In-depth reviews

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 pretty much the same size as before, as is passenger space. 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 gearlever 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. 

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The rear seatbacks 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 seatback does usefully split 40/20/40. 


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. It’s about the same size as a Ford Kuga, and slightly smaller than a 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 506-litres of seats-up boot space, which is a mere three litres more than the outgoing car. The Skoda Kodiaq and Nissan X-Trail are larger, although most families will find plenty of space in the wide, flat load bay. Under-floor storage has increased from 10 litres to 30 litres, while fold all seats down and you’ll find a substantial 1,620-litres of space.


The Mazda CX-5 is offered with two maximum braked trailer towing capacities: 1,900kg and 2,000kg. The latter is the capacity for all the diesels irrespective of transmission and whether the car is two- or four-wheel drive. The former is for the petrol engine, which doesn't have a four-wheel drive option.


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