The Mazda CX-5 Homura on test for Changing Lanes

Mazda CX-5 Homura Review

Read Caroline's Mazda CX-5 review for everything you need to know about buying Mazda's popular mid-size SUV.

The Mazda CX-5 has been a great success for the Mazda brand since it was first launched. Now in its second generation, the CX-5 is still Mazda's bestselling model in Ireland, ahead of the CX-30 and Mazda3.

Something about the Mazda CX-5's stylish SUV looks and spacious cabin keep it in the sweet spot of the market. Mazda also has a knack of treating the CX-5 to regular updates, which keep our attention on this vehicle.

In 2022, the Mazda CX-5 received an update and in this review we're going to take a closer look at what's new. And more importantly, is the CX-5 still a good buy as a five-seat, mid-size SUV?

Pricing starts from €36,745, with a range of trim levels and engines available.

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

What's new for the 2022 Mazda CX-5?

The Mazda CX-5 is one of the best-looking SUVs of its kind. It looks just as modern and stylish as it did when we first saw it at the European press launch in Barcelona in 2017.

Now in 2022, Mazda has added a little more distinct style to the CX-5. There are six trim levels available but some of the most notable in the latest series are the Newground, Homura and GT Lux.

However across the board all new CX-5s get a new grille and signature wing design, and new lights and bumpers. There’s also a new colour called Zircon Sand, but Soul Red Crystal and Polymetal Grey Metallic remain good options.

The Mazda CX-5 Newground starts from €38,745 and offers a more rugged 'outdoors' look to the CX-5's elegant lines. It gets silver underguard-style treatment to the front and rear bumpers and door garnishes, black door mirrors, lime green accents to the front grille and 19-inch black machine-cut alloy wheels.

The CX-5 Homura has also returned (from €43,895) and it's my pick of the range. It's a sporty look for the CX-5 with gloss black finish to the front grille, signature wing, lower bumper sections, wheel arches, door garnishes and door mirrors.There are also 19-inch alloy wheels finished in black metallic paint, and the front grille incorporates red accents.

The GT Lux (from €44,640) has a unified, one-colour exterior, matched with silver 19-inch alloy wheels for a high-end finish.

The interior of the Mazda CX-5 Homura
The interior of the Mazda CX-5 Homura

Inside the CX-5

The interior of the CX-5 is one of the most upmarket of the family SUV class. While the design has clearly aged, there's something timelessly classy about the Mazda's cabin. Sure newer rivals have more impressive digital displays and touchscreens at this stage but everything works in the Mazda just fine.

Infotainment is provided via a 10.25-inch centre display, which supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A heads-up display is available too. The seats have also been revised for more comfort. New equipment includes a four camera, 360 degree monitor and wireless phone charging.

Homura models get black leather seats with red stitching, which also features on the steering wheel, gear shift lever and door panels.

The CX-5 will seat five with good sized footwells in the second row. It might be tight for three back there, but children will be fine. There is over 500 litres of boot space, which is competitive for the segment and a powered tailgate comes as standard on some versions. Split folding rear seats boost practicality, with switches in the boot to let the seats down automatically The two-piece, reversible load-space floorboard and the tailgate sill are on the same level to help with loading.

The CX-5 has been updated for 2022
The CX-5 has been updated for 2022

Driving the Mazda CX-5

The Mazda CX-5 engine line-up in Ireland is exclusively petrol and diesel. There's no hybrid like what you will find in some of the rivals. The entry into the range is a naturally aspirated, 2.0-litre petrol engine with 165hp (‘Skyactiv-G’). Petrols are smooth and quiet but the performance can feel a bit uninspiring.

The 2.2-litre diesel with 150 hp in front wheel drive versions - and 184 hp in all wheel drive versions (‘Skyactiv-D’) - is more satisfying to drive because it has more torque and it offers the best economy of the range. Over a week of driving my average fuel consumption was 5.7 litres per 100 km.

It has plenty of power so it never gets too noisy under acceleration. The diesel CX-5 is certainly one of the best diesel SUVs in the segment for its refinement. Diesels start from €40,625.

6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic gearboxes are available depending on model. Even manuals are a breeze to drive, with the CX-5's agile handling and well-weighted steering contributing to what is still one of the best SUVs to drive. There have now been further enhancements to the CX-5's suspension and NVH (noise vibration harshness) performance.

Boot space in the Mazda CX-5
Boot space in the CX-5

Did you like it?

Equipment levels are high across the 2022 Mazda CX-5 range. Even the GS-L entry into the range gets 17-inch alloys, 10.25-inch colour screen display, keyless entry, cruise control, automatic air con, automatic lights and wipers, and parking sensors.

The GT adds black leather upholstery to the spec with power control and memory function, as well as 19-inch wheels, heated front seats and heated steering wheel. A powered tailgate and rear parking camera are available from GT Sport and above.

The Mazda CX-5 has definitely matured but it still stands out for its stunning good looks and upmarket interior. The cabin experience is no longer the most modern in the segment, but still feels ‘a cut above’ many competitors from the driver’s seat.

It’s subtle things like the way you are positioned in relation to the steering wheel and the controls, and the slick action of the manual gearbox, the refinement of the transmission. Things that last the test of time and make every drive a pleasure.

The CX-5 range now has more options than ever with some very distinct new offerings including the CX-5 Newground and the CX-5 Homura.

It’s easy to spend a lot of money on a CX-5 (looking at you Homura), which would be my pick of the range for a truly premium finish.

The Mazda CX-5 proposes a simple line-up of petrol and diesel engines. Hybrid has become a bit of a trend in this segment but it's absent here. Diesel seems like the best buy in the CX-5 range, which might be against market trends but there is still something to be said for the efficiency and satisfying drive behind the wheel.

