MOTORING: New Mazda CX-5, reviewed by Tim Barnes-Clay…

New CX-5
Tim Barnes-Clay
Tim Barnes-Clay

The Japanese-made CX-5 has always been a handsome motor. So, it’s no shocker that because of its mix of style, driving dynamics and economy, the car has seen 1.5 million sales internationally.

Mazda’s design crew had its work cut out to perfect something that, quite honestly, didn’t need perfecting further. But, what they’ve done is sharpen up the SUV, so everything looks tauter and fresher. It’s more than just a beautification, though – improvements have been applied all over. And that involves an all-new cabin.

The 2017 CX-5 features a lower roofline and smoother sides. These changes accentuate its posture and erudite proportions. Inside, Mazda has fused scrupulous cockpit ergonomics with a chic, sizable cabin.

Born out of the Japanese car-maker’s ‘Jinba-Ittai’ car-and-driver-as-one belief, the latest CX-5 offers fresh stratums of comfort and driver engagement. Test-driving the 2.2 150ps 2WD Sport Nav Auto, it’s clear Mazda has also cut vibration and clamour within the cabin. I drove the new model in rain-drenched Inverness – and the SUV managed to subdue the sound of the deluge, which went on for 24 hours, solid.

Even though I saw some car accidents, undoubtedly caused by aquaplaning, I was able to push the Mazda CX-5 enough to note the SUV’s handling precision is better than ever. In some ways, the wet weather was a blessing, as the Scotch mist forced us to fully concentrate on the test drive, rather than gawp like tourists at the Cairngorms. Because of that, we even became conscious of the CX-5’s stiffer body rigidity, (15 per cent firmer than the first-generation car).

But, the way the 2017 Mazda CX-5 drives is far more enchanting and comfy, due to the introduction of G-Vectoring Control (GVC). This essentially imitates the weight-transfer methods racing car drivers employ. It makes road cars piloted by average folk, like you and me, handle like they’re in the hands of a pro-driver. But it’s not all about the driver – GVC makes your passengers feel more chilled.

The 2.2 150ps 2WD Sport Nav Auto is just so easy-going to drive. The 0-62mph time is 10.1secs, and the top speed of 124mph is more than adequate. Perhaps more crucially, you can also expect over 50mpg on an average run, while CO2 productions are 147g/km.

All 2017 CX-5s are furnished well, with interior kit, such as dual-zone climate control, DAB radio and a touch-screen display with sat-nav. The Sport Nav trim adds an eight-way electrically alterable driver’s seat, a reversing camera, and smart keyless entry. A heated steering wheel and heated front seats are also a bonus. But I’ve saved the best bit of tackle for last – the Sport Nav features a head-up display that shines information onto the windscreen – and it includes Traffic Sign Recognition. This is great, as it keeps you firmly engrossed on the road ahead – something I needed to be, considering the squally weather north of the border.

There’s no reason why you shouldn’t look at the new Mazda CX-5, if you’re in the market for a compact SUV.

FAST FACTS (1.2-litre GT Line)

  • Max speed: 124mph
  • 0-62 mph: 10.1 secs
  • Combined mpg: 50.4
  • Engine: 2191cc 4-cylinder diesel turbo
  • Max. power (PS): 150
  • CO2: 147g/km
  • Price: £30,195



  • Appearance
  • Comfort
  • Handling
  • Equipment


  • Could be quicker

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