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Car Review

Mazda CX-5 review

£26,135 - £37,725
Published: 25 Feb 2012


What is it like on the inside?

The first-gen CX-5 didn’t have a very impressive interior. Sure it was spacious, comfortable and easy enough to wrap your head around, but material quality was lacking and the design was a bit too conservative. 

Things have improved for the second-gen. It’s about as spacious as it was before (not a problem, there’s plenty), but the infotainment screen that protrudes from the top of the dash, aluminium-look air vents and trim strip across basically its entire width make the whole thing feel much more modern. 

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As we’ve said many times, Mazda likes to do things differently from other carmakers. Which is why for the 2021 model’s new infotainment system, it’s forgone a touchscreen in favour of a BMW iDrive-style rotary controller on the centre console.

The 10.25-inch screen, which is standard across the range, is super wide and has crisp good-looking graphics and a properly intuitive UI that doesn’t overwhelm you with options or info. Hooking your phone up through Apple CarPlay is a cinch.

We reckon it’s easier and safer to operate on the move than most, if not all touchscreens. The climate controls have their own physical controls too – huzzah.

The CX-5 is a five seater in the mould of the VW Tiguan. There is no seven-seat option. Knee-room in the back is good but not remarkable, the boot is a very healthy size and there are little handles back there so you can flip the seats down direct from the tailgate.

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You feel like you’re driving an SUV – the driving position is high-up (could do with adjusting a bit lower, actually) and the door mirrors are massive. It’s easy to see out of with no major blind spots.

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