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Mazda CX-5 review

29/08/2021 Mazda’s CX-5 family SUV has been given a make-over gets and we’re testing it on Irish roads. The CX-5 is a five seat SUV with surprisingly enjoyable handling. Despite its tall and commanding driving position it is relatively precise and rewarding to drive – in keeping with Mazda’s ethos. The latest version looks sharp and very smart. Petrol heads can enjoy the twin exhaust pipes – before they are demonised in the not so distant future as a conduit for emissions. Another design element to appreciate are the SUV-like full length doors that help keep passenger’s clothes clean getting in and out, and of course mud out of the car!

Electrification is due in the car’s next guise, so for now, its powered by fossil fuels only. Under the bonnet you can have a choice of a 2-litre petrol or 2.2-litre 150hp SkyActiv-D diesel engine. Our test car has a SkyActiv-G petrol engine that pushes out 165hp and 213nm of torque. The engine is very efficient yet don’t be fooled by its large 2 litre displacement as the driving experience can feel quite sluggish under your right foot.

0-100km/h takes a leisurely 10.3 seconds and top speed is 204km/h. Emissions for a petrol engine are low at 152g/km CO2 and average fuel consumption is quoted at 6.7L/100km. As a cruiser the front wheel drive CX-5 works very well.

Inside you can have drilled pedals, a dog guard, nice lighting options or even a colour coded key fob! Standard kit is good with LED front and rear lights, cruise control and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to name a few. Level 2 ‘GT’ adds leather and GT Sport and Lux get a Bose round system, a heated steering wheel and lots of driving assistance safety features also (lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, radar cruise control, smart brake support and advanced blind spot monitoring. You can specify some interesting options too like a retractable tow bar, spoiler pack, various air dam skirting and other garnishes to personalise your CX-5’s exterior.

The petrol CX-5 has a starting price of €32,495. The diesel starts from €38,225. GS-L, GT, GT Sport and GT Lux are the grades available. Our ‘GT Lux’ grade six-speed manual test car cost €42,690. If you want the clever four wheel drive system you have to buy diesel and 4WD pricing starts from €52,370 (184hp GT Lux manual). Emissions based taxation is not kind to the Mazda CX-5 with values ranging from 152g/km to 173g/km.

The Mazda CX-5 is a handsome and stealthy car. 10 exterior colour options including the gorgeous Soul Red Crystal are available. If you get the level 3 or 4 grades (i.e. GT or GT Lux) the five-door comes with enough ‘goodies’ to deliver a premium experience. The CX-5 is a well executed compact SUV that does what it says on the tin and more. Michael Sheridan

Michael Sheridan
Michael Sheridan
Michael Sheridan is a senior and highly respected motoring journalist based in Ireland. He is a frequently heard voice on motoring, transport and mobility matters and has multiple credits on national television, national print media, national and local radio and other outlets. Michael Sheridan has been a Car of the Year Judge for more 25 years (& a similar time as a Van of the Year judge). Michael is also an award winning filmmaker. He has produced and directed many international and national motoring TV programmes and documentaries both on cars and motorcycles - including four films on the iconic Route 66. Michael Sheridan is a former Chairperson of the Association of Professional Motoring Press and is a member of the MMAI (motoring media association of Ireland).
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