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

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

Practicality, comfort and boot space Rating

3.7 out of 5

Price
£31,020 to £42,635
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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. 

Size

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.

Boot 

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.

Towing

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.

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    2.0 SE-L Nav 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £23,835

Most Economical

  • Name
    2.0 SE-L Nav 5dr
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £23,835

Fastest

  • Name
    2.2d [175] Sport Nav 5dr AWD
  • Gearbox type
    Manual
  • Price
    £31,225
Executive editor

Paul was employed across automotive agency and manufacturer-side sectors before joining Auto Express in 2020 as our online reviews editor. After a brief sojourn at a national UK newspaper, Paul returned as executive editor where he now works closely with our commercial partners.

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