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10 things we learned about the Mazda CX-5

Date: 24 June 2016   |   Author: Alisdair Suttie

Category: Crossover
Key rival: Ford Kuga
Model tested: Sport Nav 2.2 D 175
Price as tested: £29,795

Can a crossover really be fun to drive? Al Suttie reckons Mazda has the answer.

1 - You'll notice we haven't put down the Nissan Qashqai as the default rival to the Mazda CX-5. Why? Simple: it's not fun to drive.

2 - Mazda's CX-5 has stood out from the crowd since it was launched for its driver appeal, which means the Ford Kuga is its key opposition.

3 - Where the Kuga in Titanium Sport form feels nifty at first, the CX-5 takes more time to worm into your affections.

4 - However, the Mazda burrows a lot deeper as you begin to appreciate the balance of handling, ride and steering precision.

5 - Combined with the 175hp 2.2-litre turbodiesel, the CX-5 is brisk and has the reassurance of all-wheel drive traction.

6 - Does a crossover need to drive this ably and niftily? Not really, but it's a big bonus the CX-5 does.

7 - There's no downside to the sportiness as the Mazda remains refined and comfortable, outdoing the Ford and Nissan offerings.

8 - Okay, a Qashqai might offer better economy and lower emissions, but the Mazda ain't far off in this guise with 54.3mpg and 136g/km.

9 - In Sport Nav trim, this CX-5 is also very well appointed with leather, sat-nav, heated seats and 19-inch alloys.

10 - You'll gather I'm a fan. Anything not to like? Well, I spotted several other CX-5s in the same metallic Soul Red, so I'd choose a different colour. That's about it.