Of course, later this year Mazda will launch their first ever plug-in hybrid SUV, the new Mazda CX-60. But it will be larger than the CX-5 so this car remains very much a key part of Mazda's line-up.

The Mazda CX-5 still has a lot to offer SUV buyers
The Mazda CX-5 has a lot to offer SUV buyers

Model tested: Mazda CX-5 Homura 2.2 Skyactiv-D
Price: 
€47,775
Engine: 
2.0-litre turbo diesel
Power: 150 hp
Torque: 380 Nm
Top speed:  204 km/h
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 9.9 seconds
CO2 emissions:
147 g/km
Motor Tax: 
€270 per year

____________________________

Written by Caroline Kidd

Founder and Editor of Changing Lanes


The new Mazda CX-60 is on the way to Ireland

Mazda CX-60 For Ireland In 2022

The new Mazda CX-60 is on the way to Ireland
The new Mazda CX-60 is on the way to Ireland

Mazda has taken the covers off their next new model to arrive here. The new Mazda CX-60 is the company’s first plug-in hybrid for Europe. It's also the most powerful road car Mazda has ever produced.

The brand says that the new CX-60 is the most important model it has introduced for over a decade. The new five seat SUV will slot in above the CX-5 in the Mazda range.

Features of the Mazda CX-60

The new CX-60 will be a flagship for the brand and promises outstanding exterior and interior design to the finest Japanese craftsmanship, along with the latest innovations in human-centric technologies and a world-class powertrain.

In the cabin a new Mazda Driver Personalisation System will recognise the occupant of the driver’s seat and automatically adjust the surroundings – seat position, steering wheel, mirrors, HUD, even the sound and climate control settings – to fit their physique as well as personal preferences.

The Mazda CX-60 has a front-engine and rear-wheel drive layout. It is the brand's first plug-in hybrid and uses a Skyactiv-G 2.5-litre, four-cylinder direct injection petrol engine with a 100 kW electric motor, new eight-speed automatic transmission, and a 17.8 kWh high-capacity battery.

Mazda CX-60 plug-in hybrid

This combination of engine and motor delivers a total system output of 327hp and 500 Nm of torque. This makes it the most powerful road car Mazda has ever produced. It will accelerate from 0-100 km/h in just 5.8 seconds. WLTP combined COemissions are just 33g/km. The Mazda CX-60 e-Skyactiv PHEV offers 63 km of motor-powered driving with the vehicle running at 100 km/h or less.

The new Mazda CX-60’s Skyactiv Multi-Solution Scalable Architecture is said to feature numerous enhancements to offer excellent driving dynamics. Adopting Mazda’s human-centric approach, these include bodyshell rigidity that ensures drivers can feel vehicle response without lag. The seats make it even easier for every occupant to maintain balance while the car is moving. The suspension stabilises vehicle posture while driving. There is a unique to Mazda vehicle posture control system - Kinematic Posture Control (KPC).

The interior of the new CX-60
The interior of the new CX-60

The positioning of the high voltage battery between the front and rear axles and as low as possible within the bodyshell gives the new Mazda CX-60 PHEV a particularly low centre of gravity. This, combined with a permanent all-wheel drive system incorporating shaft-driven transfer of torque between the axles, is said to give the car handling characteristics on par with the best in the premium segment.

Anything else?

The Mazda CX-60 is equipped with several new active safety systems: See-Through View - a next-generation 360o view monitor which improves visibility when driving at low speeds; Turn Across Traffic Assist; SBS-R pedestrian detection; Emergency Lane Keeping; i-Adaptive Cruise Control (i-ACC); and BSM Vehicle Exit Warning.

Over the coming years Mazda will continue to develop electrification across a wide range of new products. The Mazda MX-30 REV will combine full-time electric drive with a rotary engine-powered generator to offer unlimited range.

And in 2023 the company will launch a new model that is larger than the CX-60 and features three rows of seats - the Mazda CX-80.

Mazda is launching five new electrified products that feature its multi-solution platform architecture in the next three years.

After 2025, the company will launch its brand new Skyactiv EV Scalable Architecture - unique technology which will allow Mazda to efficiently build electric cars of all sizes using one common platform.


The 2022 Mazda CX-5 is now on sale in Ireland

Mazda CX-5 Review (2022)

Read Caroline's Mazda CX-5 review for everything you need to know about buying the CX-5 in Ireland in 2022.

The Mazda CX-5 first appeared in 2012 and quickly established itself as one of the core models of Mazda’s range, competing in the family SUV side of the market.

In 2017, Mazda launched an all-new generation of the CX-5 with significant changes to styling, interior design, technology and driving dynamics.

Now in 2022, Mazda refreshes the popular CX-5 family SUV with headline features including new drive mode selection feature, greater differentiation between trim levels, new styling and improved comfort and refinement. I travelled to Barcelona, Spain, with Mazda Ireland to drive the 2022 Mazda CX-5.

The CX-5 is on sale in Ireland now, priced from €36,745.

The 2022 Mazda CX-5 is now on sale in Ireland
The 2022 Mazda CX-5 Newground is now on sale in Ireland

Styling

The CX-5 is ageing exceptionally well, and has beautiful surfacing, best shown off in Soul Red Crystal. The styling of the Mazda CX-5 has been given a lift for 2022, including a new, more three-dimensional grille and signature wing design, new lights and bumpers, and a more individual look for the different trim levels. There's a new colour called Zircon Sand.

