Mazda CX-5 Mid-Size Family SUV

The Mazda CX-5 is a mid-size family SUV, which aims to appeal to both driver and passengers. Mazda wants drivers to feel pleasure and enjoyment every time they drive the CX-5, while also keeping friends and family passengers feeling relaxed and comfortable.

Mazda released the CX-5 in 2012, and it's gone on to achieve sales of over 1.5million units. In 2017 the second generation was released, improving on areas highlighted by customer feedback, which included the interior quality and the CX-5's styling. In a competitive market, competing against strong opposition such as the Ford Kuga, Nissan Qashqai and VW Tiguan, it was vital for Mazda to improve. The Mazda CX-5 now surprisingly, accounts for around 25% of all Mazda global sales.

For 2019 Mazda has added a new trim level and also made minor revisions across the CX-5 inside and out. There are now three different trim levels available starting with the base model SE-L Nav+, moving on to the Sport Nav+ and finally the new, top of the range GT Sport Nav+.


Mazda has not changed much of the shape and size of the CX-5, as there's no need to change something that isn't broke. They have, however, cleverly restyled the headlights and taillights, making them slimmer and sleeker to give a sportier appearance. A wider grille and more prominent bonnet also make the CX-5 stand out that little bit more and will help to turn heads, as you cruise through town. Mazda has always been good at designing and building gorgeous looking cars, that look classy and modern but also practical and unassuming. The Mazda CX-5 is no different and is one of the more attractive family SUVs on the market.

Continue reading the yoauto review to help you decide if the Mazda CX-5 is the right car for you. If the CX-5 doesn't tick all of your boxes, then don't forget to visit our Used Car buying page, where you will find thousands of cars available across the UK at excellent prices.

Petrol/Diesel and Transmissions selections

The Mazda CX-5 is available with a choice of petrol or diesel engines which are both 'old school' non-turbocharged, naturally aspirated. Each engine comes with a choice of either the Skyactiv –Drive, 6-speed automatic or the Skyactiv –MT 6-speed Manual transmission. Both transmission selections work smoothly with any of the engines. All engines come as standard with FWD, apart from the top of the range diesel engine which comes as AWD.

The Skyactiv-G, 2-litre petrol engine develops 165HP and is the only petrol engine available across the CX-5 range. It will get from 0-62mph in 9.8secs and keep going to a top speed of 119mph. It's not exactly quick, but this isn't a car built to be fast and exciting; it's a gentle cruiser. The let down with the petrol engine is in its performance. It needs more power and grunt, in my opinion, so you don't have to rev so hard to get it to move.


The Skyactiv-D, 2.2-litre diesel engine develops two power outputs, 150HP and 184HP. Both diesel engines perform well and pull strongly, even from low revs, feeling more like a turbocharged petrol engine. The more powerful, of the two diesel engines, is only available in AWD, which makes an impact on the weight, performance and economy of the CX-5.

The Mazda CX-5 handles well around bends and road surfaces. The steering is responsive and provides more feedback than a lot of its rivals. The CX-5 now features Mazda's new stability software they call 'G-Vectoring Control'. The system processes information from the engine, chassis and transmissions to monitor the drivers steering input. It then adjusts the torque electronically to move the weight around, therefore keeping the car at its most stable.

Improved Interior Quality

The previous Mazda CX-5 interior was something of a letdown. The materials felt of poor quality, the dashboard layout was a bit bland, and it was in desperate need of modernising to keep up with current trends. Mazda has addressed this, and the new interior has a more expensive feeling with lots of soft-touch plastics, leather, aluminium wood and other trim features mixed throughout the cabin. It now feels more of a 'premium' brand.

All CX-5's come with the Mazda Connect infotainment system with a 7-inch touchscreen. All models also come with Sat-Nav, LED Headlights, dual-zone climate control A/C and smartphone connectivity. This uses Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, to name just a few.


Sport Nav+ and GT Sport Nav+ models get larger 19inch wheels, a premium 10 speaker Bose sound system, electric tailgate, electric leather seats and a new colour head-up display and other luxury upgrades.

Spacious and Practical and Safety

The Mazda CX-5 has always provided a decent amount of space both inside the cabin and in the boot. The new model is no different. There is more than enough room in the front for tall adults to get comfortable and stretch their legs. There are lots of storage pockets of varying sizes, to allow for everything to find a home. In the rear, headroom is not an issue; however, leg/knee room is not as good, although still on a par with the likes of Ford Kuga and VW Tiguan.

The boot space is relatively good at 503-litres. It trumps the Ford Kuga and Nissan Qashqai who can hold 456 and 430-litres respectively. The Volkswagen Tiguan outshines them all with a potential 615-litres, once the rear seats are adjusted forwards.


The Mazda CX-5 comes with a whole array of safety features and systems as standard. Some of these are blindspot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, Mazda radar cruise control, multiple airbags and Advanced Smart City Brake Support (SCBS). All of these features have assisted the CX-5 in achieving the maximum 5-star rating, from the Euro NCAP safety tests.

Is the Mazda CX-5 a real family SUV contender?

The Mazda CX-5 is most certainly a dramatic step up from its dull predecessor. It looks better than most of its rivals and will sit proudly on any driveway. The interior is now modern, sleek and fashionable. The engines are economical and efficient, although others perform stronger due to the lack of power in the CX-5. Hopefully, this will change with the introduction of Mazda's new Skyactiv X engine, with additional power and performance promised. For now, though the Mazda CX-5 is undoubtedly a serious contender in the mid-size family SUV sector and will be highly popular with families and company car drivers alike.

Author image

Stuart Porro

Stuart is a nationally and internationally recognised automotive content creator. Reviewing cars for some of the biggest names in the four wheeled world, you can catch him right here on Yoauto.
  • Kent