FAMILY FAVOURITE: CX-5 is one of the best all-rounders and proves to be a practical, economical, comfortable and decent fun to steer
FAMILY FAVOURITE: CX-5 is one of the best all-rounders and proves to be a practical, economical, comfortable and decent fun to steer

Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring review

ALL-wheel drive, all conditions, all conquering. The Mazda CX-5 has been another success story for the Japanese brand.

The marque sits in an enviable position by having major players in Australia's biggest selling motoring segments.

Arriving earlier this year was the more compact CX-3, but its bigger brother remains a family favourite Down Under.

During June the CX-5 was entrenched in the top 10 sellers and the number one SUV - not including the more hardcore offerings such as the Toyota HiLux or Ford Ranger.

Our experience behind the wheel was in the Grand Touring edition, or GT for short, which comes with a long list of features and should reach the bitumen for about 45 grand once all costs are considered.

Comfort

Pure white leather creates a prestige ambience which we've come to expect from cars with double (if not triple) this price tag. You can choose the black trim, and that may be the more sensible option for families, although the white does look spectacularly good.

Minor interior changes from the previous model have created a more upmarket persona.

PLUSH: Pure white leather creates a prestige ambience expected from far more pricey premium brands
PLUSH: Pure white leather creates a prestige ambience expected from far more pricey premium brands

The operations displayed on the 17.7cm colour screen are controlled via a console dial and it all works relatively cohesively. Flicking between audio sources takes some practice, and some features can be challenging at first as finding your way through takes some analysis - like selecting radio bands and external sources.

Buttons and dials are within arm's reach of the driver but we think the fonts could do with an overhaul for a more contemporary edge.

The CX-5 offers accommodation for five adults, although things can be squishy across the rear bench seat. Those in the front get particularly good seats which are supportive in all the right spots, while head and leg room remains excellent for a mid-sizer no matter which row you're sitting.

On the road

This 2.5-litre four-cylinder is the petrol choice for those who want some extra oomph under their right foot.

While still no dragster we found it a perfect accomplice for daily family duties.

"Sport" mode has been introduced and that makes better use of the lower gears within the six-speed automatic box. Although drivers seeking a truly athletic performance would be better served by high-end Europeans at the cost of the bank balance.

Additional sound absorbing materials help deliver a hushed ride in all circumstances and the overall driving experience is one of minimal fuss and ease of operation.

2015 Mazda CX-5 Photo: Contributed
2015 Mazda CX-5 Photo: Contributed

What do you get?

Basic equipment is well looked after across all CX-5s, although the GT gets some extra cool kit. Its complementary items include automatic wipers and lights, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, 17.7cm touch-screen display with Bluetooth capability, reverse camera along with parking sensors front and back, power adjustable front seats, sunroof, 19-inch alloys, keyless entry with push-button start and a pumping Bose stereo with nine speakers.

Safety is five-star courtesy of six airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control, hill launch assist and emergency stop signal, and you can also option a $1060 pack that incorporates blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and a Smart City Brake Support that can help avoid or lessen the impact of a crash.

Other options

Some pretty hot competition comes from the Ford Kuga Trend ($39,240), Honda CR-V DTi-S ($38,290), Subaru Forester 2.0D-L ($37,490), Mitsubishi Outlander LS ($39,490), Toyota RAV4 GXL ($39,190) and Nissan X-Trail TS ($35,680).

Practicality

An electric park brake enables additional flexibility through the console, which includes dual cup holders (each door can also hold a one-litre bottle), the dial to operate the main control system, storage nook next to the USB jacks and an excellent little spot which fits the key perfectly.

Boot space up to the tonneau cover welcomes a pair of large suitcases at 400 litres, and the brilliant 40-20-40 split of the rear seatbacks makes for an excellent flat load space of 1560 litres. You can pull handles from the boot to drop the seats individually and the lifting tonneau cover that is attached to the boot lid is brilliant thinking.

SPACIOUS: Rear seats do a 40-20-40 split to make a flat load space of 1560-litres.
SPACIOUS: Rear seats do a 40-20-40 split to make a flat load space of 1560-litres.

Running costs

The annual motoring clubs' surveys have been done, and the CX-5 rated highly for its ease on the bank balance once it leaves the showroom. That takes into considering varying factors, including maintenance, insurance and depreciation.

Capped price servicing is at the lower end of the scale and we achieved about eight litres for every 100km which is pretty close to the official figure.

Funky factor

We love a Mazda. The 3 has been one of the nation's most popular offerings and it seems the marque's Kodo design language is speaking directly to Aussies.

Well-proportioned with strong lines, the CX-5 is quite the looker without sacrificing internal flexibility.

The lowdown

For those with a CX-5 sitting in their driveway, they can be justified in their buying decision.

This is one of the best all-rounders we've driven in this genre.

Mazda has delivered a high-riding wagon with minor, if any, deficiencies in an attractive and good value package.

2015 Mazda CX-5 Photo: Contributed
2015 Mazda CX-5 Photo: Contributed

What matters most

What we liked: Good looks, easy to drive, simple-to-fold rear seats, difficult to fault in any area.

What we'd like to see: Additional safety features standard, improvements to Mazda connect system for easier use.

Warranty and servicing: Three-year or 100,000 kilometre warranty with servicing every 10,000km. Capped price servicing is available, the average price is $312. Premium oil will also cost an extra $16 per service, and cabin/engine filters are about $60 every few years.

 

Vital statistics

Model: Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring.

Details: Five-door all-wheel drive five-seat mid-size sports utility vehicle.

Engine: 2.5 litre in-line four-cylinder petrol generating maximum power of 138kW @ 5700rpm and peak torque of 250Nm @ 4000rpm.

Transmission: Six-speed automatic.

Consumption: 7.4 litres/100km (combined average).

CO2: 172 grams/km.

Bottom line: $43,390.

2015 Mazda CX-5 Photo: Contributed
2015 Mazda CX-5 Photo: Contributed

Broncos boss addresses Bennett saga

Broncos boss addresses Bennett saga

“There’s no risk to Wayne’s contract in 2019.”

Thommo the koala is one of the lucky few

Thommo the koala is one of the lucky few

More than 330 koalas were admitted to the RSPCA hospital

Why earning $170k isn’t enough

Why earning $170k isn’t enough

Cash Confessions: How this mum spends her $170k income

Local Partners