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13 Sep 2017

What We Dislike
Brakes don't bite as well as we'd hoped

The second generation Mazda CX-5 ups the ante with handsome looks and a cabin that challenges the notion of a non-premium interior.

The Mazda brand isn't typically associated with high-end, premium cars. Its lineup of more affordable family cars has placed it as a brand for the everyday man. The second generation Mazda CX-5, however, proves otherwise.

A redesigned front end gives the CX-5 a more aggressive stance

The original CX-5 was a pioneering model for Mazda, as it was the first in a new generation of models to feature the marque's 'KODO: Soul of Motion' design language and SkyActiv technology. Now, its successor brings to the table a more aggressive stance, sharper looks and a slew of other enhancements.


A more aggressive front end stands out as one of the CX-5's more defining features, with a sharper radiator grille and adaptive LED head lights, which came on our test car.

19-inch shoes contribute to a more commanding road presence

Adding to the CX-5's sporty character is its unique Soul Red Crystal paintwork, while 19-inch aluminium wheels cap off the SUV's more commanding road presence.
It's not all about looks, though. A 2.5-litre SkyActiv-G engine in the Super Luxury variant, which we drove, will pull the 1,600kg Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV) from 0-100km/h in a respectable 8.9 seconds, and on to a top speed of 196km/h. Not too shabby for a mid-size SUV.

The naturally aspirated engine, putting out 192bhp and 257Nm of torque, responds well to throttle inputs and feels eager to go at every tap of the foot.

The brakes, on the other hand, don't bite as well as we had hoped. It is smooth and predictable but the brake pedal on the CX-5 requires a slightly heavier foot to get the car to a complete stop.

192bhp and 257Nm of torque from the 2.5-litre engine will power the 1.6-tonne SUV without fuss

Ride comfort, on the other hand, is a pleasant welcome, thanks to a suspension setup that soaks up bumps in the road with aplomb.

In terms of fuel economy, the 2.5-litre Mazda is a sipper, with an average fuel consumption of 13.5km/L that we managed to get during our time with it.

All in

The CX-5 pushes the boundaries of what a non-premium interior is. Decked out in stitched leather trim and other soft-touch materials, its cabin is where the magic happens. Hop into the driver's seat and you'll find an ergonomic layout with easy-to-reach controls.

The CX-5's cabin refinement questions the notion of a non-premium interior

Most notable of which is the rotary dial that controls the infotainment system. It's placed on the centre console, closer to the driver, to allow for easy operation of the Mazda Connect system. This means you won't have to be hunched forward to fiddle with a touchscreen, which isn't exactly a safe driving position to be in.

An easy-to-use rotary dial on the centre console controls an intuitive infotainment system

The infotainment system itself is snappy and intuitive, with features that you'd expect from most modern cars such as navigation, media and Bluetooth connectivity.
An extensive list of driver assistance systems also come as standard in the Super Luxury variant. These include a Lane Keep Assist System, Lane Departure Warning System and a Smart City Brake System.

A part-digital instrument cluster displays driving information such as trip meters, speed and fuel consumption figures while an Active Driving Display on the windscreen offers a minimalistic, less distracting view of this information for those who wish to keep their eyes on the road all the time.

Enjoy your favourite tunes in superior sound quality through the 10-speaker Bose sound system

Smokin' aces

The CX-5 has got a few aces up its sleeve. One of which is a 10-speaker Bose sound system that features new silk dome tweeters in the A-pillars, as well as Bose's own Audiopilot2 ambient noise compensation system and Centerpoint2 surround sound system. These fancy terms just mean that the Bose sound system provides great audio quality for anything ranging from EDM to Rock music.

It may seem like the Mazda CX-5 is biting off more than it can chew as it pits itself against strong contenders in the extremely competitive mid-size SUV segment. But from what we have seen, the Japanese 'underdog' has upped its ante and should well hold its own.

After all, if its few aces up its sleeve isn't enough for buyers, we're sure the top notch cabin and dynamic driveability will.

Car Information



: -

Engine Type


4-cylinder 16-valve DOHC SkyActiv

Engine Cap





143kW (192 bhp) / 6000 rpm



258 Nm / 4000 rpm



6-speed (A)

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)



Top Speed



Fuel consumption



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