Mazda has also introduced a new trim level for Ireland called the Newground, which adds more vibrant and rugged style to the CX-5. It features silver underguard-style treatment to the front and rear bumpers and door garnishes, black door mirrors, lime green accents to the front grille and 19” black machine-cut alloy wheels.

The CX-5 Homura also returns, accentuating the slick and premium look of the CX-5. The Homura has a sporty gloss black finish to the front grille, signature wing, lower bumper sections, wheel arches, door garnishes and door mirrors, 19” alloy wheels finished in black metallic paint, and the front grille incorporates red accents.

The GT LUX combines a unified, one-colour exterior to highlight the CX-5's dynamic Kodo design and is matched with silver 19” alloy wheels.

WATCH A VIDEO

 

The interior of the Mazda CX-5 Homura
The interior of the Mazda CX-5 Homura

Interior

Inside the 2022 Mazda CX-5, there have been few changes to the interior design so it does not feel as modern inside as newer rivals. Yet quality is a strong point, it feels a cut above many of the SUVs that pack this segment now.

Connectivity has evolved to support both Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™, and the latest MyMazda App Connected Services features. Infotainment is provided via a 10.25” colour centre console display. A heads-up display is available. Seats have also been revised for more comfort. New equipment includes a four camera, 360 degree monitor is available to aid manoeuvring in tight spaces, and a wireless Qi phone charging tray in the centre console.

Newground models get suede upholstery with lime green stitching and lime green surround to the air-conditioning louvres.

Homura models are differentiated by red stitching on the black leather seats, steering wheel, gear shift lever and door panels.

GT Luxe models feature Nappa leather and more luxurious trim elements such as genuine woodgrain.

Practicality

The Mazda CX-5 will seat five with a spacious cabin up front and generous footwells in the rear. There is over 500 litres of boot space and a powered tailgate is available for extra convenience. Split folding rear seats boost practicality. The two-piece, reversible load-space floorboard and the tailgate sill are on the same level to help with loading.

Newground models also feature a floorboard with a water-resistant side for wet or dirty items.

Boot space in the Mazda CX-5
Boot space in the Mazda CX-5

Engines

In Ireland, the 2022 Mazda CX-5 is available with a 2.0-litre petrol engine with 165 hp ('Skyactiv-G') and a 2.2-litre diesel with 150 hp in front wheel drive versions, and 184 hp in all wheel drive versions ('Skyactiv-D'). 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic gearboxes are available depending on model.

Manual versions of the Skyactiv-G 2.0 litre petrol engine are equipped with cylinder deactivation to boost efficiency. On the road the Mazda CX-5 Skyactiv-G is quiet and smooth, offering a very refined cabin experience.

The Mazda CX-5 Skyactiv-D is a bit louder behind the wheel but offers more satisfying torque and efficiency. On our test drive we returned 5.2 litres per 100 km.

On the road

The 2022 Mazda CX-5 introduces Mazda intelligent Drive Select (Mi-Drive) for the first time, which gives the driver the option of switching between a few driving modes and is available on some but not all models.

Mazda has refined the comfort and driving character of the Mazda CX-5 over time with revisions to powertrains, suspension, electric power assisted steering, and the adoption of G-Vectoring Control Plus (GVC Plus). There have now been further enhancements to the suspension and NVH (noise vibration harshness) performance.

The Mazda CX-5 is available with diesel and petrol engines
The Mazda CX-5 is available with diesel and petrol engines

Mazda’s next generation of Skyactiv-Vehicle Architecture has now been applied to the 2022 CX-5, further evolving the bodyshell, suspension and seats to enhance ride comfort and reduce fatigue.

On the road the Mazda CX-5 is still an agile and engaging drive for a five seat family SUV. It holds the road exceptionally well and all the controls feel good. The steering is well-weighted and even manual versions are fun and easy to drive. Comfort levels are high while road noise has been reduced even further.

Petrol versions offer an exceptionally quiet and smooth experience behind the wheel; diesels offer greater economy and punchier performance.

Equipment

The updated CX-5 range of i-Activsense safety systems now includes Cruising & Traffic Support (CTS). CTS helps reduce driver fatigue by assisting with accelerator, brake pedal and steering operations when stuck in traffic jams.

The 2022 Mazda CX-5 is available in Ireland in a number of trim levels – GS-L, Newground, GT, GT Sport, Homura, and the range topping GT Lux.

Equipment levels are high with even the GS-L entry into the range getting 17" alloys, 10.25” colour screen display, keyless entry, cruise control, automatic air con, automatic lights and wipers, and parking sensors.

The GT adds black leather upholstery to the spec with power control and memory function as well as 19" wheels, heated front seats and steering wheel. A powered tailgate and rear parking camera are available from GT Sport and above.

The CX-5 goes on sale in Ireland from €36,745
The CX-5 goes on sale in Ireland from €36,745

Pricing

The new Mazda CX-5 range starts at €36,745 for the 2.0-litre 163 hp petrol 2WD model in GS-L trim. The Newground with more equipment and a unique outdoors look starts from €38,745, as does the GT with a more refined look. GT Sport models start from €41,895. The Homura starts from €43,895. The GT Lux starts from €44,640.

Diesels start from €40,625 and all wheel drive from €54,770 in top of the range GT Lux trim.

Summary

The Mazda CX-5 range now has more options than ever with some very distinct new offerings including the CX-5 Newground and the CX-5 Homura.

The CX-5 remains one of the most quality offerings in the segment. The cabin experience is no longer the most modern in the segment, but still feels 'a cut above' many competitors from the driver's seat.

It's subtle things like the way you are positioned in relation to the steering wheel and the controls, and the slick action of the manual gearbox, the refinement of the transmission. Things that last the test of time and make every drive a pleasure.

