Mazda CX-5 (2017) Review

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Mazda CX-5 (2017) At A Glance


+Enjoyable to drive, head-turning looks, upmarket interior.

-Touchscreen looks a bit cheap compared to rivals. Petrol feels slow compared to turbocharged rivals. Diesel can be noisy when revved.

Insurance Groups are between 15–21
On average it achieves 87% of the official MPG figure

Crossovers and SUVs are where the family money goes these days, with many buyers resigned that their usefulness does come with some compromises in style or driver appeal. The Mazda CX-5 defies that norm though, being both good looking and entertaining behind the wheel.

That’s enough to make it one to recommend among SUV rivals like the Volkswagen Tiguan, SEAT Ateca, Honda CR-V, as well as the vast array of crossover competition headed by Nissan’s huge-selling Qashqai.

Mazda has never been afraid to buck convention and it’s obvious with the CX-5. The styling is bold and distinctive, with a pronounced grille and tapered headlights being very dramatic, making for a shapely SUV.

That’s hugely refreshing alongside the CX-5’s rather prosaically-styled competitors. The surface detailing along its sides, as well as the distinctive rear lights mean it’s got seriously head-turning kerb appeal, which is helped no small part by its relative scarcity in the UK in comparison to omnipresent rivals like Nissan’s Qashqai.

It’s sharp and attractive looking enough to put it up against many premium rivals, it feeling upmarket enough to elevate it above its mainstream competition. That’s largely true inside, the cabin having some flair, though it’s not at the expense of user-friendliness, or space.

The range of engines is, somewhat unsurprisingly, dominated by diesel choices, specifically a 2.2-litre turbodiesel which Mazda dubs Skyactiv-D. It is available in either 150PS or 184PS outputs, mated to either a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The lower powered version is the big seller, and can be had in either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive, the higher output 184PS model only coming with all-wheel drive.

If you’re put off by diesels, Mazda does offer a sole 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G petrol engine in the CX-5, it developing 165PS and mated to the six-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox and front-wheel drive only. It's a naturally-aspirated engine, which will feel slow if you're used to a turbocharged petrol - but it's refined and is likely to be reliable.

Three trim choices are offered, and they’re all comprehensively equipped. SE-L Nav offers the best value for money, featuring 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights with daytime running lights, dual-zone climate control, a 7-inch touchscreen with navigation, internet app integration, DAB radio, four USB sockets, aux-in, Bluetooth telephone connection and safety equipment like Smart City Brake Support, Stability and traction control and Isofix child seat anchors in the outside rear seats.

While the Mazda CX-5 isn't an obvious choice like more conventional rivals, it's a classy offering in a competitive sector. Its engine line-up doesn't shine, but its interior is practical and upmarket and it's great to drive.


Looking for a Mazda CX-5 (2017 on)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Real MPG average for a Mazda CX-5 (2017)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

28–60 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

Satisfaction Index

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What's the most reliable automatic family car?
"I have a 2013 Audi A3 with a DSG gearbox that has to be replaced. I'm looking to sell it and buy an automatic petrol family car. I'm confused about the choice as I'm looking for a reliable choice but I want to avoid the problems on automatic gearboxes in the VW group. Can you please advice me about which car I should consider? Many thanks."
Mazda fits its automatic cars with a reliable torque-converter gearbox – you can choose from cars like the Mazda 3 hatchback or the CX-5 SUV.
Answered by Russell Campbell
I need a car with a high seating position and large boot. What should I consider?
"I'm looking for a two or three year old lowish mileage car with boot space equivalent to or greater than my Focus estate. I'm considering a Mondeo estate or possibly something more exciting like an Audi A4 estate. Manual and probably petrol as I have heard that newer diesels are prone to problems unless they are doing plenty of longer journeys. I also wonder if I should consider an SUV, which might be easier for an older person to get in and out of and I like a higher driving position. What do you think I should consider? Thank you."
A crossover or SUV will be easier for access. The raised driving position will make it easier to get in and out, while the tall roof will provide a lot more practicality than your Focus Estate. I would recommend a two-year-old Honda CR-V or similar aged Mazda CX-5. Both are good to drive with decent sized boots. They also have excellent reputations for reliability.
Answered by Dan Powell
Can you recommend a car that'll fit a baby seat?
"I need to change my Mazda CX-3 for something larger to accommodate an Isofix baby seat in the back, plus have decent legroom for a 6ft passenger in the back. It also needs a roomy boot, big enough to take the baby’s pushchair and accessories. I was thinking of a Mazda CX-5, Peugeot 3008 or BMW 2 Series Active Tourer. Would a smaller SUV like a Renault Captur, Peugeot 2008 or Citroen C3 be big enough? My budget is approx £17,000. Thanks."
The Mazda CX5 is the best car in your list. It was recently rated as one of the UK's best SUVs in our latest Satisfaction Index:
Answered by Dan Powell
Can you suggest a good value, reliable SUV?
"I'm considering changing my Audi A4 and looking for an SUV or estate car that's good value and reliable. I like the Skoda Karoq, however, I have concerns about reliability issues listed on your site. My budget is about £25,000 and I'm looking to buy low milage, used car with a good warranty. Any suggestion would be gratefully accepted. Many thanks."
Buy a Mazda CX-5. It's one of the most stylish SUVs on sale right now and was rated as one of the UK's most-reliable cars in our latest Satisfaction Index: A budget of £25,000 should get you a high spec 2020 CX-5 with delivery mileage:
Answered by Dan Powell

What does a Mazda CX-5 (2017) cost?