Driven: Mazda CX-5 2.2D 175ps AWD Sport Nav Review

Driven: Mazda CX-5 2.2D 175ps AWD Sport Nav Review

Say hello to the latest 6th generation SKYACTIV Mazda CX-5. The CX-5 is Mazda’s super-efficient, go anywhere, mid-sized SUV.

What is it about?

The CX-5 is Mazda’s answer to the mid-size SUV market, however Mazda do it like no other. With their SKYACTIV-D range of engines, they have managed to achieve staggeringly high fuel efficiency without any compromise on performance or reliability, making this SUV stand out from the rest.

Mazda CX-5 2.2D 175ps AWD Sport Nav Review

The CX-5 is said to deliver the driving experience of a sports car, the practicality of an MPV, the go anywhere ability of a 4 wheel drive, and the economy of a hatchback. Is this really possible? Let’s find out…

The exterior design of the car is very appealing. There are lots of feature points on the car, I particularly like the twin chrome exhaust pipes, 19” alloys wheels, integrated spoiler, and stylish front headlight clusters.

How does it drive?

Although the Mazda CX-5 is fairly tall and has loads of room inside, the driving experience is actually very similar to a saloon sized car, and is still a thrill to drive!

Mazda CX-5 (35)

Driving the CX-5 with the 2.2-litre diesel engine you instantly notice it has plenty of torque, specifically 420Nm of it. This torque manages to launch the CX-5 from 0-60mph in 8.8secs, and has a top speed of 129mph. For this form factor the figures are very impressive indeed, but the best news is that the performance doesn’t come at a price, as the economy is just as good as the performance.

Taking the CX-5 out for a country road blast, it’s great fun, the CX-5 is very responsive by SUV standards and feels very lively on the road.

Mazda CX-5 (33)

Owners of SUV’s love that high driving position which gives you a feeling of security and superiority, and the CX-5 defiantly delivers this experience. But it does so with a great balance, you get that high driving position, and you also get a sharp and alive element in the steering that helps give the car a sporting edge.

Driven slowly the CX-5 is calm, refined, and delivers a peaceful way of travelling around.

What’s it like inside?

Inside, the Mazda CX-5 is brilliantly designed and laid out. As with all of the 6th generation Mazda’s, the quality of materials used has helped achieve a great standard.

Mazda CX-5 (25)

Luxuries inside include the black heated leather seats, sat nav, Bose sound system, cruise control, auto lights and wipers, and advanced smart keyless entry.

Mazda CX-5 (24)

The practicalities that you would expect from this car are also high achieving. Open the boot, and the load space is very large at 1620 litres, and there is also a low load lip making it easy to get things in and out.

The CX-5 AWD model tested also had a variety of safety enhancements installed which included an Adaptive Front Lighting System (AFLS).  This system optimally lights up the road using Bi-Xenon headlights and will even steer the headlights into corners as you turn into them. Brilliant!

The Experience

The experience of owning the 6th generation SKYACTIV-D Mazda CX-5 is remarkable.  The car delivers on all the necessary key points for a mid-sized SUV. It‘s practical, safe, and easy to use, but also fuel efficient, and has an enjoyable driving experience.

Mazda CX-5 (20)

One of the most impressive elements about the car is just how usable the car is, the CX-5 is just the right size, it has all the usable passenger and load space you need, without being too big on the road.

Mazda CX-5 2.2D 175ps AWD Sport Nav Review

But the single most impressive element of the car is the balance between performance and fuel efficiency. The driving experience of the CX-5 is powerful and capable with its 4 wheel drive system, but somehow Mazda have finely tuned the efficiency level of the car to reach a high figure of miles per gallon. Mazda claim that the CX-5 can achieve a combined efficiency rating of 54.3mpg, which is phenomenal for a car of this size.


The Mazda CX-5 is the perfect balance when it comes to a mid-sized SUV for many reasons. The CX-5 is well equipped, well priced and practical. But the major selling points to the Mazda CX-5, which makes it stand out from the others, is it’s great character and enjoyable driving experience.

Video Highlights


Mazda CX-5 2.2D 175ps AWD Sport Nav

  • Price: £28,925
  • Engine: 2.2-Litre Diesel
  • Power: 175bhp
  • Torque: 420Nm
  • Transmission: 6 Speed Manual
  • 0-62mph: 8.8 Seconds
  • Top speed: 129mph
  • Weight: 1,671kg
  • Economy combined: 54.3mpg
  • CO2: 136g/km

Full Gallery

Author: Paul Hadley