It's easy to spend a lot of money on a CX-5 (looking at you Homura), which would be my pick of the range for a truly premium finish to the high end design.

At a time when every new model launch seems to be electrified in some way, the Mazda CX-5 proposes a simple line-up of well-proven petrol and diesel engines. Electric and hybrid might be absent but there is a market for what's available in the CX-5 range, and diesels are particularly strong for drivers who are seeking a good return on economy.

Mazda will next month take the covers off the first of two new SUVs to launch here in the coming months. First up is the CX-60, which will be the brand's first plug-in hybrid SUV and is expected in Ireland later in the year.

The Mazda CX-5 Homura
The Mazda CX-5 Homura

Caroline Kidd


The Mazda CX-5 will soon be joined by two other new large family SUVs

Mazda To Launch New SUVs, CX-60 And CX-80

The Mazda CX-5 will soon be joined by two other new large family SUVs
The Mazda CX-5 will soon be joined by two other new large family SUVs

Mazda Motor Corporation has announced plans to expand its SUV line-up from 2022 onwards. Two new models from the company’s Large Product group, the Mazda CX-60 and Mazda CX-80, will be introduced throughout Europe during the next two years.

To meet the growing needs of the segment, Mazda will offer European customers a wider choice of SUVs. The new Mazda CX-60 will feature two-row seating, while the CX-80 will be three-row.

Mazda say that the CX-60 and CX-80 will spearhead the European introduction of plug-in hybrid models to the range for the first time, with both SUVs using a straight four cylinder petrol engine combined with an electric motor.

The new generation straight-six Skyactiv-X petrol engine and Skyactiv-D diesel engine will also be introduced in combination with a 48V mild hybrid system.

The brand has also announced that during the first half of 2022, a new version of the Mazda MX-30 electric SUV will be introduced that incorporates multiple electrification technologies using Mazda’s unique rotary engine as a generator.

From around 2025, the company will introduce a number of new products on a new EV-dedicated platform. With the introduction of these models, Mazda is on track to complete the electrification of its complete range by 2030.

Alongside these new models, the Mazda CX-5 has recently been updated and the brand says it remains one of the core models driving Mazda’s business globally, along with the compact CX-30.


Mazda CX30 100th Anniversary Review

The new Mazda CX-30 100th Anniversary on test for Changing Lanes!
The new Mazda CX-30 100th Anniversary on test for Changing Lanes!

Caroline drives the 2021 Mazda CX-30 100th Anniversary Edition!

Mazda returns with the CX-30, this time in a special birthday suit to celebrate 100 years of the Mazda brand.

To recap the Mazda CX-30 went on sale in Ireland in 2020 as the brand’s new compact SUV in the sweet spot of the family SUV market.

This 100th Anniversary model however is more than a little bit special. When fitted with Mazda’s revolutionary Skyactiv-X petrol engine, it offers the best performance of the range wrapped up in a package of exclusive styling features and the best specification of the entire CX-30 range. All to celebrate 100 years of the Mazda brand!

What's so special about the Mazda CX-30 100 Years?

Priced from €39,165 for the Skyactiv-X petrol model on test, buyers will pay a premium for all this prestige. Our CX-30 was finished in Snowflake White Pearlescent exterior paint and contrasted with burgundy interior carpet and burgundy leather seats. The white-and-burgundy two-tone exterior/interior combination is inspired by high-grade versions of Mazda’s first passenger car: the Mazda R360 Coupe.

This special edition retails at €39,165 for the range topping Skyactiv-X petrol model
This special edition retails at €39,165 for the range topping Skyactiv-X petrol model

Slipping into the Mazda CX-30 100th Anniversary Special Edition is a treat for sure, with the colour scheme enhancing what is already a beautifully crafted cabin. Mazda’s human-centric approach to design means that everything feels modelled perfectly to the driver. The controls are all intuitively placed and feel great to touch and interact with. This is a real driver’s car from the get-go.

The unique 100th Anniversary badge features on the burgundy floor mats, on the key fob and is also embossed into the headrests like all the best luxury cars. You will find a 100 Years badge on the wheel centres and the side of the car also.

The CX-30 has seating for five but it is not as big inside as the larger Mazda CX-5 for example. Still it feels roomy up front and the boot opens (electrically of course!) to reveal a 430 litre boot. A CX-5 is better value for outright space inside the vehicle.

Other equipment features on this high spec model include 18” alloys, head up display, BOSE sound system, 360° view parking monitor, driver monitoring system, front cross-traffic alert and rear smart brake support.

What's under the bonnet?

For 2021, Mazda has also updated their range topping Skyactiv-X petrol engine, the world's first engine to use compression ignition, and part of Mazda’s ‘well-to-wheel’ approach to reducing emissions in conjunction with other technologies like the MX-30 battery electric vehicle, hybrid and plug-in vehicles.

Renamed e-Skyactiv-X, the updated version delivers increased performance and promises more efficiency. In the CX-30, the latest 2.0-litre e-Skyactiv-X petrol engine produces 186 ps at 6,000 rpm and maximum torque of 240 Nm at 4,000 rpm, an increase of 6 ps and 16 Nm respectively. Efficiency has also been improved, with CO2 emissions dropping by 5g/km.

Inside the Mazda CX-30 100th Anniversary edition
Inside the Mazda CX-30 100th Anniversary edition

Driving the 2021 Mazda CX-30

Numbers will only tell you so much however. The CX-30 is a fine compact SUV to drive, athletic and supple with a typical premium finish to the driving experience we have come to expect from this new generation of Mazda vehicles.

