The Look 

The Drive

On Board Computer

Camera & Parking

Seats & Rear Bench 

Cup Holders & Cubby Holes

Boot

Safety (Euro NCAP) 

A fabulous family SUV at an affordable price

Starting price: £28,145

Pros

360° camera to help with parking

Family essentials included – no additional costs

Cons

Rear storage

Intro

If there’s one thing that Mazda want to be known for its their safety, which is such a priority for families.  We were excited to drive the Mazda CX-5 and we were not disappointed.  It’s a fabulous SUV that offers lots of features for families as well as being fun to drive.  It is classed as a large car, but it certainly doesn’t seem the same size as other cars in this category like the Toyota Rav 4.  We would argue its on the smaller side of large!

There are 3 trim levels in the 2021 model but opt for a 2022 model and there are 5 trim levels.  We drove the automatic, petrol Sport Edition, which is their middle trim.  This has everything a family would need and going any higher will only gain more aesthetics inside and out and a 360° camera.

With a smaller (heated) steering wheel than some cars, it feels fun and sporty to drive.  As it’s an SUV, you feel nice and high on the road, so visibility is great too.  Our only quibble was the engine noise.  Louder than most cars we’ve driven, so let’s hope it doesn’t disturb bubba in the back!

It has keyless entry and Mazda have also added a button on the door handles for convenience, making life easier when opening the door with your hands full!  Cruise control comes as standard for those longer journeys.

Interior

As you sit yourself in the car, it feels light and airy due to its sunroof and your eye is immediately drawn to the large 10.25 inch screen, which sits high on the dashboard at eye level.  Mazda are rated one of the safest cars on the road and for this reason their screen is not operated by touch, as with most cars.  Instead, you manipulate the on-board computer using a dial sat behind the gear stick, which once you get the hang of, is easy to use.  Smartphone integration comes as standard allowing you to use your phone’s apps in the car on the screen.  Opting for the 2022 model means you’ll gain a wireless phone charger and you’ll be able to use the smartphone integration through the wireless connection too as opposed to using a USB port.

The dual climate control is easy to operate and Mazda have kept it nice and simple with the use of dials and buttons. We find this much easier when you’re driving as opposed to accessing it through the infotainment system as with some cars. We were delighted to find passengers in the rear have not been forgotten and Mazda have provided air vents here to help keep the little ones warm or cool them down.

Parking the Mazda CX-5 is incredibly easy. The retractable wing mirrors are a great size and provide great visibility. Front and rear parking sensors come as standard on the entry level trim but go higher and you’ll gain a rear camera.  The image on the large screen is crystal clear and the camera provides an excellent view of what’s behind.  If a 360° camera is on your “must-have” list, then you have 2 choices.  Either choose the top trim – GT Sport or budget for the “Safety Pack” at £800.  We do love these cameras, they give the driver a birds-eye view of the car and makes parking a car, a piece of cake.

Seats & Passenger Space

Leather comes as standard on the Sport Edition trim – hooray!  We’ve test driven so many cars where leather is an additional extra or not an option at all.  So you can relax knowing spills and crumbs are all wipeable!  There is plenty of leg space and height in the front for the driver and passenger.  Both front seats are heated for those cold winter days and are adjusted electronically, which is much easier.

There is not as much room in the back, 3 adults may struggle with the leg space.  There are 2 ISOFIX points on the rear bench and we were able to fit 2 large booster seats and a 3rd smaller booster on the back seat – handy for carshares and playdates.  However, when placing a rear facing baby seat connected to the ISOFIX points, you’ll find you lose space.  There was only room for 1 extra child seat.  A 3rd child would have to squeeze into the central space with no booster at all.

The rear doors open nice and wide, meaning getting that rear facing seat in and out is hassle free.  Tinted rear windows (privacy glass) come as standard too, helping to keep out the sun’s glare on warmer days.  Gone are the days of those flimsy window shades which never seem to cover that tiny bit of window letting the sun in anyway!

Cups & Cubby

There is enough storage for day to day family paraphernalia, but take the car on a longer journey and you may struggle.  The glove box is on the small side sadly, as is the storage in the armrest where you’ll find 2 USB ports.  There are 2 cup holders in between the driver and passenger seat which could easily accommodate our large water bottle.  There is a storage tray below the dashboard for phones and keys and Mazda have provided a sunglasses holder above the rear-view mirror.  The door bins are a reasonable size too.

In the rear, there are storage pockets on the back of the driver and passenger seats for books and magazines, although they are on the small side.  The same can be said for the rear door bins. Once we placed our water bottle in there, there wasn’t much room for anything else.  If you can hang on for the 2022 model, you’ll also gain 2 USB ports in the rear.

Boot Space

The boot on Mazda CX-5 is a great size – 506 litres and comes with a retractable parcel shelf.  These are so much better and mean you won’t have to remove it when placing large items in there.  Simply release and watch it retract and disappear!

We had no difficulties placing our stroller in there, leaving plenty of room for school bags, shopping and a dog if need be!  You will still have a reasonable amount of room left if you’re putting a pram in there too.  The boot is almost flush with just a minimal drop, so sliding items in and out is painless and you won’t be lifting up and over. A powered tailgate (boot button) comes as standard, so you can open and close the boot at the touch of a button making life so much easier with little ones in tow.

Summary

Overall, we really liked the CX-5.  Knowing safety is Mazda’s priority, should give you piece of mind.  It’s a great family car that doesn’t come with a hefty price tag.  Go take a look!

Car seats used in this review – 2 x Graco Tri Logic (width 40.8cm) 1 x Halfords Essentials Booster (width 39.5cm) 1 x Maxi-Cosi Pebble (width 43cm)

Car Dimensions - Kate and Claire

Dimensions

4575mm (L) x 1845mm (W) x 1675mm (H)

Boot Capacity - Kate and Claire

Boot Capacity

506 Litres

Backseat Size Kate and Claire Reviews

Backseat Dimensions

124 cm

Miles per Gallon - Kate and Claire

Miles per gallon

35.3 – 50.4

Range - Kate and Claire

Range

N/A

Speedometer - Kate and Claire

Speed

0-60 mph in 9.2 secs