Browse over 9,000 car reviews

    Mazda CX-5 2022 review: Maxx Sport 2.0

    The CX-5 shape still holds even though it hasn't had a recent update.

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? That's no doubt what the execs at Mazda think about the CX-5, which hasn't changed shape in quite a few years, and is still one of the most popular cars on the road.

    It's a mid-size SUV that competes with cars like the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4.

    I test drove the Maxx Sport which is second from the bottom of the range and in FWD costs from $38,990 drive-away.

    Here's how it did with my family of four over a week of driving for this week's review.

    ShowHide all sections

    How does it look?

    When the CX-5 first came out, I used to sometimes mistake them for BMWs. They have a similar shape with rounded corners and a streamlined sophistication that you don't often see on a car in this price category.

    While that doesn't happen anymore, they are definitely still more European looking than the average Kia or Hyundai. The shape has held well over the years.

    • When the CX-5 first came out, I used to sometimes mistake them for BMWs. (image: Dean McCartney) When the CX-5 first came out, I used to sometimes mistake them for BMWs. (image: Dean McCartney)
    • They have a similar shape with rounded corners and a streamlined sophistication that you don’t often see on a car in this price category. (image: Dean McCartney) They have a similar shape with rounded corners and a streamlined sophistication that you don’t often see on a car in this price category. (image: Dean McCartney)
    • While that doesn’t happen anymore, they are definitely still more European looking than the average Kia or Hyundai. (image: Dean McCartney) While that doesn’t happen anymore, they are definitely still more European looking than the average Kia or Hyundai. (image: Dean McCartney)
    • The shape has held well over the years. (image: Dean McCartney) The shape has held well over the years. (image: Dean McCartney)

    Inside follows the same design application, with a less is more philosophy throughout.

    The dash is super smooth and feels nicely padded, there are metallic touches over the centre console and doors, and the centre console is well designed, though it could definitely do with an update.

    The dash is super smooth and feels nicely padded. (image: Dean McCartney) The dash is super smooth and feels nicely padded. (image: Dean McCartney)

    Particularly the way the multimedia screen juts out of the dash. It would look more modern if it was incorporated into it, and there is no digital dashboard behind the steering wheel.

    Other elements, like the seats, which are cloth and comfortable to sit on, feel in line with this price bracket. You do get a leather steering wheel that feels good under the hands.

    All in all, it still feels good to drive the CX-5 but there are other features the competition has updated which Mazda hasn't yet.

    The centre console could definitely do with an update. Particularly the way the multimedia screen juts out of the dash. (image: Dean McCartney) The centre console could definitely do with an update. Particularly the way the multimedia screen juts out of the dash. (image: Dean McCartney)

    How spacious is it?

    The CX-5 works for my family of four space-wise. We had no trouble fitting in this week and the seats in the front feel light and airy. There's enough room for taller members of my family to sit comfortably with plenty of leg and head space.

    The rear seats accommodated my two children, aged seven and nine, very well. I can fit back there at 161cm (5'3") and taller adults and teenagers will also find themselves with enough leg space and head space.

    The rear seats accommodated my two children, aged seven and nine, very well. (image: Dean McCartney) The rear seats accommodated my two children, aged seven and nine, very well. (image: Dean McCartney)

    I wouldn't fit a third child seat in the middle though - you could if it was a one-off, but trying to shove in three seats and do seat belts up every day would be hard work. Doable, but hard.

    The boot sounds small on paper compared to others in this category. At 442L it's smaller than a RAV4 and CR-V. In reality it fits most things you need like a pram or suitcases.

    We have gone away for the weekend in this car before, and while it took a good bit of boot space jigsaw-puzzling to fit everything in, it worked. Again, it's not exactly roomy, but it does the job.

    The boot sounds small on paper compared to others in this category. (image: Dean McCartney) The boot sounds small on paper compared to others in this category. (image: Dean McCartney)

    How does it drive?

    It's the smooth driving that gets you every time in the Mazda CX-5. It's got zip, it's got a fast pace on take-off, it's nimble not heavy, and it's consistent. A good all around driving experience.

    This Maxx Sport model has a 2.0L, four-cylinder engine which has decent power to get you up hills quickly, while giving you confidence to overtake on highways, plus it handles well around corners.

