Mazda CX-5 SUV (2017 -) Comfort

Review by Adam Binnie on
Last Updated: 09 Aug 2017
4.4
The CX-5 was the first car to feature Mazda’s angular 'Kodo' styling and Skyactiv fuel-saving technology - two pillars that have come to define the manufacturer’s line-up of cars. It debuted in 2012 and since then the Japanese manufacturer has sold 1.

4.5 out of 5

Comfort

  • Much reduced noise, harshness and vibration
  • Great ride comfort considering handling ability
  • Redesigned seats offer a well-cushioned perch

Here’s where Mazda reckons it has made its largest improvements – the low amount of noise, vibration and harshness demonstrated by the CX-5.

The key here was to allow all passengers to easily hold a conversation. As such you get a thicker windscreen, new door seals, tighter panel gaps and additional sound deadening.

This reduces the level of tyre and wind noise – the latter being the downfall of the last CX-5 – and the result is a hushed and comfortable cabin, in-fitting with Mazda’s aim to make this model a more mature proposition.

There’s a bit of a firm edge to the ride over really bad surfaces but on the whole the CX-5 rides very well, especially impressive when you consider its handling prowess.

Fantastic seats

Really bolstering the comfort levels are the CX-5’s front seats, which are nicely sculpted and offer plenty of support -this obviously helps when driving quickly but you’ll feel the benefit even when you’re just cruising.

The rear seats have also undergone a reworking and now offer a reclining mechanism to help passengers get comfortable, plus there are two air-conditioning vents to keep them cool.

An armrest, which folds away into the middle seat (which is reasonable to sit in as long as you don’t mind straddling the tall centre console) hides two USB ports and heated seat controls, depending on specification, of course.

Headroom in the back is great but legroom is just average. The rear doors open really wide though, so fitting a child seat will be easy.

4.6 out of 5

Practicality

  • More space for smartphones and plenty of charging points
  • Plentiful rear seat storage with neatly hidden USB ports
  • Larger boot than previous model with 477-1,620 litres on offer

Inside the car several revisions have been made to accommodate smartphone and tablet charging  – the storage spaces in front of the gearchange and the box under the driver’s elbow are both larger, while the latter features a tray to hold your phone above any tins of travel sweets or loose change.

There are two 12-volt sockets in the front plus a USB socket and a pair of cupholders, and the glovebox is now big enough to fit a 10-inch tablet device inside.

In the back you get two reasonably sized door pockets plus an armrest in the fifth seatback that neatly conceals two USB sockets and heated seat controls (depending on specification). Magazine-sized pockets are also stitched to the front seat backs.

The boot is now larger than before with 477 litres available up to the cover. It’s a usefully square shape and there isn’t much of a lip to lift heavy items over, although it’s not quite flush with the floor. Fold the seats down and pack the car up to the rafters and there is 1,620 litres of space.

A new boot floor and reorganised tool layout means the under-floor storage has increased from 10 to 30 litres, while cargo net hooks have been added to help tie things down.

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How does the boot space compare?

Mazda CX-5 SUV (17 on)
494 litres
485 litres
406 litres
400 litres
4.1 out of 5

Behind the wheel

  • Cabin still feels a class above rivals
  • Great driving position and materials
  • Attractive wood trim on higher specs

The Mazda CX-5 has always boasted a much nicer cabin than its mainstream rivals, with a spot-on driving position and BMW iDrive-aping infotainment system, controlled with a dial in the central tunnel. Material quality is good in all the places you naturally look or touch, but there are still some harder plastics in hard-wearing areas.

Changes for the new model include silver highlights on the doors and dash, which are aligned horizontally with the centre of the steering wheel, giving the interior the illusion of greater width.

Higher-spec models benefit from attractive wood trim and softer leather padding on the lower dash but cheaper cars have hard plastic you can bang your knee into. Interestingly the HUD is now projected onto the windscreen rather than a piece of plastic, which looks a lot nicer.

The centre console is higher than before, bringing the shift lever closer to the wheel (itself a new design), and the two armrests are now at a similar height so you don’t have to sit wonkily anymore.