Why Mazda may have the answer for SUV fans

SUVs have a tendency to be too big or too small. Some are gargantuan vehicles, which look impressive and feel grand until you try to find a space in a car park or negotiate town centres.

The Mazda CX-5
The Mazda CX-5

Others are too small, with barely enough space for passengers, never mind all the tranclements that come with modern-day living. So, what’s the answer? The CX-5, quite possibly.

This is the Goldilocks car. Small enough to be convenient, big enough to cope. Mazda might just have hit the nail right on the head. And with it being a Mazda, it comes kitted to the hilt.

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This is a Sport version, which is a little misleading. Sure, it has sporty touches such as leather upholstery and 10-speaker Bose stereo, but it’s far too composed to be properly sporty. For Sport, read Luxury.

The Mazda CX-5

This model not only nestles between small and cumbersome, but it also fits neatly between bargain basement and outrageously expensive. At £32,210 for the test model – or £28,145 if you slum it in the entry level version – this model undercuts the proper premium models but you won’t feel second best. The CX-5 has a lovely air of sophistication.

And if you do plump for the entry level, you’ll still have plenty of kit to satisfy.

So, how does the Sporty measure up? Well it’s a 2.2 litre petrol model with enough power to touch 60mph in under 10 seconds, yet economical enough to achieve 50mpg or so on a combined run.

You have to work the gears at lower speeds and it has a touch more roll than I expected on corners, but it’s a perfectly decent car on most types of road.

The Mazda CX-5

Equipment-wise, you will find 19in alloy wheels, a reversing camera which is essential in a bigger vehicle, plus a powered tailgate and a power-adjustable front seats seat which are also heated.

It has wireless phone charging, a 7in screen, a system which projects important information onto the windscreen to save the driver looking down and a stunning stereo system.

All good so far, except for the powered tailgate. I’d rather lift my own, if it’s all the same. The bootspace is vast – 510 litres, rising to 1,626 with the seats down.

It is a distinctive-looking model and one that does not date easily, thanks to its classy timeless lines. CX-5 accounts for one in four Mazda sales, which surprised me. I imagined Mazda2 and Mazda3, and the ever impressive MX-5, would count for the vast bulk of sales.

Since the launch of the original Mazda CX-5 in 2012, over 70,000 CX-5s have been sold in the UK.

The 2022 CX-5 features a bold new look with an evolution of its award-winning Kodo Design, which is Mazda’s trademark style. Revised front and rear bumper designs combine with new headlight and taillight clusters to give it a distinctly more modern and sharper look. At the front a more three-dimensional and powerful grille design is combined with a new signature wing trim that no longer heads into the lamp cluster, while at the rear the new bumper shape and stronger taillight design sharpens the rear styling.

CX-5 has give trim levels - SE-L, Newground, Sport, Sport Black and GT Sport. For the first time, individual model grades feature subtle styling differentiation to give customers the option of choosing a CX-5 with a unique character and focus.

The three stand out trim grades: Newground, Sport Black and GT Sport each have a distinct personality to ensure the CX-5 range offers more choice than ever before.

As before, the entry point to the CX-5 range is the SE-L model, which is offered with either the 165ps Skyactiv-G petrol or 150ps Skyactiv-D engine. Making its debut with 2022 Mazda CX-5, and offered exclusively with the 165ps Skyactiv-G engine, the stand-out Newground model features a slightly more rugged look with front and rear silver underguard trims matched to silver lower body side skirts, black door mirrors and 19-inch black diamond cut alloy wheels. Subtle lime green accents in the grille are replicated inside with lime green air vent louver trims, while the Newground’s black half leatherette seats have matching green piping. Perfect for an active lifestyle, the boot even features a reversible waterproof cargo board, while the Newground can be specified in the new for 2022 model year Zircon Sand Metallic paint colour.

Predicted to be the biggest seller in the UK, the Sport model is offered with a choice of 165ps Skyactiv-G petrol or 150ps and 184ps Skyactiv-D diesel. The higher output diesel is offered with a choice of front or all-wheel drive. Matched exclusively to an automatic gearbox this 184ps Skyactiv-D AWD Sport is the entry point of Mazda’s i-Activ all-wheel drive system in the 2022 Mazda CX-5 range.

There’s an updated range of i-Activsense safety systems standard across the range, which now includes Cruise & Traffic Support (CTS). CTS helps reduce driver fatigue by assisting with accelerator, brake pedal and steering operations when stuck in traffic jams. Finally, the front Adaptive LED Headlights (ALH) have also evolved to give finer control over light distribution.

CX-5 joins Mazda’s SUV line-up alongside the Mazda M Hybrid mild-hybrid system equipped 2022 Mazda CX-30, which now features the updated e-Skyactiv X engine and the Mazda MX-30 - Mazda’s first battery-electric vehicle, ensuring Mazda has a SUV range that offers customers a wide choice depending on their motoring needs.

Mazda CX-5 2.2D 150ps Sport

Price: £32,210. range starts at £28,145

Engine: A 2,191cc four cylinder petrol engine generating 150ps

Performance: Top speed 127mph and 0 to 60mph in 9.9 seconds

Costs: 50.4mpg combined

Emissions: 147g/km

Insurance: Group 22E

Warranty: Three years, 60,000 miles