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First drive: 2015MY Mazda CX-5. Image by Mazda.

First drive: 2015MY Mazda CX-5
A refresh for 2015 brings the already good Mazda CX-5 back under the spotlight.

 



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2015 Mazda CX-5

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5

Mazda updates its CX-5 crossover with new interior, more equipment and a fresh look, though only top of the range models get the latter.

Test Car Specifications

Model tested: Mazda CX-5 2.2 SkyActiv-D 150hp Sport Nav
Price: 26,695
Engine: 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel
Transmission: front-wheel drive, six-speed manual
Body style: five-door crossover
CO2 emissions: 119g/km (Band C, 30 per year)
Combined economy: 61.4mpg
Top speed: 126mph
0-62mph: 9.2 seconds
Power: 150hp at 4,500rpm
Torque 380Nm at 1,800 - 2,600rpm
Boot space: 502- to 1,620 litres
EuroNCAP ratings: adult: 94%; child: 87%; pedestrian: 64%; safety assist: 86%

What's this?

Has it really been three years since the Mazda CX-5 first arrived? Time for a facelift then, only a very mild one though with a new grille, swanky LED lights and a slight redesign of the fog light aperture differentiating the 2015 model from the one that preceded it. In the most bizarre facelift since Mickey Rourke the CX-5's only applies to top spec Sport Nav models. Those plumbing for the cheaper SE-L models will have to make do with the existing looks. Thankfully that's no bad thing as the CX-5 is a good looking car as is, but it does seem odd.

Inside it's a different story. No matter what specification you opt for you will be rewarded with an all-new interior, inspired by the one from the Mazda3. The passenger seat now gets height adjustment to match the driver's seat; while the centre tunnel has been redesigned around a new electronic handbrake that gives the rotary dial (which controls the infotainment system) more space. And it's a good thing too as the infotainment system is more in-depth and better than before. No more does the screen sit forlornly in the middle of the dash surrounded by sub-par switchgear; instead the seven-inch unit sits proudly atop the dashboard looking a lot smarter. This is the heart of the MZD Connect system that brings DAB radio and smartphone connectivity into your CX-5. There is also a pair of USB ports to charge your smartphone or connect to the system to listen to your music.

There are higher quality materials used throughout the cabin and neat touches - such as the climate control display being backlit in white rather than orange - that bring a more 'premium' feel to the Mazda crossover. It is more refined too with extra sound deadening used throughout the cabin and even the wing mirrors and 'shark-fin' aerial have been re-profiled to cut down on wind noise.

Sport Nav models can be optionally fitted with Mazda's latest range of safety technology including Adaptive LED Headlights (ALH), Lane-keep Assist System (LAS), Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) and Driver Attention Alert (DAA).

How does it drive?

The CX-5 has always been one of the 'sportiest' crossovers to drive and the changes have done little to diminish that. Sure the extra refinement does detract a little from the aural attachment to the experience but it is a price worth paying. The 2.2-litre SkyActiv diesel engine pulls well from low revs and, thanks to its unusually low compression ratio, runs high into the rev range without running out of puff. With 380Nm of torque on hand this is hardly surprising but the way that torque pulls the car out of corners on the twisty Spanish test route is. The unit seems unperturbed by catching it in the wrong gear or completely flummoxing a gear change; it always has the firepower required to pull you through.

Which is one reason you will never see the official combined economy figure of 61.4mpg - the CX-5 is just too much fun to drive. Yes the steering is a touch light, but it is direct, offers decent response and is paired with one of the finest manual gearboxes in a car of this ilk. Take the 'based on the one from the MX-5' marketing line with a pinch of salt but the six-speed transmission is nicely weighted with a slick change.

Verdict

If you were already in the market for a Mazda CX-5 it may be worth holding out until this 'new' car arrives to benefit from the updated interior. For everyone else... yes it is good looking and drives well but it did so before and this update doesn't really bring enough to the table to have you bang down the door to the dealership in any more of a hurry.

4 4 4 4 4 Exterior Design

4 4 4 4 4 Interior Ambience

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Passenger Space

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Luggage Space

4 4 4 4 4 Safety

4 4 4 4 4 Comfort

3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5 Driving Dynamics

4 4 4 4 4 Powertrain


Paul Healy - 16 Apr 2015









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2015 Mazda CX-5. Image by Max Earey.2015 Mazda CX-5. Image by Max Earey.2015 Mazda CX-5. Image by Max Earey.2015 Mazda CX-5. Image by Max Earey.2015 Mazda CX-5. Image by Max Earey.

2015 Mazda CX-5. Image by Max Earey.2015 Mazda CX-5. Image by Max Earey.2015 Mazda CX-5. Image by Max Earey.2015 Mazda CX-5. Image by Max Earey.2015 Mazda CX-5. Image by Max Earey.



2015 Mazda CX-5. Image by Mazda.
 

2015 Mazda CX-5. Image by Mazda.
 

2015 Mazda CX-5. Image by Mazda.
 

2015 Mazda CX-5. Image by Mazda.
 

2015 Mazda CX-5. Image by Mazda.
 

2015 Mazda CX-5. Image by Mazda.
 

2015 Mazda CX-5. Image by Mazda.
 

2015 Mazda CX-5. Image by Mazda.
 






 

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