#35 Mazda CX-5 – Striking looks meets competitive performance

The CX-5 isn’t the first compact crossover SUV from Mazda. The auto firm’s previous attempts at making its mark in the highly competitive segment included the Tribute (a clone of a Ford Kuga) and the highly regarded but slow-selling Mazda CX-7 (which was dropped). The Mazda CX-5 is an all-new model, giving this Japanese brand its most competitive entry yet in the popular compact crossover segment. The CX-5 is the first model built under Mazda’s overarching ‘SKYACTIV’ product-development strategy that, in this case, joins a newly designed four-cylinder gasoline engine with six-speed (manual and automatic) transmissions and an all-new lightweight chassis. As a result, the Mazda CX-5 gets good fuel economy while still being roomy and practical.
Mazda CX-5 

The Mazda CX-5’s well-planted look begins with the strong presence of the nose and prominent wheel arches. Extending through the headlamps is the new front grille, with its “signature wing” bearing Mazda’s KODO design. The trapezoidal lower grille, meanwhile, contributes to the vehicle’s aggressive posture. The prominent rear fenders and edgy boot door surfaces further augment the CX-5’s muscular, elegant form, which differentiates it from other typical SUVs. The rear spoiler not only looks sporty, it also improves aerodynamics.

Sculptured front design 

The taillights, wing-shaped like the headlamps, add a unique touch, particularly at night. Viewed at its full length, the Mazda CX-5 exudes dynamism. The sculptured body sides and bold fender arches (skirting a choice of 17 or 19-inch wheels) accentuate a sense of power. The Mazda CX-5 doesn’t only look good. The angle of the A-pillars gives the driver an outstanding field of view, improving safety as well as driving enjoyment. The slanting C-pillars along with the sharply raked back window, meanwhile, contribute to the SUV’s vibrant appearance.

KODO inspired design 

With the full suite of SKYACTIV technologies, the Mazda CX-5 represents a complete redesign of the engine, transmission and chassis. Its super clean 2.0-litre petrol power plant uses as little as 6.8 litres of fuel per 100km in manual guise and 6.9 litres per 100 km in automatic configuration. SKYACTIV power units have been designed to make internal combustion as effective as possible. Engineers of the SKYACTIV-G petrol engine were aiming for a lightweight design that produced more from less.

SKYACTIV power unit 

As a result, the SKYACTIV-G has considerably less internal friction than a standard 2.0-litre petrol power unit. Developing 114 kW (152 hp) of power at 6,000 rpm and 200 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm, the SKYACTIV-G petrol power unit delivers more torque, better fuel economy and lower emissions. Mazda pairs the offers a cutting-edge six-speed SKYACTIV-Drive automatic transmission, to enhance the CX-5’s athletic character. An engaging six-speed manual transmission is available as well.


Inside, Mazda created a driver-oriented cabin with solid yet mature styling that reflects the CX-5’s exterior strength and sturdiness. The look and feel of the interior underscores the car’s sportiness, while easily accommodating five people, and their entire luggage. The Mazda CX-5’s 2,700mm wheelbase is one of the longest in its class, allowing both sleek styling and a roomy, comfortable cabin.

Comfortable front seats 

Head-, shoulder- and legroom are all at or near the top of the class, allowing four adults to easily change their posture and relax in comfort. An upright sitting posture is adopted that minimizes stress and relieves fatigue on long journeys. Passengers in the rear enjoy class-leading legroom (of 997 mm) and top-level knee clearance of 66 mm giving them plenty of room to stretch out. Cushions are shaped to give comfortable support to occupants of almost any size, while side bolsters on the seat cushion and seatback hold the lower and upper body firmly in place during cornering. Needless to say, Mazda CX-5 provides the generous storage capacity demanded of an SUV, so occupants always enjoy free space within easy reach.

Striking rear design 


With the CX-5, athletically minded and generously equipped compact SUV, Mazda finally gets the recipe right. What really sets the Mazda CX-5 apart from other competitors is its excellent handling and fun-to-drive nature. Given its agile dynamics, distinctive styling and excellent efficiency, the CX-5 should be an appealing choice in the world of compact utility vehicles.