Editor: Jason “The Bok” – Date: 29 July 2017

Some time back I drove the previous generation Mazda CX-5.  I absolutely loved its capability, its bold go anywhere and get the job done attitude and most of all, its value offering. Now there is new CX-5 on the block which brings with it much sharper KODO Soul In Motion design elements.

Listen to a discussion with Alan R of MotorMatters in which we discuss both our expereicnes driving the 2017 Mazda CX-5 in both Active and Dynamic trim levels and manual and automatic variants by clicking below:

Dynamic Sports Styling

The Mazda CX has always leaned on the side of sport. With this latest generation from the exterior, you’ll immediately notice its sharper nose with more cutting body styling. The term KODO in Mazda language discusses Mazda’s effort to achieve the “driver and vehicle working in perfect harmony,” and I can really understand what is being emphasized with this new CX-5.

1The vehicle just looks sharper and more dynamic than ever before and really does embody the Soul In Motion slogan which it holds.

Sporting Dynamism

The recently refreshed Mazda 3 introduced G-Vectoring. Though it is complicated to try and exactly explain its internals and workings, what is not complicated is its impact on the drive. You notice at higher travelling speeds, the steering remains firmer on the road and the vehicle remains straighter along the lines.

When you approach the twisties, G-Vectoring enables the CX-5 to feel more planted and overall provide not only a more sporty, but also more dynamic rewarding drive. Despite the CX-5 being a mid-size SUV, it really does provide the feeling that you are commanding a vehicle which is derived from a sporting base.

2Power Delivery

The 2.0-litre naturally aspirated motor within the CX-5 remains a bit of a talking point. With many modern petrol heads and manufacturers exploring and discussing the use of smaller turbocharged engines, so might you ask why Mazda has stuck to larger naturally aspirated motors?

I will point out that I fully support the decision! While a smaller turbocharged motor can achieve the same oomph, and ultimately do the job, I often find that despite looking good on paper, smaller turbo units tend to be more thirsty, as you are required to simply push them harder to achieve the same results as a bigger engine.

With its 121 kW and 210 Nm of torque, the CX-5 delivers commendable performance, while managing to offer impressive fuel economy at the same time. I managed to average between 7-litres to 8-litres per 100 kilometres during my test period. The CX-5 is also available with the 2.5-litre motor which packs 143 kw and 257 Nm of torque and two diesel variants, namely the 2.2DE which manages to pack 129 kW and 420 Nm of torque in either its FWD or AWD variations.

4Comfort, Space & Technology

The CX-5 is a true family SUV. While it remains sporty, it also couples impressive interior space and decent ride height. Its sharp sporting looks don’t at all detract from its space-filled interior.

Much in keeping and further improving on the previous generation, the cabin is adorned with soft, tactile surfaces and premium grade finishes. Even the base spec 2.0-litre Active model which I sampled, featured solid interior build finishes and an overall well-trimmed cabin space.

3The MZD Connect infotainment system allows control via both the central jog-dial as well as screen touch imput and is both intuitive and clean in overall system UI. Media is delivered through multiple media sources, which includes front and rear USB media slots, as well front-loading CD, and even audio sources such as AHA and Stitcher satellite based radio. The system also allows for Bluetooth telephony and can be further controlled with the chuncky and premium-feel steering wheel with multi-functional controls.

Rear passenger space is also very comfortable, with rear seating which reclines in two separate positions and seats which are able to fold in the 40:20:40 split configurations. Boot space is measured at 442-litres with the seats folded-up and very versatile with the seats folded flat.

In Summary

The latest generation CX-5 furthers improves on what was always a very solid base. Its premium grade interior, impressive levels of technology and value offering help it build a very solid case for itself. Competing against the likes of the Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage, the CX-5 offers the best of a sporty, yet comfortable drive coupled with a premium build.

SA Pricing & Warranty

2.0L Active FWD Manual R379 900 – As Tested

Mazda’s also offers a very impressive service plan and warranty of 3-years/unlimited km from the warranty side,  as well as a 3-year/unlimited km service plan.

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