For my family the Mazda CX-5 is the perfect fit, with four adult-sized useable seats to accommodate my two tween-sized children and a good-sized boot for all of their gear. All the hallmarks of Mazda quality are here as well combined with up to date tech and of course all the safety features that you should now expect from a modern vehicle. It is no surprise then that the CX-5 is Mazda’s best-selling SUV in Australia.
There are four different engines available with three petrol and one diesel option plus the choice of front wheel or rear wheel drive. There are six trim levels to choose from, but even the base model Maxx variant comes standard with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and the full suite of Mazda active driver safety features.
These include Blind Spot Monitoring, Emergency Brake Assist, Forward Obstruction Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert and Adaptive Cruise Control. ANCAP tests of the autonomous emergency braking system showed that the system performed well in tests of its effectiveness at highway speeds, with all collisions avoided or mitigated. Overall, the ANCAP score for the Safety Assist systems is 59%.
Passive safety includes front (driver and passenger) airbags, side (front) airbags and curtain (front and rear) airbags. For added convenience this CX-5 had auto wipers, auto lights, high beam control and adaptive front-lighting system. The rear-view camera has one camera view only combined with front and rear parking sensors. All models in the current CX-5 range have a 5-star ANCAP (2017) safety rating with an Adult Occupant Protection score of 36.5 out of 38 (95%) and a Child Occupant Protection score of 39.4 out of 49 (80%).
I recently spent a week with the CX-5 GT SP, which sits just below the top of the line Akera, and found that it drove nicely and had a smooth ride. This GT SP was powered by the 2.5 litre turbo in-line 4-cylinder petrol engine. The i-Activ AWD with Off-Road Traction Assist is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission and there are two drive modes, Normal and Sport. The engine has an adequate amount of power with 170kW and 420Nm of torque, with an official combined fuel consumption of 8.2L/100km and for the week I drove the CX-5 I used 12.7L/100km.
The interior is stylish thanks to the Black Maztex/Black Grand Luxe Synthetic Suede seat trim with contrast red stitching. The stitched door trims and dash adds to the look, as does the leather steering wheel. But I felt the plastic gear shifters mounted to the steering wheel were flimsy and I found it annoying that two central front air vents could not be closed off. Also around the gear selector there is gloss plastic and this attracts dust and on the CX-5 I drove this already had scratches on it.
Both front seats are heated and the driver’s seat has power adjustment for forward/back, recline, front and rear cushion height, 2-way lumbar support and two memory settings to save your perfect driving position. The passenger seat has power adjustment for only forward/back, recline and seat height.
The 10.25-inch full colour widescreen display provides access to all of the vehicle settings and connection to Apple CarPlay/Android Auto. This CX-5 has a Premium Bose 249-watt amplifier and 10 speakers (including subwoofer) and media sources include AM/FM, DAB, Bluetooth, USB audio and USB video.
Other technology on offer includes a comprehensive head-up display and voice control. The voice control is activated by pressing a button on the steering wheel that has a masculine silhouette on it. The voice control worked well making phone calls and setting a destination on the sat nav, and it can also be used for changing the media source.
Storage nooks and cubbies are plentiful and under the arm rest there is a removeable tray at the top with two USB ports and one 12V inside it. The cup holders in the centre console are rigid and at the front of the centre console there is a storage area for a phone and another 12V outlet. The cubbies in the front doors are large enough for a good-sized drink bottle.
The rear seats have ample head and leg room for two adults to comfortably sit back there and the centre seat folds down as an arm rest. At the front of the arm rest there are two cup/drink bottle holders and under the arm rest there is a shallow storage cubby with two USB ports located here. I think this is a very clever idea because it means that there are no cords in the foot well area that could be tripped over.
There are two ISOFIX/three rear tether child seat restraint points for younger passengers and my children liked that there were two central rear air vents. The air vents have manual speed adjustment and direction control and there is good-sized drink bottle storage in the door cubbies.
This CX-5 has a remote-operated power tailgate (open/close) with controls under the boot lid, on the key fob and a button in the cabin. I found it a bit annoying that the key fob buttons were small and located on the side of the fob, making it awkward to press them. I liked that the cargo cover is attached to the boot lid so when it raises up the cargo cover is also lifted up out of your way. The boot is a reasonable size and would most likely fit a stroller and the weekly shop and if extra room is needed the rear seats have a 40:20:40 split folding mechanism. The boot has four tie down points, one 12V outlet and a light, but no hooks. The CX-5 has a temporary use spare tyre.
All new Mazda vehicles sold in Australia come with a five-year, unlimited kilometre warranty with Mazda Premium Roadside Assistance included. Service intervals are every 10,000 km, but no longer than 12 months, whichever comes first and using the Mazda website I calculated that it would cost $1805 for the first five scheduled services on the CX-5 I drove.
Mazda’s mid-sized SUV offers a nice fit for the average sized Australian family and the sales figures reflect this. The Mazda CX-5 GT SP starts at $51,880 excluding on-road costs and as tested with carpet floor mats ($220) and premium paint ($495) the CX-5 I drove was $52,595 excluding on-roads. Visit your preferred Mazda dealer for more information or configure your Mazda CX-5 online.
Pros and Cons of the Mazda CX-5 GT SP
|A perfect sized SUV for my family||Central front air vents could not be closed off|
|Nice ride quality||No hooks in the boot|
|Rear USB ports located in arm rest||Small buttons on the key fob|
Photographs by Driven Women Magazine.