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Mazda CX-5 2019 review: GT turbo petrol

There’s something very comforting about a Mazda CX-5.

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The new and improved Mazda CX-5 is here, bringing with it a snazzy new engine, safety gear and the latest in technology that quite frankly, we’ve been waiting on from Mazda. The CX-5 plays in that mid-size SUV space, competing with cars like the Hyundai Tucson, Toyota Rav4 and Honda CR-V.

I was test driving the CX-5 GT in petrol, which is second from the top in a range of five. I went away this weekend a few hours drive out of Sydney, which meant I could see how it handled the open road. Here’s how it performed over seven days with my family.

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What does it look like?

I’ve always thought the CX-5 looks way more expensive than it actually is. Mazda's nailed the exterior because if it wasn’t for the fact there are so many of them on the road, I would think they were all German-designed.

It’s not cheap, it retails for $46,970, but I do think it almost plays into a higher end category, looks wise.

  • I’ve always thought the CX-5 looks way more expensive than it actually is. I’ve always thought the CX-5 looks way more expensive than it actually is.
  • Mazda's nailed the exterior because if it wasn’t for the fact there are so many of them on the road, I would think they were all German-designed. Mazda's nailed the exterior because if it wasn’t for the fact there are so many of them on the road, I would think they were all German-designed.
  • Mazda could integrate the multimedia screen into the centre console area and it would look more cohesive, but that’s really being a bit nit-picky. Mazda could integrate the multimedia screen into the centre console area and it would look more cohesive, but that’s really being a bit nit-picky.

Inside is also designed well. The CX-5 GT has leather seats, a leather steering wheel, faux wooden accents along the dash, and the dash and doors have a nice softness to them - no hard, plastic-y bits.

I think Mazda could integrate the multimedia screen into the centre console area and it would look more cohesive, but that’s really being a bit nit-picky, because the overall styling is good. There are high-gloss black and alloy accents around the gearshift which helps lift the design, and I felt good driving in this car.

How does it drive?

The CX-5 has a new 2.5-litre turbo-petrol engine which gives it that extra push when you need it. It zooms up hills - properly - and is great on long highways, with enough power to overtake other cars when you need to.

It’s also a very smooth drive, there is a nice cruisy feel when you driving it. No heavy pull on the take-off and the handling is good, too.

We had a long, windy, uphill road to get to our holiday house which actually felt like a breeze in the CX-5.

The CX-5 is a very smooth drive, there is a nice cruisy feel when you driving it. The CX-5 is a very smooth drive, there is a nice cruisy feel when you driving it.

There was also a dusty gravel and dirt road to tackle just on the edge of a mountainous hill and I was thankful the GT is AWD, so there were no queasy moments where you think you’re going to slip.

Parking is good for a car this size, the steering turns easily and there are no issues getting into a parking spot, with a reverse parking camera to show where things are.

How spacious is it?

There's a good amount of space in the front. My (taller) husband and I had enough leg and head space, and while it’s not enormous, it’s certainly breezy in the front seats and we were comfortable for the long drive.

My children, aged five and seven, had enough space in the back, too. There wasn’t loads of space because we had to fit their 'holiday' backpacks stuffed with all their toys, but there was enough room that we didn’t hear a word of complaint everyone fit nicely.

  • There's a good amount of space in the front. There's a good amount of space in the front.
  • There isn't loads of space in the back, but we didn't have any complaints. There isn't loads of space in the back, but we didn't have any complaints.
  • If you needed to, you could also fit a third child seat in the middle. It will be tight but it will fit. If you needed to, you could also fit a third child seat in the middle. It will be tight but it will fit.
  • On paper the CX-5 has one of the smaller SUVs in its class at 442 litres, but in reality it actually fits a lot. On paper the CX-5 has one of the smaller SUVs in its class at 442 litres, but in reality it actually fits a lot.

If you needed to, you could also fit a third child seat in the middle. It will be tight but it will fit.

The boot also had enough room for us. On paper it’s one of the smaller SUVs in its class at 442 litres, but in reality it actually fits a lot.

We had two suitcases, beach bags, pool toys, sporting equipment and more. On a regular week, it will fit a pram plus groceries and school bags.

How easy is it to use every day?

It’s one of those cars that is just the right size for me and the children, from the ease of climbing into the car to fitting all of our stuff, every time I get a CX-5 I breathe a sigh of relief because I know it will be an easy week.

It’s got two cupholders in the front, a spot to throw keys and a phone, bottle holders in each door and a centre storage bin.

Every time I get a CX-5 I breathe a sigh of relief because I know it will be an easy week. Every time I get a CX-5 I breathe a sigh of relief because I know it will be an easy week.

Rear passengers will get two cupholders in the centre armrest and a small, flat storage area, plus a USB port. They also get their own air vents which kids really appreciate.

This GT model also has a power operated tailgate which means it opens and closes with a button, extra handy when you are overloaded with groceries or children.

How safe is it?

The CX-5 GT comes with front and side airbags for driver and front passenger and side curtain airbags that extend to the back row, seven in total.

It’s also got the latest in safety technology with auto emergency braking, blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert as standard (rear cross traffic alert actually beeps if you are reversing onto a street and there is a car coming, it’s my favourite bit of new safety tech).

You’ll also get three top tether points and two ISOFIX points to fit kids car seats in.

The CX-5 scored the maximum five stars in the ANCAP rating when it was tested in 2017.

What’s the tech like?

Mazda has finally ticked the last box off its to do list, and installed Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

It’s been very slow in coming but the wait is worth it because now you can plug in and be instantly connected to the main apps on your phone, and use maps to navigate rather than the old clunky Mazda system.

It’s got voice control so you basically ask the car what you want to do - make calls, send tests, etc - and it will do it.

How much does it cost to own?

The Mazda CX-5 GT comes in at $46,970. Add to that this spectacular paint job in 'Soul Red' for $300 plus $194.58 for floor mats and this car as tested costs $47,464.

Fuel consumption is on the higher side for this model, at a claimed 8.2L/100km, thanks to the 2.5L turbo engine - it’s more than other 2.5L engines without the turbo.

Mazda now offers a five year/unlimited km warranty (up from three years) with a service due every 12 months or 10,000km.

The Mazda CX-5 GT comes in at $46,970. The Mazda CX-5 GT comes in at $46,970.


The Wrap

There’s something very comforting about a Mazda CX-5. Partly because it looks so good - in that department it’s hard to beat in this category, and I know we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but we’re talking about cars. That’s part of the package!

It’s also got a good amount of interior space and the boot isn’t as small as it sounds on paper, plus it has all the latest safety and technology that you’re after. The new, more powerful engine makes driving a breeze and this GT model is AWD.

With all this I gave it a family rating of eight out of 10, my kids also gave it an eight, they loved driving out of Sydney in it.

Likes

Design
Driving capabilities
Safety and tech

Dislikes

Economy could be better

Scores

Nedahl:

4

The Kids:

4

$45,390

Based on new car retail price

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