to come into play between the remaining two passengers.

The boot can cope with 522 litres of shopping and/or luggage, increasing to 1,638 litres when the split-folding rear seats are folded flat.

A smooth ride for all is guaranteed by an efficient suspension that copes admirably with what passes for roads these days while the CX-5 maintains Mazda's record for making cars that are fun to drive.

A decent position behind the leather-covered multi-function steering wheel is guaranteed thanks to powered seats, while the instrument binnacle stylishly offers the data you require.

The 2.0-litre petrol engine, aided and abetted by six-speed manual transmission ensures progress is reasonably rapid with 62mph being hit from a standing start in 10.5 seconds on the way to a claimed top speed of 125mph.

Fuel economy is reasonable at around 40 miles per gallon while carbon dioxide emissions are 153g/km.

A week of mixed motoring that encompassed dual carriageways, country lanes and the urban jungle, showed the CX-5 to be adept at all scenarios thanks to sharp handling and steering that gives a good feel for what was happening on the road. Reach your destination and parking sensors help squeeze the CX-5 into the tightest of spaces. Corners are taken with little body roll despite the CX-5's reasonably upright stance and there is a confidence-inspiring amount of grip from the front-wheel drive motor.

Safety systems are rife so it's no surprise to learn the CX-5 gained the maximum five stars when tested for its Euro NCAP rating.

This was earned through the provision of things like lane keep assist and blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert, while a new cruising and traffic support system that assists with the accelerator, braking and steering in heavy traffic - maintaining a safe distance from the vehicle ahead - is designed to reduce driver fatigue.

FAST FACTS

Mazda CX-5 2.0 Skyactiv-G 165ps Newground

Price:£30,135

Mechanical:165ps, 1,998cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6spd manual gearbox

Max Speed:125mph

0-62mph:10.5 seconds

Combined MPG:41.5

Insurance Group:17

C02 emissions:153g/km

Bik rating:35%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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