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.
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.
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.