The Mazda CX-5 on test for Changing Lanes!
The Mazda CX-5 on test for Changing Lanes!

Caroline drives the 2021 Mazda CX-5.

Gorgeous, comfortable, and premium – those are just some words that come to mind when I think of the Mazda CX-5!

The first generation of Mazda’s popular SUV launched back in 2012 just as the SUV trend was really taking hold. In 2017 the brand launched a new generation model, which got all the sharp lines and modern curves that became synonymous with a new generation of incredibly attractive Mazda cars.

What’s new for the 2021 Mazda CX-5?

Mazda has been consistently refining the CX-5 ever since. The 2021 Mazda CX-5 maintains this progress in design, engineering, and technology, with enhanced driving dynamics through engine and transmission updates, improved fuel economy, and lower emissions.

The 2021 range goes on sale priced from €34,345 for a Skyactiv-G petrol or from €38,225 for a Skyactiv-D diesel. There are manual and automatic transmissions, as well as the option of four wheel drive. The car comes well equipped with standard features including cruise control, 10.25” colour centre console display and multimedia commander, leather steering wheel, automatic lights and wipers, dual zone climate control and parking sensors, front and rear.

It’s no surprise to find that the CX-5 is Mazda’s bestselling model in Ireland and indeed, worldwide! Sleek and stylish, it still looks really good, with a premium finish to the design that makes heads turn.

The CX-5 range has been updated for 2021
The CX-5 range has been updated for 2021

Inside the Mazda CX-5

Inside the interior of the Mazda CX-5 is starting to show its age. But not in a bad way as the quality and design is still high end so you feel like you are driving something a little bit more special that many rivals in this space. The finish of the car is so good, the plushness of the cabin materials, and the simple classiness of the dials and instruments. Connectivity has evolved to support both Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™, and DAB+ is fitted as standard across the entire model range.

For 2021 the HMI system inside the car has been updated in line with what we have seen in new generation Mazda cars like the Mazda3 and CX-30. It combines a new, faster, clearer 10.25-inch centre display and more intuitive commander control operation with an expanded range of Connected Services from the latest MyMazda App. Features include remote door locking, vehicle finder, the remote pre-programming of multiple navigation destinations, a vehicle health report, dealership contact and service booking request, and roadside assistance.

The CX-5 is a comfortable five seater with a generous cabin and over 500 litres of boot space. A powered tailgate is available for extra convenience. We found the car very practical to live with. Split folding rear seats boost practicality.

Inside the 2021 Mazda CX-5
Inside the 2021 Mazda CX-5

On the road in the Mazda CX5 Skyactiv-G

Driving the Mazda CX-5 is a comfortable and refined experience. Over time revisions to the suspension have made the CX-5 sharper and better to drive than ever. Controls are smooth and direct, putting you in touch with the road in a delicate but tactile way.

Mazda says that there have been powertrain improvements for a better driving experience. These include optimised accelerator pedal operation for better vehicle response and control, improved engine response to throttle inputs, enhanced responsiveness of the six-speed automatic transmission and reductions in CO2 emissions.

Engine options include the 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G petrol engine with 165 hp, and the 2.2-litre Skyactiv-D diesel with 150 or 184 hp. Each will be available with an automatic or manual transmission.

Our test car was powered by Mazda’s tried and tested ‘Skyactiv-G’ 2.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine with 165 hp. This engine is super smooth and matched perfectly to a 6-speed manual gearbox. While it lacks the in-gear punch of a turbo unit, it is a gentle companion to the Mazda’s refined road manners and very quiet on the go. Over a week of driving we averaged fuel consumption of 7.5 litres per 100 km, so the Mazda CX-5 diesel will offer superior economy.

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 range goes on sale priced from €34,345
The 2021 Mazda CX-5 range goes on sale priced from €34,345

Did you like it?

The Mazda CX-5 is stylish and highly desirable, but also practical, with a large and comfortable cabin.

The interior of the car is starting to age but you can’t argue with the quality. Driving the CX-5 is still a premium experience, with a fit and finish that is very classy and upmarket. As the price climbs through the range, Mazda add even more equipment, but the CX-5 can command it easily.

On the road the CX-5 performs well, being both comfortable, precise and refined. The petrol engine is not the most efficient unit in a large SUV like this, but it is quiet and pleasant to drive, even with a 6-speed manual. The diesel offers more torque and better economy, which keeps it relevant in today’s market.

No doubt about it, the Mazda CX-5 makes a very good family car!

Gorgeous, comfortable, practical - it's the Mazda CX-5!
Gorgeous, comfortable, practical – it’s the Mazda CX-5!

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Mazda CX-5 GT Luxe 2.0 Skyactiv-G
2.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol
Power: 165 hp
Top speed: 204 km/h
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 10.3 seconds
CO2 emissions: 
153 g/km
Motor Tax: 
€280 per year