The 2.0-litre e-Skyactiv-X is a naturally aspirated engine so it delivers its power differently to a turbo petrol engine for example. As the revs build it gets nippier for sure, but it never feels quite as powerful as what the numbers might suggest. This is fine for an SUV of this ilk because it’s not a high performance car - handling is good but it’s not one you are going to seek out corners for.

In fact for many buyers the Mazda CX-30 e-Skyactiv-G with 122 hp will suffice and do the job with good levels of refinement and efficiency. In fact we achieved better fuel economy in that model than in the Skyactiv-X (6.5 vs 7.2 litres per 100 km). The e-Skyactiv-X seems better suited to the Mazda3 and its sportier image.

The CX-30 is a stylish and refined compact SUV for the Irish market
The CX-30 is a stylish and refined compact SUV for the Irish market

Did you like it?

The Mazda CX-30 always impresses for its refinement, design and premium finish. It’s already proven itself as a fantastic addition to the Mazda line-up.

The Mazda CX-30 100th Anniversary model is a celebratory affair with a high specification, prestigious interior and high end image.

It is no doubt a delicious car to spend time in. But you certainly pay for this level of prestige for what is still a compact SUV and there is better value to be had elsewhere in the CX-30 range.

Still we admire Mazda’s pride in their heritage. The current suite of anniversary models display a brand at its very best when it comes to design and premium level of finish to rival any German car brand.

These cars prove how well Mazda cars can be built and finished with sensitivity to design that seems to be the only way Mazda knows.

Mazda showing its class once again in the SUV market with the new CX-30
Mazda showing its class once again in the SUV market with the new CX-30

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Mazda CX-30 100th Anniversary Edition e-Skyactiv-X
Price: 
€39,165
Engine: 
2.0-litre e-Skyactiv-X M hybrid
Power: 186 hp
Torque: 240 Nm
Top speed: 204 km/h
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 8.3 seconds
CO2 emissions: 
128 g/km
Motor Tax: 
€210 per year


The Mazda CX-5 on test for Changing Lanes!

Mazda CX-5 Skyactiv-G (2021) Review

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
Price: 
€42,240
Engine: 
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
 


The new Mazda3 100th Anniversary on test for Changing Lanes!

Mazda3 100th Anniversary Edition Review

The new Mazda3 100th Anniversary on test for Changing Lanes!
The new Mazda3 100th Anniversary on test for Changing Lanes!

Caroline drives the Mazda3 100th Anniversary Edition

The Mazda3 is one of our favourite cars here at Changing Lanes. The latest generation of the Japanese hatchback launched in Ireland in 2019 with a sensuous new look and sophisticated interior. It heralded the start of exciting new technology from the brand including mild hybrid technology and the world’s first compression-ignition engine. Doesn’t that sound exciting?

What's so special about the Mazda3 100th Anniversary?

Now to celebrate 100 years of the company, Mazda has launched a series of 100th Anniversary models. And in this review we will take a closer look at the Mazda3 100th Anniversary to see if it’s any good!

Inspiration for the special edition’s striking colour scheme came from the Mazda R360 Coupe from 1960, which was the brand’s first ever passenger car.

Finished in white pearl with special anniversary badges throughout and black alloy wheels, the Mazda3 100th Anniversary stands out for all the right reasons. This model is a design triumph regardless with beautiful curvature to the model around the C pillar that is just not what you expect from the family hatchback class. The Mazda3 is a true trendsetter.

Special edition Mazda3 takes inspiration from the Mazda R360 Coupe from 1960
Special edition Mazda3 takes inspiration from the Mazda R360 Coupe from 1960

Inside the 2021 Mazda3 100th Anniversary

Open the door and you are welcomed by a bespoke interior of red leather and matching red carpets. I was dazzled and it wasn’t just the red carpet effect! There is a soft cream panel to accentuate the width of the dashboard. The Mazda3 cabin wraps around you perfectly. It’s a true driver’s car. Infotainment is provided via a slick looking 8.8" screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, with a multimedia controller on the centre console.

This hatchback will seat five and space inside the vehicle is competitive for the class, well should we say premium compact class? Because that’s how this car feels. And with a list price of €37,220 for this car with the 2.0-litre e-Skyactiv-X M Hybrid petrol engine, this model in particular will certainly sit among high end hatchbacks.

But deservedly so. The e-Skyactiv-X also offers considerable power, poise and play in the Mazda3 100th Anniversary. Mazda’s revolutionary Spark Controlled Compression Ignition engine has been improved for this model year with a bit more power (186 hp) and torque (240 Nm), while overall efficiency has been improved. Being a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre petrol affair, it does deliver power differently to the road than say one of those small capacity engines with a turbo.

The interior of the Mazda3 100th Anniversary
The interior of the Mazda3 100th Anniversary

On the road in the Mazda3 e-Skyactiv-X!

Spend some time with this car though and you will find Mazda’s own little brand of fun and wizardy going on. It’s a super sweet car to drive, nicely balanced on the road, a lightness to the controls, yet the ability to be wrangled in and out of corners with a distinct and precise feel. It never feels hugely fast, but you learn to work with the neat distribution of power through the gears and it becomes a satisfying and interesting hatchback to drive. Mazda afficionados will love it!

Mazda has improved the fuel efficiency of this engine and over a week of driving we averaged 6.2 litres per 100 km, which is marginally better than the figure we returned when testing the Mazda3 Skyactiv-X in 2020. CO2 emissions are down 7 g to 120 g.

This is a unique and fun hatchback with some very clever engine technology. Improvements to efficiency are welcome; power and torque improvements are less obvious but this car performs well on the road regardless, with a distinct driving character from its 2.0-litre naturally aspirated engine.

