During its year-long loan with Fleet News, the Mazda CX-5 has passed through two testers’ hands before reaching me for its final road test.
The reviews have been generally upbeat, with comments such as “visually appealing, stylish interior, cavernous boot, practical car that is fun to drive”, although one noted an “unforgiving suspension” and lack of rear charging points.
My view? The CX-5 is an excellent addition to the Mazda range. It is, of course, in a highly competitive segment: its 7,789 registrations last year (4,034 to fleet) accounts for 3.2% of mid-size SUVs, way behind the likes of the Nissan Qashqai (61,000), Ford Kuga (33,000), Volkswagen Tiguan (22,000), Kia Sportage (23,000) and Hyundai Tucson (20,000).
Sure-footed on-road, belying its size, the car’s 2.2-litre 150hp engine is punchy but also capable of running through the gears at very low revs – note the gearchange indicator for fifth at around 40mph and sixth at 50mph. Other testers have reported fuel efficiency in the low-to-mid 40s at best. I’ve been averaging around 46mpg, rising to 52mpg on longer journeys – that’s around 15% off the official 61.4mpg, in line with expectations.
The interior layout is logical, with tactile switches and trim. The multimedia system is intuitive and a breeze to use, with touchscreen and quick access buttons for key functions.
However, the sat-nav is sluggish at times, particularly when navigating roundabouts where it often gets confused. And the air-conditioning gets very excitable on auto, even in eco mode, determined to blast air out of the system long after the desired temperature has been reached.
The CX-5 has generous interior proportions, seating five adults in comfort, with a 503-litre boot capable of holding most luggage requirements. It is good to drive and returns reasonable fuel efficiency. While it wasn’t a finalist for this year’s Fleet News Awards, it is still worth considering.