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Mazda CX-5

2017 Mazda CX-5
The story:
This second generation of Mazda crossover is designed to capitalise on the burgeoning segment.
Key rival:Ford Kuga
Mazda CX-5 2.2d 150 Sport
On sale:June 2017

The unstoppable rise of the crossover segment makes more it crucial than ever to manufacturers, so Mazda’s second-generation CX-5 model is a big deal.

The firm says it has focused on styling, quality, refinement and driver enjoyment in a car that carries over the engines from the previous model, but has around 50% new components, including every body panel.

BIggest sellers will be the 2.2 diesels, with 56% of cars being the 150hp model (CO2 emissions of 132-152g/km depending on gearbox and whether the car is two-or four-wheel drive). Another 28% of sales will go to the 175hp diesel (142-152g/km), and the rest will be the 165hp 2.0 petrol engine.

Those emissions figures aren’t great for a car that has rivals suchas the (admittedly less powerful) 115g/km Ford Kuga, and while we’re on criticisms, engine refinement isn’t good enough, given it was a target for improvement, and rear legroom isn’t up with the best.

Still, there’s more to like than there is to moan about. The new styling gives the Mazda CX-5 a real update; it’s a much sleeker and more distinctive look, and the interior improvements are just as successful, especially on the higher Sport trim where material quality and cabin layout are both good. There’s nothing dramatically advanced, but it’s all nicely placed, looks good and is easily operated.

Mazda is targeting the Kuga, Audi Q3 and Volkswagen Tiguan as key rivals, thereby placing the CX-5 a step above the likes of the Nissan Qashqai.

The current Mazda CX-5 was underrated and recommendable, and there’s no reason to think that will change with the new one. Emissions and refinement aren’t its strongest suits, but it’s a good-looking crossover with decent interior quality, good equipment and the expectation of decent residual values, so it’s well worth a look as a break from the more mainstream brands.

The verdict

Refinement and efficiency are not up with the best, but otherwise there’s plenty here to like.