    It still feels good to drive the CX-5 but there are other features the competition has updated which Mazda hasn’t yet. (image: Dean McCartney) It still feels good to drive the CX-5 but there are other features the competition has updated which Mazda hasn’t yet. (image: Dean McCartney)

    Unfortunately there is no hybrid or electric option when it comes to the CX-5 range which means it's lagging behind the competition which has already incorporated these options into their line-up, like the RAV4 and Subaru's Forester.

    The steering wheel is easy to turn which makes squeezing into parks light work. The size of the car also makes it easier when compared with bigger SUVs. There's a decent reverse parking camera but no snazzy 360-degree view.

    How easy is it to use every day?

    Being the model that is second from the bottom means there's not a lot of automation on the Maxx Sport, and you'll be manually adjusting the front seats and pulling the tailgate down with your bare hands (the horror!). You do get a push button start, though.

    The CX-5 works for my family of four space-wise. (image: Dean McCartney) The CX-5 works for my family of four space-wise. (image: Dean McCartney)

    For storage there are two cupholders and a good sized centre storage bin. There's a spot to throw keys and phone in the front and bottle holders in each door.

    Rear passengers will be able to use the two cupholders in the centre armrest and they also have their own directional air vents. There's also dual zone air conditioning in the front.

    There’s enough room for taller members of my family to sit comfortably with plenty of leg and head space. (image: Dean McCartney) There’s enough room for taller members of my family to sit comfortably with plenty of leg and head space. (image: Dean McCartney)

    How safe is it?

    The CX-5 has airbags for driver and front passenger and side curtain airbags that extend to the back row. For advanced safety there is auto emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and rear parking sensors.

    You'll find two ISOFIX points and three top tether points for capsules and child seats in the back row. And the CX-5 scored a maximum five ANCAP stars when it was tested in 2017.

    There are metallic touches over the centre console and doors, and the centre console is well designed. (image: Dean McCartney) There are metallic touches over the centre console and doors, and the centre console is well designed. (image: Dean McCartney)

    What's the tech like?

    The CX-5 now has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Handy tech because it syncs immediately with your phone and you can use the streaming app you're used to for music/audio and whichever maps app you prefer to navigate.

    But Mazda still uses a console dial to control the screen which just makes things a little clunkier than a touchscreen which is what most competitors have. It was always annoying but now is feeling quite dated.

    It’s the smooth driving that gets you every time in the Mazda CX-5. (image: Dean McCartney) It’s the smooth driving that gets you every time in the Mazda CX-5. (image: Dean McCartney)

    How much does it cost to own?

    The Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport costs from $38,990 drive-away. The official combined fuel consumption figure is 6.9L/100km, and I averaged 8.7L/100km doing mostly city and suburban driving, which generally uses more fuel than highway driving.

    It's covered by Mazda's five year/unlimited km warranty and servicing is required every 12 months/10,000km which isn't as good as the usual 15,000km on some competitors.

    Mazda's website features a service price calculator listing maintenance costs out to 160,000km, and the annual cost for this car over the first five years is $343.

    The Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport costs from $38,990 drive-away. (image: Dean McCartney) The Mazda CX-5 Maxx Sport costs from $38,990 drive-away. (image: Dean McCartney)


    Insurance Quote

    The Wrap

    The Mazda CX-5 is an easy choice for a family mid-size SUV. It drives really well, looks stylish on the road and has decent interior space.

    It is starting to fall behind in areas like interior design and lack of hybrid or electric motor options.

    Still, it does the job and it does it well. I gave it a family rating of 7.6 out of 10 and my kids gave it the same, they like the air vents in the back.

    Likes

    Exterior design
    Smooth drive
    Space efficiency

    Dislikes

    Dated interior styling
    Lack of hybrid/electric options
    Console controller for media screen

    Scores

    Nedahl:

    3.8

    The Kids:

    3.8

    $38,990

    Based on new car retail price

    Mazda CX-5

    Browse all 904

    Mazda CX-5s

    listed for sale on Autotrader

    Autotrader A smarter way to trade auto

    Disclaimer: The pricing information shown in the editorial content (Review Prices) is to be used as a guide only and is based on information provided to Carsguide Autotrader Media Solutions Pty Ltd (Carsguide) both by third party sources and the car manufacturer at the time of publication. The Review Prices were correct at the time of publication.  Carsguide does not warrant or represent that the information is accurate, reliable, complete, current or suitable for any particular purpose. You should not use or rely upon this information without conducting an independent assessment and valuation of the vehicle.