By Breda Corrigan
Providing comfort and safety for the whole family, and an advanced driving experience, the 2021 Mazda CX-5 combines the latest responsive road performance engineering with a spacious interior design and intuitive infotainment system. With its premium KODO: Soul of Motion design, the Mazda CX-5 quickly became a bestseller upon its initial debut, with multiple awards having been won in the intervening years. In fact, over 3 million CX-5’s have been sold in Europe alone since the first generation launched in 2012.
Update for 2021;
The second-generation Mazda CX-5 was launched in 2017 and brought with it a more modern and dynamic style, along with cutting-edge technology and safety features, along with increased comfort for all 5 occupants. The 2021 update brings new infotainment in the form of a 10.25-inch widescreen that is operated by a rotary controller located by the gear lever.
Engine & Transmission Options;
Mazda has great faith in what they refer to as “rightsizing” their engines to their range of cars and SUV’s, as opposed to the more fashionable “downsizing” option taken by many of their competitors. Downsizing theorises that smaller petrol engines use less fuel, and that you can make up for the inevitable power defecit by adding a turbocharger, whereas Mazda simply fits its cars with a larger-capacity naturally-aspirated petrol engine which is big enough to power the cars to which they are fitted, without the need for forced induction. As a result, the smallest engine in the Mazda CX-5 is a 2.0-litre petrol unit (2WD only), which produces 165PS (163bhp) and 213Nm of torque. This Skyactiv-G engine is capable of completing the 0-100km/h sprint in 10.3-seconds, on its way to a top speed of 204km/h (where permitted), while a fuel return of 6.7l/100km (42mpg) is possible on a combined driving cycle (WLTP). A diesel engine (Skyactiv-D) is also available in the Mazda CX-5, with a choice of 150PS (148bhp) in 2WD format, or 184PS (181bhp) when fitted with Mazda’s all-wheel-drive system. Cleverly, the engines in the Mazda CX-5 can shut down two of their four cylinders when cruising and this results in greater fuel efficiency than ever before.
Four Trim Levels;
There are four generously-equipped trim levels to choose from in the Mazda CX-5 – entry-level GS-L, GT, GT Sport and range-topping GT LUX, with a six-speed manual transmission available across all trim levels. A six-speed automatic transmission is reserved for GT Sport and GT LUX specifications, while a 4WD drivetrain is available exclusively in the GT LUX Skyactiv-D model, with annual road tax starting from €270 depending on the engine and transmission chosen. All trim levels in the Mazda CX-5 come with LED headlights, foglights and rear lights, adaptive front lighting, cruise control, G-Vectoring Control Plus, rear privacy glass, heated auto-folding power door mirrors, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto™, ISOFIX brackets, multiple airbags, Hill Hold Assist, auto lights & wipers, electronic handbrake, i-stop/engine start stop button, Smart City Brake Support (front) with pedestrian protection, dual automatic air conditioning, front & rear parking sensors and MyMazda Connected Car service as standard. The already wide range of Mazda Connected services can be expanded using Android or Apple devices, allowing drivers to access their favourite music, messaging and navigation apps, or use voice control – all while keeping their hands safely on the steering wheel. The MyMazda App offers convenient services like remote security alert, vehicle status, route planning and many more. The app also provides an overview of your maintenances schedule, service history and easy access to book an appointment with a Mazda dealer.
My test car was a range-topping Mazda CX-5 GT LUX Skyactiv-G 6-speed manual, finished in stylish Sonic Silver metallic paint with contrasting dark brown Nappa leather seats for a true premium look. In addition to the array of standard equipment found in the other three trim levels, the GT LUX also benefits from Mazda’s amazing Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), front seat ventilation, heated rear setas, wooden decoration trim, frameless auto-dimming rear view mirror, and exclusive 19” alloy wheels for added visual drama. To ensure a well-illuminated field of view and mitigate driver fatigue at night, Mazda’s Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) adjusts the distribution of light according to speed and steering direction, so the lights are always shining in the direction you want to go. The 10.25-inch touchscreen, which is standard across the range, is super wide and has crisp good-looking graphics and an intuitive ‘user interface’ that doesn’t overwhelm you with options or info, while the climate controls have their own physical controls too. The upmarket interior of the CX-5 is adorned with high quality materials throughout, while excellent levels of cabin space ensures maximum comfort for all occupants. Boot space is equally impressive, with 506-litres of cargo space available with the rear seats in position, but fold all seats down and you will find a substantial 1,620-litres of space.
On The Road;
The CX-5 handles with great agility and poise, while the six-speed manual transmission is precise in its operation and adds to the fun driving experience for which Mazda’s cars and SUV’s have become widely known. The CX-5’s standard G-Vectoring Control takes some torque away from the front wheels upon turn in, which shifts weight forward over the front axle. As you accelerate through, and out of the bend, the torque is restored, shifting weight backwards to aid stability. Direct steering, strong road grip and impressive driving dynamics ensure that the CX-5 drives like nothing else in its class.
Verdict, Pricing & Warranty;
Designed and built to celebrate driving, the Mazda CX-5 gives everyone on board a powerful feeling of ‘Jinba Ittai’ (Drive Toghether) – that great feeling of oneness with the car. As an all-round family SUV that is impressively agile, supremely comfortable and technology laden, it is an excellent package indeed. Pricing for the Mazda CX-5 starts at just €32,495 (ex works), with all new Mazda passenger cars coming with a 3-year (100,000km) warranty as standard.