Ever since Mazda unveiled their KODO design language, the Japanese manufacturer has been making some beautiful cars. The new Mazda CX-5 is another example of this artfulness. In general, SUVs are not the best-looking vehicles on the road, nor should they be really. Their big, and boxy. But there are some exceptions to that. The CX-5 is what we'd call a handsome SUV. Now in its second generation, the Mazda CX-5 has some subtle yet significant design changes on the outgoing model. The front looks nicer, as do the sleeker lights around the exterior. Mazda says that they used a "beauty through subtraction" philosophy - and it clearly works, as we said, the changes were subtle, but the extra attractiveness of the CX-5 means that those changes were significant.
Two engines are available to the Irish market offering three power outputs. There is a 2.0 litre petrol version which pushes 165hp. We briefly drove this and it was super-quiet. It offers torque of 210Nm at 4,000 rpm. This seemed to roll a little bit more in corners than the 2.2-litre diesel offering. The 2.2 diesel offers two outputs; 150hp and 175hp.
The 175hp model gripped the road excellently and because of a bit of extra weight, this all-wheel drive model didn't seem to role as much on corners. The body of the CX-5, we're told, is 15% more rigid than before, which explains why body-roll is not much of an issue. The car also benefits from the latest SKYACTIV chassis - this improves steering, suspension, and the brake system
The car's interior is now super-quiet. Whether you drive the petrol or diesel choices, you do notice that many of the rumblings of the past have now moved on. We did pick up a slight bit of noise from the wing mirror when we were doing 120km/h - this was very minor. The other noise was the unavoidable hushed rumble of the 19-inch tyres we were sitting on.
The build quality within all the models that we tested was excellent. We are yet to sit into an entry-level model, but the higher trims certainly have no quality issues. Nice standard entry-level equipment makes this car more attractive with items like 7” colour touchscreen, 2 x USB ports, Bluetooth, and LED headlights as standard.
The new Mazda CX-5 gets vectoring control, which was first released in the Mazda6, as standard. Advanced Driver Safety Systems (ADAS) like Smart City Brake Support, and Hill Hold Assist also come as standard.
Legroom in the back is very good, and I reckon you could fit five adults in total into the car. The middle passenger will have a slimmer seat, and will have to put his or her feet either side of the transmission tunnel. While the car may be 10mm longer than before, the wheelbase remains the same, so no major changes have happened to leg room. The boot offers 506 litres for cargo.