Test Drive: Mazda CX-5 2.0 SkyActiv-G: 100% convincing

Mazda just revised the CX-5, its most popular SUV- representing no less than 35% of the brand’s sales. Mazda really treats its customers who like simplicity as well as a serene driving experience. After a week spent behind the wheel, serenity is what sums up best this new 2022 model-year CX-5.


There’s a widespread idea saying that it’s no longer possible to have fun behind the wheel of a car. Obviously, we disagree… mind you, it’s probably the case in everyday traffic. That’s where the Mazda CX-5 shines most. Even though a diesel engine is still available in it, the importer lended us a petrol engined test car. The 163 HP 2.0 SkyActiv-G engine is mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox, a combo that’s fast disappearing from press fleets.


I like it

We repeat it evey time we can : Mazda gets everything related to interior ergonomics absolutely right and spot on. The few remaining lines are easy on the eye and the simple air conditioning switches are a doodle to use, just like the ones allowing to deactivate driving aids. The leather steering wheel is perfectly designed and the driving position is excellent… even if we would have liked the seats base to be a little longer. Mind you, that’s down to one’s size more than anything else, after all. Top grade materials and high fit and finish levels mark out the car’s interior. No need to take your eyes off the road to use the new, bigger central screen :  the central rotating button is well thought-out. Connectivity is definitely taking a step forward with this 2022 model-year CX-5.


Quite clever

The CX-5 overall shape didn’t change much and all the better for it. We are not too keen on the middle of the range Homura trim and its numerous black elements (rims, grille, rocker panels, wheel arches…) Other trim levels use less black accents and the top of the range Takumi trim completely skips them. Behind the wheel, shifting the manual gearbox is a real pleasure thanks to its precise and perfectly located lever. Overall feedback from the steering and brakes is pretty good. The suspension favours comfort and is softer than  before.


I don’t like it

Honestly, Mazda cars are really hard to fault… Sales don’t reflect their true quality and that’s a real shame. There could be more dealers around, too. Another problem is that the Hiroshima-based manufacturer has no hybrid cars currently on sale (apart from the Toyota Yaris-derived 2) : the whole range might be cheaper and lighter but that doesn’t help to develop business sales.


Why I buy it

The CX-5 with sail till the end of its life-cycle in total peace of mind. Excellent reliability levels, a great interior and on-road dynamism will see to that. German and Korean cars are too often a default choice… this car is not that common on the roads and treats its driver to a real and pleasing driving experience. It appeals to the heart, playing the nice original design card but remains affordable anyway. This car is really good value, considering its long standard equipment list. On top of that, there’s still a large range of engines and transmissions available, too. The CX-5 range starts from €29,790 and about €37,000 will net you a well-equipped version with good looks.

Fusion TIFF File

Why I don’t buy it

As mentioned above, the 2022 CX-5 suspension is softer than what it used to be and it is now a bit less dynamic than before… However, this is no sports car and most users won’t vene notice it on their daily busy commuting drives. Mixed driving fuel consumption official figure is 6,8 l/ 100 km but over our 990 test drive the average was 8,2 l/ 100 km. No tartan cap and slippers for yours truly ! (Translation: Dimitri Urbain)


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