The new Mazda CX5
Its current CX5, launched in 2012, has always been easy to recommend and something of a hidden gem compared to more high-profile rivals such as Ford’s Kuga, the Volkswagen Tiguan and Audi’s Q3.
But this new model has a number of weapons at its disposal. While there are no changes to the current engine line-up, every body panel is new, there is increased on-board technology, the interior quality is enhanced and Mazda claims it has made improvements to the refinement, cabin noise and overall driving experience.
Boasting a new look, yet still very recognisable as a CX5, the Mazda crossover is a lot more striking at the front with the unusual sunken grille, depressed a couple of inches back into the engine bay and making the badge and grille surround stand out significantly. The protruding lines are also emphasised by the big gap where the bonnet meets the grille surround at the headlights which, while a deliberate measure, does give a not quite finished appearance to the front end.
Welcome additions to the styling are the sleeker front and rear lights. The longer bonnet gives it a more streamlined presence, helped by the new car being lower and slightly longer, though it’s still clearly a big and chunky off-roader.
The designers say they have gone for a style that is supposed to boast “simple confident lines celebrating Japanese aesthetics” and the result is an aggressively styled but attractive vehicle.
Mazda is offering a choice of three engines, all of which are carried over from the current car. The lower powered of the two turbo-diesels – the 150bhp 2.2-litre – is the most efficient and will take in more than half of sales.
Welcome additions to the styling are the sleeker front and rear lights
It offers average fuel economy and emissions figures of 56.5mpg and 132g/km.
The diesel engine’s soundtrack is pretty dominant
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