Where as soon as upon a time maintaining with the Joneses was all concerning the Holden or Ford sedan in your driveway, the suburbs are bursting with Japanese, Korean, and Chinese-made household crossovers in 2022.

Mazda’s weapon within the battle for household {dollars} is the CX-5. It’s persistently the model’s best-selling automobile in Australia, and is nipping on the heels of the Toyota RAV4 on the hotly-contested mid-sized SUV gross sales charts.

The costlier CX-5 Akera and its turbocharged engines are inclined to hog the headlines, however they aren’t essentially the perfect fashions to check if you wish to know whether or not a mid-sized SUV is constructed on sturdy foundations.

Our 2023 Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport tester, with its extra primary inside and engine, doesn’t have as many bells and whistles to cover behind. This is the CX-5 in near its purest kind.

Even with out bells and whistles to cover behind, it’s an excellent factor.

WATCH: Paul’s video review of the CX-5 Akera 2.5T AWD

How a lot does the Mazda CX-5 price?

The Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport 2.5 FWD on check right here is priced from $38,190 earlier than on-road prices, $3800 greater than the entry-level CX-5 Maxx automated with its smaller 2.0-litre petrol engine.

It’s the costliest front-wheel drive CX-5 you should buy; the Touring and above are all-wheel drive solely.

The automobile on check aligns with the Toyota RAV4 GXL 2WD ($37,950), Hyundai Tucson Elite 2.0 FWD ($39,400), and Kia Sportage SX+ 2.0 FWD ($41,500).

All are similarly-specced variations of their respective mannequin ranges, and all are in the identical ballpark on worth.

2022 Mazda CX-5 pricing:

  • Mazda CX-5 Maxx 2.0 FWD guide: $32,390
  • Mazda CX-5 Maxx 2.0 FWD: $34,390
  • Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport 2.5 FWD: $38,190
  • Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport 2.5 AWD: $40,690
  • Mazda CX-5 Touring 2.5 AWD: $42,580
  • Mazda CX-5 Touring Active 2.5 AWD: $42,880
  • Mazda CX-5 Touring Active 2.2D AWD: $45,880
  • Mazda CX-5 GT SP 2.5 AWD: $48,990
  • Mazda CX-5 GT SP 2.5T AWD: $51,490
  • Mazda CX-5 Akera 2.5 AWD: $50,880
  • Mazda CX-5 Akera 2.5T AWD: $53,480
  • Mazda CX-5 Akera 2.2D AWD: $53,880

Prices exclude on-road prices

What is the Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport FWD like on the within?

The present Mazda CX-5 has all the time had an fascinating, upmarket feeling inside. Even the Maxx Sport feels prime quality, though it’s missing a few of the costlier supplies that characteristic elsewhere within the vary.

The driving place is sweet, with loads of adjustment for different-sized our bodies, and dropping the headroom-sapping sunroof provided elsewhere within the vary makes the Maxx Sport really feel a bit much less claustrophobic behind the wheel than within the Akera.

With mushy cushions and heat, comfy material trim, the seats are a pleasant place to spend time. There’s sufficient guide adjustment for taller driver to get comfy, and the leather-wrapped steering wheel is a high quality merchandise.

The chilly, knurled local weather controls make a satisfying click on while you flip them, and all of the buttons are properly damped.

Mazda’s digital dashboard is primary in comparison with what’s on provide in Volkswagen merchandise, and doesn’t provide mapping or many choices in the best way of customisation.

It’s simpler to swallow at this worth than it’s in top-end fashions, however a extra up-to-date digital dashboard would make the CX-5 really feel extra trendy.

Then there’s the infotainment system, which is an actual weak spot in each CX-5 under the GT SP.

Where a lot of the vary has moved to a brand new infotainment system, the older MZD Connect setup featured right here is gradual to load, options blocky graphics, and isn’t a touchscreen. It feels quicker right here than in the CX-3 we tested recently with the identical system, however it’s nonetheless less than scratch.

At least the inbuilt interface is easy sufficient to navigate utilizing the rotary controller, so the training curve is shallow.

It’s disappointing Mazda hasn’t rolled out its newer 10.25-inch Mazda Connect system throughout the CX-5 vary, and as an alternative reserves it for the GT SP and above.

There’s loads of cupboard space up entrance. Along with twin cupholders behind the shifter, there’s a phone-sized area on the base of the sprint, bottle holders within the door pockets, a central bin beneath the armrest, and a spacious glovebox.

Rear seat area is appropriate, however it’s not standout. The CX-5 has by no means been one of the vital sensible mid-sized SUVs, and this replace – given it’s a refresh, not a correct overhaul – does nothing the change that.

That’s to not say it’s horrible. There’s sufficient leg room, knee room, and headroom for youths and shorter adults again there, and the bench is generously padded in case you’re sitting within the both of the outboard positions.

Things aren’t fairly as rosy perched atop the tougher, barely raised central seat.

The home windows are moderately tall, so sufficient mild will get again there to maintain little youngsters completely satisfied. Air vents and USB ports spherical out the rear-seat facilities.

There are two ISOFIX and three top-tether factors for mounting youngster seats.

As for the boot? With a claimed 438 litres of area with the 40/20/40 folding rear bench in place, it trails greater rivals such because the Hyundai Tucson on paper. In observe, it’s a flat and broad area with sufficient room to comfortably swallow a set of golf golf equipment or per week’s procuring.

The baggage cowl is well designed. It doesn’t should be eliminated to load the automobile, as an alternative lifting with the tailgate.

Folding the rear seats frees up 1342L of area. Beneath the ground is a 17-inch spare wheel throughout the CX-5 vary.

What’s below the bonnet?

Power in our Maxx Sport FWD tester comes from a 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine making 140kW of energy and 252Nm of torque.