So that’s a wrap on the new Mazda3 100th Anniversary Edition. A stunning car, albeit at a price.

But the Mazda3 has been knocking at the door of premium for a while now.

The Mazda3 is refined and fun to drive!
The Mazda3 is refined and fun to drive!

Model tested: Mazda3 100th Anniversary Edition e-Skyactiv X
Price: €37,220
Engine: 
2.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine
Power: 186 hp
Torque: 240 Nm
Top speed: 216 km/h
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 8.1 seconds
CO2 emissions: 
120 g/km
Motor Tax: 
€190 per year

Caroline Kidd

 


The new Mazda MX-30 on test for Changing Lanes!

Mazda MX-30 (2021) Review

The new Mazda MX-30 on test for Changing Lanes!
The new Mazda MX-30 on test for Changing Lanes!

Caroline drives the 2021 Mazda MX-30!

Mazda is a brand that likes to do things differently. Now they bring their unique perspective to the world of electric cars. Mazda’s first battery electric vehicle has just gone on sale in Ireland. The new Mazda MX-30 joins Mazda’s already talented range of hatchbacks, saloons, and SUVs, flying the flag for electric power at a time when EVs have firmly moved from the fringes to the mainstream.

So, what’s the Mazda MX-30 got to offer this brave new world of EVs?

Pricing starts from €30,965 for the Mazda MX-30 rising to €35,565 for a top of the range model, including grants and VRT relief. Power comes from a 35.5 kWh battery, with a WLTP range of 200 km. More on that later.

Over the years, the Japanese brand has firmly established itself with one of the best-looking ranges of cars in the world. Icons like the Mazda MX-5 seem to live on forever, never dimming in popularity or sheer icon status despite ever changing market trends. Quality and driving appeal are also undoubtedly key strengths of the Japanese brand in Europe. And the brand’s growing range of SUVs like the CX-5 and CX-30 are still some of the best around.

The MX-30 goes on sale from €30,965 in Ireland
The MX-30 goes on sale from €30,965 in Ireland

Enter MX-30. The new Mazda MX-30 is quirky, no doubt about it. Mazda has had some fun with the design of this one. It is more of a crossover than an outright SUV, with an extraordinary cool urban coupé-like appearance and equally dramatic and divisive ‘freestyle’ doors.

But in a world of vanilla crossovers and SUVs, at Changing Lanes we appreciate the Mazda’s cool new perspective on an electric crossover for the 2020s. Plastic cladding around the lower bumpers and wheel arches are mandatory for any modern urban crossover, and the elevated ride height and driving position give the MX-30 some cache in the market too.

Inside the new MX-30

Inside the MX-30 there is an intriguing mix of convention and next generation Mazda interior. Switch gear is largely familiar Mazda territory. It’s good quality and easy to navigate. But the Mazda MX-30 deviates substantially with a new touchscreen operation for ventilation controls, which actually works okay, and some very interesting, tactile cabin materials. The MX-30 interior is true designer with real cork in the centre console, and lashings of soft touch materials that would not look out of place in a cool living room.

But all this design rigour has some trade-off. The freestyle doors are beautiful and quirky but are just not as practical for access. That will only really matter if this part of your vehicle is in regular use. Once you are seated back there you will realise that this crossover is on the small side considering the price point. And the rear windows are small and don’t open! But the boot has a capacity of 366 litres so it seems realistic for a car of this size.

The interior of the 2021 Mazda MX-30
The interior of the 2021 Mazda MX-30

What are my options?

In Ireland the new Mazda MX-30 will be available in four trim levels: First Edition, GS-L, GT and GT Sport. Standard equipment includes radar cruise control, windscreen projected head-up-display, front and rear parking sensors, LED headlights and a rear camera. Higher grades such as the GT Sport add equipment like 12 speaker Bose sound system, sunroof and 360° view camera.

The MX-30 First Edition model on test for Changing Lanes features 8-way power driver seat with memory setting, adaptive LED signature headlights and a choice of dark or light leatherette and cloth interior. There's also the latest MyMazda app that allows you to control charging using a timer, monitor charging progress, and see your range indicator. The MyMazda app also gives real-time information on charging point availability and location, and can send the destination directly to the navigation system.

What kind of battery and range does it have?

Mazda is defying convention by using a lower capacity battery than many rivals to power the Mazda MX-30. The MX-30’s 35.5 kWh battery has a 200 km range measured by WLTP on a combined cycle. But in real world driving 150 km is more realistic.

Naturally this means the Mazda MX-30 is not in the range race. In fact it does limit the car’s appeal as it doesn’t give the same amount of ‘freedom’ as some electric vehicles in the same ball park. There is rationale to it of course. Mazda is on a ‘right-sized’ battery approach to building electric vehicles. That means that they haven’t stuffed the MX-30 with a high capacity battery in a race to win range. Mazda cites this as more efficient electric motoring, avoiding the weight of a larger battery and reducing energy spend over the entire life cycle of the vehicle ‘from well to wheel’. This strategy also keeps overall vehicle weight lower for better handling and agility, which is currently not the case for many EVs.

With 145 PS and maximum torque output of 271 Nm, the front-wheel drive MX-30 will accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 9.7 seconds. But it’s not one you feel like flooring the throttle in.

Freestyle doors in the Mazda MX-30
Freestyle doors in the Mazda MX-30

Driving the Mazda MX-30

True this is a good electric vehicle to drive. Unique for the segment, the Japanese brand created the motor pedal, which gives a more natural feel behind the wheel. There is some lean in fast cornering but the Mazda MX-30 is largely fun and interesting to drive. A true statement car with some very sophisticated engineering with Mazda’s typical human centric approach that makes you the centre of the universe once behind the wheel!

