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The 2020 Mazda CX5

Good, Bad or Indifferent?

Mazda has confusingly named the Mazda3-sized SUV as CX5.

Let me explain:

Think of it this way, CX3 is an SUV version of the MAZDA2 and CX5 an SUV version of Mazda3. They are all so closely related as to make no never mind.

First, a bit of background

CX5 has sold 155,000 units since being launched here in 2012. It was the first Mazda with both KODO design, and SkyActive technology.

In 2017 the 2nd generation CX5 landed, with an update at the end of 2018, and that brings us up to date.

The update brought some snazzy updates in cabin tech, and some even better stuff under the bonnet. Safety got a boost and the brilliant 2.5L turbo petrol from Mazda6 came on board.

What are the engine choices?

There are now 4 engines to pick from, depending on trim level. The 6 speed manual or 6 speed automatic can be selected, and there is two-wheel-drive or AWD, again, depending on trim level.

2.0L petrol – 115kw/200Nm, 6.9/100k

2.5L petrol – 140kw/252Nm, 7.4L/100k

2.5L turbo petrol – 170kw/420Nm, 8.2L/100k

2.2 turbo diesel – 140kw/450Nm, 5.7L/100k

Although the choice depends on which trim level , my pick is the fabulous 2.5L turbo petrol, AWD, Auto model.

What transmissions has CX5 got?

There is a smooth 6 speed automatic, and an easy-to-use 6-speed manual. 

I’d normally always pick a manual, but this automatic is as smooth as a baby’s bum. City traffic is a pain in the a#$* so the auto is essential.

What trim levels are there?

The short answer is, lots.

There is Maxx, Maxx Sport, Touring, GT, and Akera. Add the 4 engine choices, 2 transmissions, and either front, or All-Wheel-drive, and you have a staggering 14 different variations of the popular model.

There are way too many points to mention here so we’ll stick the our fabulous GT. You can see the rest on the Mazda website

Does Mazda CX5 look good?

It sure does.

The KODO design means the Mazda family is unmistakable. Sleek LED headlights and a shield grille look neat and tidy. CX5 is still a decent size with enough space for 4 comfortably, 5 at a pinch.

How about Mazda CX5 safety?

Apart from the usual array of airbags, there is active lane control and active cruise control. AEB works are all speeds, includes low speed in reverse. CX5 got 5 stars from ANCAP.

What is Mazda CX5 like to drive?

In sharp corners particularly, you can feel the clever electronics doing their thing. The strange sensation soon gives way to confidence.

Smooth roads are like driving on velvet. The cabin is extremely quiet unless you are on the course-chip surfaces.

Brakes are progressive. You never seem to reach a point where it tries to push your face through the windscreen. The transmission is smooth and you only feel changes under harsh acceleration.

7.7seconds to a hundred seems a trifle disappointing, but if you want real performance, you’ll pay much more for a Euro-Snob.

Fuel consumption is 8.2k/100L but on a long trip, extends to 6.9L/100k. I thought that a trifle disappointing given the much larger Touareg was getting 6.1L/100k on the highway.


I’m impressed with Mazda as a brand.

While the SUV range is clearly aimed at a family, anyone would feel at home in one. Somehow Mazda makes the hard plastics in the cabin feel quality.

The seats are comfortable and the passengers want for nothing.

I like it, I like it a lot

By Alan Zurvas Gay Car Boys