The Mazda CX-5 was launched in May 2012 with 18 models on offer and a choice of two engines with three power outputs. It competes against powerful rivals such as the Nissan X-Trail/Qashqai, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV 4 but Mazda's reputation for excellent engines and great driving dynamics make it a worthy contender in this segment.
Available in three trim levels, SE-L, SE-L Lux and Sport Nav with the choice of three 2.0 litre petrol powered two-wheel drive models all equipped with six-speed manual gearboxes. On the diesel front, there are seven 2WD variants and six all-wheel-drive models with the choice of six-speed manual or automatic transmissions, all powered by Mazda's 2.2 diesel engine, that is available with 150 or 175PS power outputs.
Prices start at £22,295 for the entry-level 2WD SE-L petrol 2.0 165ps SE-L and rise to £30,595 for the diesel 2.2 175ps Sport NAV Auto AWD.
We tested the CX-5 2.2D 175ps AWD Sport Nav Diesel priced at the time of testing at £28,695. Our test car was priced at £30,255 including the following options Soul Red Metallic paint £660, Light Stone leather (in lieu of Black) £200 and Safety Pack £700.Driving and Performance
There is a choice of two 2.2-litre diesel engines, with either 150 or 175 PS power outputs. We drove the more powerful 175PS unit which delivers 420Nm of torque from 2,000 rpm. This all equates to a respectable 0-62mph time of 8.8 seconds with a top speed of 129mph.
Official fuel economy figures indicate urban - 47.1 mpg, extra-urban - 60.1 mpg and a combined figure 54.3 mpg with CO2 emissions of 136 g/km. Should you need to know the engine is Euro6 compliant.
The engine is willing with plenty of power on tap but over a 660-mile trip, we were achieving 44.2 to the gallon, which although nowhere near the official data it was not too bad.
There is the obligatory stop / start technology which fortunately can be switched off if you find it as annoying as we do.
Our Sport Nav spec car rode on 19” 225/55 wheels and the ride was on the hard side of comfort, although we did not have any complaints. The CX-5 drives well and on the open road can make good progress. Its superior road manners leave the CR-V and RAV4 trailing well behind - with body roll kept in check and the steering is precise for an SUV.
Mazda probably has some more work to do on road noise and engine intrusion, it is not as refined as some of the competition, and there is a little bit too much vibration.Having tested both the 150 and 175 PS variants, both are very good and if you are looking to save some money the 150PS is powerful enough for most people.
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