To help the driver feel more connected to the car and driving process, aural feedback is provided via the audio system in sync with pressure applied to the accelerator. It’s very impressive and gives that impression of revving an engine and moving through gears. Technologies such as electric G-Vectoring Control Plus (e-GVC Plus) ensure a natural feeling behind the wheel and stability while cornering.

The car is aimed at two-car households or those who live in cities or towns. But having the ability to charge at home will be essential for ownership of this car. Fast charging is available through a CCS charging adapter at 50 kW, giving 80% battery power in 36 minutes. It can be charged to full in as little as 5 hours at home.

Did you like it?

The Mazda MX-30 is a really interesting electric vehicle that makes a statement and stands out for its design and quality. Make no mistake, this car has been exceptionally well built and engineered. The cabin is comfortable and uniquely different with real attention to detail. We think it’s fair to say there are some compromises to practicality but the Mazda MX-30 is a more niche buy for buyers who value a more premium feeling electric vehicle. And Mazda Ireland have managed to keep the price of the car accessible here. So if you love Mazda, good design, and can charge at home, the MX-30 might be the one for you!

The Mazda MX-30 is a stylish addition to any urban driveway!
The Mazda MX-30 is a stylish addition to any urban driveway!

Caroline Kidd

Model tested: Mazda MX-30 First Edition
Price: 
€31,795
Battery: 
35.5kWh
Range (WLTP): 200 km
Power: 145 PS (107 kW)
Torque: 271 Nm
Top speed: 140 km/h
Acceleration (0-100 km/h): 9.7 seconds
CO2 emissions: 
0 g/km
Motor Tax: 
€120 per year

 

 


The 2021 Mazda CX-5 is on the way to Ireland this spring!

What's New For The 2021 Mazda CX-5?

The 2021 Mazda CX-5 is on the way to Ireland this spring!
The 2021 Mazda CX-5 is on the way to Ireland this spring!

Mazda has released more information about the updated 2021 Mazda CX-5, which will go on sale in Ireland later in the spring.

The CX-5 is the brand's largest SUV currently on sale here and is the most popular model from Mazda in Ireland, followed by the new Mazda CX-30, which we reviewed for Changing Lanes last year.

The 2021 CX-5 will also available as one of Mazda's 100th Anniversary limited edition series in Ireland to celebrate 100 years of the Japanese brand.

Upgrades to the popular SUV for 2021 include the interior and technology interface, as well as engine and transmission updates, which Mazda say contribute to a more responsive driving experience and reductions in CO2 emissions.

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 operable by the latest MyMazda App. Numerous convenience and peace-of-mind functions include Remote Door Locking, a Vehicle Finder, the remote pre-programming of multiple navigation destinations, a Vehicle Health Report, dealership contact and service booking request, Roadside Assistance, and a Security Alert.

Inside the latest Mazda CX-5
Inside the latest Mazda CX-5

There have also been powertrain improvements for a better and more environmentally-friendly 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.

Inspired by Mazda's first passenger car - the R360 Coupe, the CX-5 100th Anniversary limited edition’s colour scheme features Snowflake White Pearlescent exterior paint contrasted with burgundy interior carpet and leather seats, and the application of Mazda's 100th anniversary logo in several key locations.

Launched in 2012, the original CX-5 was the first Mazda to feature both Kodo design and Skyactiv technology. It is a core model for the brand, accounting for about 35% of the company's annual sales.

To date, 490,870 units have been sold in Europe, and a total of some 3,190,000 in 130 countries around the world. Globally, the CX-5 remains Mazda's best-selling model.

The CX-5 is Mazda's most popular model in Ireland and the world
The CX-5 is Mazda's most popular model in Ireland and the world

Mazda MX-30 (2020) First Drive Review

The new Mazda MX-30 on test for Changing Lanes in Dublin!
The new Mazda MX-30 on test for Changing Lanes in Dublin!

The new Mazda MX-30 is Mazda's first battery electric vehicle and will arrive in Ireland in February 2021. The MX-30 is a compact electric crossover and will go on sale here priced from €30,495 including grants and VRT relief. Powered by a 35.5 kWh battery, the new Mazda MX-30 has a range of up to 200 km (WLTP).

We took the new MX-30 for a test drive ahead of its official launch in Ireland in 2021. Here are our opening thoughts on Mazda's first electric car.

Styling

The MX-30 is a compact crossover with plenty of cool exterior features. It evolves Mazda's famed Kodo design philosophy that little bit further with a more expressive, 'friendly' design. LED headlights come as standard as does obligatory plastic cladding around the wheel arches, sills and bumpers, a crucial accessory for any bonafide urban crossover! There's also showstopper rear hinged freestyle doors that open outwards and invisible B pillar between the front and rear passenger compartment. Six body colours are available - Soul Red Crystal, Polymetal Grey, Machine Grey, Arctic White, Ceramic White and Jet Black - and contrasting roof finishes.

Interior

The Mazda MX-30 interior is a beauty to behold with a pleasing evolution of Mazda's typical driver-centric cockpit design. Everything is positioned for the comfort of the driver. The MX-30 furthers the concept of the horizontal layout to give the interior a simpler, wider look. To this end, the interior features a floating centre console that stands independent of the dashboard and adds additional storage. The introduction of a 7-inch touch-screen air-conditioning control panel is a first for Mazda too, and simplifies the dash layout even further.

The MX-30 adds an earthier feeling to Mazda's classically classy interiors with more intentional natural and recycled materials including a cork centre console and door trim made from fibres produced from recycled plastic bottles.