It’s despatched to the entrance wheels by way of a six-speed automated transmission, though all-wheel drive is out there.

Claimed gasoline financial system is 7.4 litres per 100km on the mixed cycle, and the automobile runs on 91 RON common unleaded.

Turbo petrol and turbo diesel engines are provided elsewhere within the vary, however aren’t obtainable on the one-from-base Maxx Sport.

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How does the Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport FWD drive?

Even with out the extra highly effective turbocharged engine utilized in costlier fashions, the CX-5 is without doubt one of the nicest mid-sized SUVs on the market to drive.

The steering is mild and fluid at low velocity, however has simply sufficient weight off-centre to encourage confidence at increased speeds, whereas the suspension neatly balances experience consolation with physique management.

With chubby sidewalls on the bottom fashions’s smaller wheels, the automobile floats over small bumps. It has a stunning, relaxed feeling that you simply don’t get in costlier fashions with greater wheels, however that additionally doesn’t imply it’s floaty at increased speeds.

The CX-5 is properly managed on the freeway, settling over crests rapidly. It’s additionally impressively hushed behind the wheel, which means it is a base SUV you could possibly fortunately drive lengthy distances.

Road and wind noise are impressively suppressed, even on some severely common rural roads. Mazda factors to sound deadening as one of many issues it’s labored on with this replace, and no matter it’s finished has labored.

Anyone spending lengthy hours on the freeway will respect the smoothly-tuned adaptive cruise management and lane-keep help, which don’t attempt to wrestle the wheel out of your fingers as you drift in direction of the white strains.

It’s not brimming with punch, however the 2.5-litre petrol engine is sufficient for essentially the most half. It’s clean and quiet at low revs, and the six-speed automated is tuned to shuffle unobtrusively by way of the decrease gears while you aren’t in a rush.

Put your foot down and it’s completely satisfied to chase the redline, backed by a fairly sporty snarl.

As is the case with the naturally-aspirated engines in most mid-sized SUVs, it is advisable work the CX-5 laborious to get the perfect out of it. Mazda has put a number of work into making its automobiles extra refined, and it’s principally paid off.

It’s one of many quieter mid-sizers on the market, however you’re all the time conscious when the engine is up close to the redline. If you’re continually carrying a number of individuals and many stuff, the extra highly effective turbocharged engine is a greater guess. If you’re all the time on the freeway, the diesel is price a glance.

For pootling round city although, the naturally-aspirated engine goes to be nice for most individuals. Traction from the entrance wheels is first rate, however in case you bury the accelerator off the road you will get them spinning – particularly within the moist.

All-wheel drive isn’t strictly crucial, however it does make the CX-5 really feel extra sure-footed within the rain. If you’re heading away from paved roads, or need your SUV to really feel extra succesful than the typical household hatchback, it’s a field price ticking.

Where the Maxx Sport excels is in its simplicity. There’s no studying curve right here.

Mazda units its auto begin/cease as much as lively solely when the motive force presses the brake firmly, which implies the automobile doesn’t lower out except you need it to, and the transmission will really feel pure to drivers hopping out of an older automobile in a method a dual-clutch may not.

What do you get?

CX-5 Maxx highlights;

  • 17-inch alloy wheels with 225/65 tyres
  • Automatic LED headlights
  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Power-folding mirrors
  • Rear seats with reclining operate
  • 40/20/40 split-fold backrest
  • Black material seat trim
  • 8.0-inch touchscreen (MZD Connect)
  • 7.0-inch digital instrument show
  • Apple CarPlay, Android Auto (wired)
  • AM/FM radio, DAB+
  • Electric park brake with Auto Hold
  • Leather-wrapped gearshift, steering wheel
  • Push-button begin

CX-5 Maxx Sport provides:

  • Dual-zone local weather management
  • Paddle shifters
  • Rear-view mirror with auto-dimming
  • Rear centre armrest storage incl. USB charging ports
  • Satellite navigation
  • Traffic signal recognition

Is the Mazda CX-5 protected?

All variations of the Mazda CX-5 put on a five-star ANCAP security ranking primarily based on assessments carried out in 2017.

The CX-5 scored 95 per cent for grownup occupant safety, 80 per cent for youngster occupant safety, 78 per cent for pedestrian safety, and 59 per cent for security help.

Standard security options embody:

  • 6 airbags
  • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)
    • Forward, Reverse
    • Pedestrian detection (Forward)
  • Blind-spot monitoring
  • Rear cross-traffic alert
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane-keep help
  • Driver consideration alert
  • Auto high-beam
  • Adaptive cruise management (6MT) with cease/go (6AT)
  • Rear parking sensors
  • Tyre stress monitoring

How a lot does the Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport FWD price to run?

Mazda backs its vary with a five-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee and 5 years of roadside help.

Maintenance is required each 10,000km or 12 months, and the primary 5 companies price a mixed $1777 utilizing Mazda’s capped-price service program.

CarExpert’s Take on the Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport FWD

The Maxx Sport is likely to be a base mannequin (or near it), however it doesn’t need for a lot.

It handles with the identical polish as costlier members of the vary, and has a snug inside that doesn’t really feel stripped again or poorly specced due to the considerate design and high quality supplies.

It’s lacking a couple of key options, nevertheless, in what appears like a bid to push you into the costlier Touring AWD mannequin; keyless entry ought to be commonplace, and it’s time Mazda stopped providing the creaky MZD Connect infotainment system in something however essentially the most primary CX-3 – it feels to date off the tempo it’s not humorous.

The Maxx Sport reveals the CX-5 is an effective factor, even with out all of the bells and whistles. It’s only a disgrace Mazda hasn’t made it much more compelling by including a couple of alternative options.

Click the pictures for the complete gallery

MORE: Everything Mazda CX-5

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