The Mazda CX-5 has been one of the best-selling SUVs for a decade, but the top-spec versions can be expensive. We find out if they are worth the spend.
Mazda has six CX-5 variants in its range, offering the choice of front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive and four engine options – three petrol and one diesel. Prices start from $33,990 for the CX-5 Maxx with a manual transmission and rise to $55,990 for the range-topping, diesel-powered Akera. We are testing the CX-5 GT SP Turbo priced at $52,990 drive-away. The SP scores a range of styling tweaks, including big 19-inch alloy wheels, black exterior highlights, and contrast red stitching on the seats and dash. A luxe interior, comprehensive, and svelte looks help to justify the price.
The punchy 2.5-liter turbo engine is worth the extra $2500 over the smaller 2.0-liter. Mazda takes care of owners with a five-year/unlimited km warranty, and servicing is respectable at about $1800 over five years. A big 10.25-inch infotainment screen is controlled by a rotary dial and is compatible with Apple CarPlay and . Satellite navigation and digital radio are also standard. Unlike many , the CX-5 does with analog dials and needles in front of the driver and a small information screen on the dash. On the SP, a head-up display makes up for this by projecting your speed and the prevailing speed limit onto the windscreen. It will also warn if there’s a car in your blind spot. There are two USB charging points in the center storage bin, but the lack of wireless .
All thatyou a very plush cabin. The GT SP’s interior is a step above mainstream rivals, layered in soft-touch leather and classy surface treatments. Well-bolstered, heated faux leather and suede front seats are ideal for long-haul . The quiet cabin and softish suspension soak up most road imperfections, although settling over bigger bumps can take a fraction. Rear seat passengers have ample head and legroom, two air vents, and a center armrest USB plug-in. Boot space is decent at 442 liters, and the power tailgate is handy.
The CX-5 will brake automatically if it detects a potential collision with a car, but not pedestrians or cyclists. Lane-keep assist and a lane-departure warning will help you stay on the straight and narrow. Rear cross-traffic alert helps when reversing out of your drive, and blind-spot alert keeps an eye on the lane next to you.
The GT SP’s 2.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes 170kW and 420Nm, delivering ample grunt low down for easy acceleration and effortless overtaking and hill climbing. The six-speed transmission does an excellent job of keeping the engine humming along in its sweet spot, while light and direct steering make for an engaging drive. The CX-5 sits high on the road and, as a result, leans a little through corners. It could also do with better tires. Claimed fuel use is optimistic at 8.2L/100km, and we saw, but it only requires regular unleaded petrol.
The CX-5 GT SP is stylish, well-equipped, and has a beefy turbo engine, making for a compelling and well-rounded family SUV.