Mazda CX-5 review - Practicality, comfort and boot space
The CX-5 isn’t any bigger than before, although little detail changes help to make it more practical and comfortable
Mazda hasn’t seen fit to follow most manufacturers by making the CX-5 bigger in every direction. The boot is the same size as in the previous car, and passenger space isn’t much bigger. However, the CX-5 was already competitive in this area, so it’s not too much of an issue.
Subtle changes help improve comfort, with a gear lever raised by 40mm to bring it closer to the steering wheel and repositioned armrests for better body alignment. Visibility is pretty good, despite a driving position that’s a bit more low-slung than rivals.
The rear seat backs have been moved slightly for better posture and recline in two steps, while there’s now air-con vents back there, too. Extra cabin storage features to ensure it’s a truly useable family holdall. It’s a shame that the rear bench doesn’t slide, but the seat back does usefully split in a 40/20/40 configuration.
The CX-5 is just over 4.5m long and 1.84m wide, and is identical to the outgoing car in these respects. The wheelbase, too, is the same. It’s slightly lower than before, though, which is unusual for a SUV. For comparison, the CX-5 is slightly smaller than a outgoing Honda CR-V.
Legroom, headroom and passenger space
Small changes make the CX-5 more comfortable for passengers, but the actual space on offer is unchanged. Both front and rear seats have similar amounts of legroom, and it’s plenty spacious enough for a growing family.
There’s a good amount of headroom for all but the tallest adults, while there’s more legroom on offer than there is in a Ford Kuga. Even the largest people will be well accommodated in the front of the Mazda. It’s just a pity that no seven-seat variant is offered, as a number of rivals offer that choice now.
The CX-5 offers 522-litres of boot space with its rear seats up and, while the Skoda Kodiaq and Nissan X-Trail are larger, most families will find the Mazds's wide, flat load bay offers plenty of space. Under-floor storage has increased from 10 litres to 30 litres, while folding all seats down opens up a substantial 1,620-litres of space.
Opting for the CX-5 in 2.0-litre petrol form with a manual gearbox means a maximum braked trailer weight of 1,800kg, while the auto version, or the more powerful 2.5-litre model sees this figure climb to 2,000kg. Diesel variants also provide a 2,000kg towing limit, with the all-wheel-drive automatic upping this slightly to 2,100kg.
In this review
- 1Mazda CX-5 reviewThe Mazda CX-5 is good to drive, while decent levels of comfort, space and tech help it challenge the leading mid-size SUV pack
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Mazda CX-5 is fun to drive for an SUV, while improved refinement and comfort make for a capable all-rounder
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsSkyActiv engine tech makes the Mazda CX-5 decently economical, while insurance should be reasonably cheap
- 4Interior, design and technologyWith smart styling and an upmarket, driver-focused cabin, the Mazda CX-5 is an attractive mid-size family SUV
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot space - currently readingThe CX-5 isn’t any bigger than before, although little detail changes help to make it more practical and comfortable
- 6Reliability and SafetyCustomers rate the Mazda CX-5's reliability, while safety levels are top-notch