2017 Mazda CX-5 Road Test and Review…
I thought Mazda would struggle to improve their top-selling CX-5 when the 2017 model was brought to market.
The outgoing car had successfully captured the hearts of buyers of mid-size SUVs here, with its well sorted performance, style and functionality, making it a hard act to follow.
Having just reviewed the latest CX-5, the 2017 model (found here), I must admit Mazda’s designers have released a car that’s fresh and stylish, quiet and nicely finished, while staying true to the previous model’s philosophy.
Where I had expected a mild makeover, the new CX-5 is, well… new!
All new exterior and interior as well. And all the while, staying true to Mazda’s distinctive Kodo design direction.
Body shape is contemporary, from the more aggressive grille and headlights all the way back to the tailgate, which is now power operated.
Looking very CX-9ish, the car is more assertive up front - tougher actually - but smooth and flowing along the flanks, finishing with the restyled rear end. Inside, there’s reasonable space behind the rear seats.
In the cabin, full marks for the head-up display. Outstanding. Speed limits, stop signs and actual speed are clearly displayed, and blind-spot monitor warnings show up there as well.
How good is that!
And if you were not paying attention, relax… the coolly efficient and authoritative voice of an unseen ‘supervisor’ hiding somewhere in the system lets you know when speed/red light cameras are in the area! Surprisingly supportive and useful.
The LCD screen now sits atop the dash, more conveniently located, and check out the quality and colours of the display.
The rear view camera produces among the sharpest images I’ve experienced.
There’s a simple logic to the interface, and I found negotiating it intuitive, with Bluetooth connecting quickly.
Stitching as far as the eye can see on the dashboard and upholstery, as well as some imitation wood trim, add to the premium feel.
That’s something Mazda excels at, quality fit and finish that quietly hints at luxury while not charging the earth.
The seating is comfortable and readily adjustable, the look now much more upmarket than before.
Because I had recently reviewed to 2016 models, I immediately noticed this car is quieter than its predecessor, thanks to a reduction in road noise.
I understand this has been achieved in part by the use of thickened glass, and the effect is to add to a feeling of calm.
The engines and gearboxes carry over from the previous generation, so no surprises there.
The CX-5 now boasts what Mazda calls Torque Vectoring. Don’t ask me to tell you how it works, or why it does, but it’s designed to improve handling and steering. The car manages both very well.
Buyers everywhere seem to be opting for SUVs over sedans, and if you’re contemplating making that switch, or you’re replacing an older model, at least take one of these for a test drive.
The 2017 Mazda CX-5 rides and handles well, and is as functional as ever.
The designers have done a good job, and if the past is anything to go by, Mazda looks set to continue its huge sales success with this model.
NUTS and BOLTS - 2017 Mazda CX-5
Engines: 114kW/200Nm 2.0 litre petrol, 140kW/251Nm 2.5 litre petrol and 129kW/420Nm 2.2 litre turbo-diesel
Transmission: Six-speed manual or six-speed auto
Safety: Not tested
Warranty: Three years
Price: from $28,690