Stylish new Mazda CX-5 SUV

Hugh Maguire - Motor

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Hugh Maguire - Motor

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There was a time no so long ago when it seemed that SUV’s might fall out of favour due to their higher emissions and therefore greater costs associated with running them.

There was a time no so long ago when it seemed that SUV’s might fall out of favour due to their higher emissions and therefore greater costs associated with running them.

However innovative as always the motor manufacturers have responded by building lighter, more frugal SUV’s and they are now often no more expensive to run than a similar sized family car.

Manufacturers too realised that four wheel drive was not always a necessity and therefore there are now more two wheel drive SUV;s than four wheel drives. Makes sense really as few owners go off road. Again the 2WD is lighter, more economical and cheaper to buy.

So it is with the 2014 Mazda CX-5.

This week I am testing the Mazda CX-5 Executive Two Wheel Drive. There are three trim levels, Executive, Executive SE and Platinum, with either a 2.0 petrol 165 PS unit or the 2.2 diesel as tested here.

Mazda claim that the new CX-5 is “the lightest, fastest and most efficient in the segment” A confident statement so let us see?

Stylish, trendy and contemporary looking best describes the CX-5. It really looks very well indeed and is more distinctive than many of its rivals.

The cabin is equally impressive with clear logically laid out instruments, with the exception of the centrally mounted touchscreen unit which looks a bit like an aftermarket fitment.

The high driving position gives an excellent view of the road ahead while the level of standard equipment is very good. As well as the usual electrics we have come to expect the new CX-5 features ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) ABS with EBD, Smart City Brake Support (S.C.B.S) hill hold assist, multiple airbags, 17 inch alloys, Bluetooth, manual air conditioning, keyless start via “power” button, a very good CD with MP3 /Aux input for your iPod, alloy wheels, multifunction steering wheel, a touch screen for the audio and Tom Tom navigation unit and a very handy control unit called HMI Commander, which gives easy access to the navigation and audio system should you prefer it to the touchscreen.

Power comes from a very refined low emission 2.2 litre turbo diesel which is mated to a 6 speed manual gearbox and produces 150 PS. Performance is excellent in every gear and it proves equally impressive on the fuel and emissions. Over my weeks test it burned on average just 5.8 litres per 100km and with emissions of just 119g it falls into the lowest tax bracket for a years road tax.The CX-5 is a fine a lively performer.

The Mazda CX-5 is nicely set up with a decent level of ride comfort and solid safe handling. There is a little bodyroll in tighter corners but not unduly so.

Noise levels are commendably low and the car generally feels pretty refined. Accomadation is very good with ample head and legroom front and rear. The boot is

big too with 503 litres of space and fold flat rear seats which increase that load area to a massive 1620 litres. Overall then the Mazda CX-5 is a competent, stylish crossover SUV. I really liked it! The CX-5 looks great too and has a youthful appeal. I can see this Mazda doing well and it deserves to as it is a fine machine indeed. The CX-5 range is priced from €28,895 for the 2WD petrol and from €31,395 for the 2.2 diesel 2 WD Executive.

The high driving position gives an excellent view of the road ahead while the level of standard equipment is very good.