Elsewhere the dials and interface are conventional and easy to follow. Build quality is good too.

The cockpit of the new Mazda MX-30
The cockpit of the new Mazda MX-30

Practicality

The MX-30 has similar dimensions to the Mazda CX-30. It feels roomy up front with an airy lounge-like feel. The rear seating is accessed through freestyle doors. There's no B pillar to block access and egress. Novelty value for sure however rear legroom is on the tight side. The shape and position of the rear windows also mean occupants can feel a little restricted. Legroom will be tight for larger adults.

Battery, Range and Charging

The MX-30 uses a 35.5 kWh battery, with a WLTP range of 200 km. Mazda is on a 'right-sized' battery approach to building electric vehicles. That means that they haven't stuffed the MX-30 with a high capacity battery in a race to win range. Mazda cites this as more efficient electric motoring, avoiding the weight of a larger battery and reducing energy spend over the entire life cycle of the vehicle 'from well to wheel'. This strategy also keeps overall vehicle weight lower for better handling and agility, which is currently not the case for many EVs.

They make a good case for this but the MX-30's range can look a bit feeble against the competition in the electric crossover segment. Fast charging is available through a CCS charging adapter at 50 kW, giving 80% battery power in 36 minutes. It can be charged to full in as little as 5 hours at home.

The Mazda MX-30 is a new electric crossover from the Japanese brand
The Mazda MX-30 is a new electric crossover from the Japanese brand

On the road

At Changing Lanes, we had the opportunity to preview the MX-30's new electric powertrain when driving a prototype vehicle last December in Lisbon, Portugal. We reported an impressive display by the prototype with natural feeling responses and revving character through a sound actuator. So now we have the opportunity to drive the real thing on Irish roads!

With 145 PS and maximum torque output of 271 Nm, the front-wheel drive MX-30 will accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 9.7 seconds. Though the 'MX' might imply something sexy and powerful, the MX-30 is not a sports car and doesn't need excessive power either. Yet there's pleasant kick from the accelerator should you want it.

To help the driver feel more connected to the car and driving process, aural feedback is provided via the audio system in sync with pressure applied to the accelerator. It's very impressive and gives that impression of revving an engine and moving through gears. Technologies such as electric G-Vectoring Control Plus (e-GVC Plus) ensure a natural feeling behind the wheel and stability while cornering.

The MX-30 feels at home in the urban environment of our test route. This was not a full test of battery performance however early indications were that the MX-30 uses energy cleverly.

Freestyle doors bring a distinct character to the new MX-30
Freestyle doors bring a distinct character to the new MX-30

Pricing & Equipment

In Ireland the new Mazda MX-30 will be available in four trim levels: First Edition, GS-L, GT and GT Sport.

GS-L models are available from €30,495. Features include radar cruise control, windscreen projected head-up-display, front and rear parking sensors, LED headlights and a rear camera. Higher grades such as the GT Sport (from €34,795) will add equipment such as a 12 speaker Bose sound system, sunroof and 360° view camera.

There is also a GT model available from €31,595.

The First Edition models will be the first to arrive in Ireland from February and are priced from €31,795. Features include 8-way power driver seat with memory setting, adaptive LED signature headlights and a choice of dark or light leatherette and cloth interior. Higher grades such as the GT Sport will add equipment such as a 12 speaker Bose sound system, sunroof and 360° view camera.

The MX-30 is also the first in the Mazda range to benefit from the latest MyMazda app, which is now available for free from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. It now contains functions that are only possible on an electric vehicle including notifications if a driver forgets to plug in the charging cable, the ability to control charging using a timer, monitoring charging progress, and a range indicator. The MyMazda app also gives MX-30 drivers real-time information on charging point availability and location, allows them to view key information such as plug types and opening hours, and send the destination directly to the navigation system.

The MX-30 features a further enhanced suite of i-Activsense features. Turn-Across Traffic functionality has been added to the existing Smart Brake Support (SBS) system to help prevent collisions when turning across traffic at intersections. New technologies include Emergency Lane Keeping with Road Keep Assist, which helps keep the car on the right track even in the absence of lane markings, and Emergency Lane Keeping with Blind Spot Assist, which helps prevent collisions when changing lanes.

50 kW fast charging is available
50 kW fast charging is available

Rivals

The new Mazda MX-30 will compete against other compact electric crossovers such as the Kia e-Niro, Kia e-Soul, Hyundai Kona Electric, Peugeot e-2008.

Summary

The Mazda MX-30 is yet another addition to the growing range of electric vehicles now available to buy in Ireland. It adds electric power to the fashionable body of a crossover, with a modern urban look that's bound to draw attention.

Mazda enters the field of electric vehicles bringing its driver centric design philosophy. That's welcome in the electric vehicle space. The beautiful interior design and interesting material choices certainly differentiate the MX-30, as do the freestyle doors! We're not convinced yet of the practicality of the arrangement but it surely is different!

Behind the wheel Mazda delivers the same pedantic pursuit of driver pleasure as in any of their combustion engined cars. This is good for people who enjoy driving.

Which leaves us thinking about range. We are yet to fully put to the test the practicality of charging and living with the MX-30. Yet the 200 km range will be eclipsed by most rivals. There's a lot of logic to Mazda's approach but will it work for real people?

The Mazda MX-30 is thankfully well-priced and well-equipped so there's still plenty to play for.

Mazda MX-30 is one of the most exciting electric crossovers arriving in Ireland in 2021
Mazda MX-30 is one of the most exciting electric crossovers arriving in Ireland in 2021

Caroline Kidd