Mazda CX-5


Dec 24th, 2019

Mazda CX-5

It used to be that our choices for private daily transport were cars and vans. If we needed something that goes off-road, the light trucks or pickups and then later the SUVs were available. It was always a trade-off and buyers had to choose which one they needed more, or at times, had to buy both. The SUVs offered a bit more comfort than the trucks but still use the body-on-frame platform. Then came the crossovers with SUV-like bodies but were now using unibody platforms as found in cars. The CX-5 is one such crossover, riding higher than a car but with the same comfort and handling, sometimes better, than a car. 

The CX-5 was first shown as a concept in 2011 and shared a platform with the very popular Mazda 3 and Mazda 6. The first models became available for the 2012 model year and were widely received, especially coming from a manufacturer that offers excellent value with proven reliability. 

The CX-5 is a five-door compact crossover that replaces the Mazda Tribute (compact crossover) and the Mazda CX-7 (mid-sized crossover). The CX-5 takes advantage of the new SkyActive technologies that are aimed at providing a series of engine and transmissions that reduce emissions and fuel consumption while giving more power output. By combining these engines with overall reduced weight on their platforms while also increasing rigidity, Mazda produced vehicles that provided better fuel efficiency than we’ve seen previously. SkyActiv is Mazda’s way of achieving some of the highest fuel-economy ratings without going to hybrids or turbocharging (offered later to increase power further). 

First Generation Mazda CX-5 (KE), 2012-2017

The CX-5 had sporty looks with road handling that makes the driver feel secure even when cornering. The interior offers spacious seating that comfortably accommodates four adults or five, but would be a bit cramped as the rear seat middle area is very narrow. The boot is not so roomy but enough for a few pieces of luggage for that weekend trip but can be increased by folding down any or all of the rear 40-20-40 seats. 

The interior is finished with high-quality materials, although a bit plain-looking as compared to other competitors in this class. A drawback is a rear visibility that is hampered by the large pillars. The exterior styling had an aggressive front but with side panels and rear that resemble other crossovers.

Engine options were all from the SkyActiv range and were available with either front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. In Australia, the Grand Tourer (4x4) and Max Sport (4x4) were available with the 2.2L diesel SkyActiv-D SH-VPTS (129 kW / 420 Nm). The 2.0L petrol SkyActiv-G PE-VPS (113 kW / 198 Nm) was available for the Grand Tourer (4x4), Maxx (4x2), Maxx (4x4), Maxx Sport (4x2) and the Maxx Sport (4x4).

On the Grand Tourer (4x4) variant with the SkyActiv 2.0L petrol, combined fuel consumption was advertised as 10.1 L / 100 km on a 6-speed automatic. Acceleration was reported as sluggish with these engines from a standstill but improved significantly down the line, achieving 0-100 km/h in 9.3 seconds. The start-stop feature of the SkyActiv, part of its technology to increase fuel consumption, is a bit slow to start and takes a bit of getting used to especially in traffic stops.

The facelift model, which included updated exterior styling, LED lights (on higher trim models), improved infotainment and reduced road noise, was incorporated starting in 2016. Numerous trim levels were also introduced which included the Akera, GT, GT Safety, Maxx Sport Safety and the Maxx Safety. Mazda added a new engine option to the high-end trims, the 2.5L petrol SkyActiv-G PY-VPS (138 kW / 250 Nm). Safety and convenience features were also constantly offered as either standard or optional depending on the trim level.

Second Generation CX-5 (KF), 2017-Present

The exterior styling did not change much from post-facelift first generation. The second-generation CX-5 is one of the best affordable compact crossovers available worldwide. The interior quality was improved with safety and convenience features now as standard, even on the base models. The infotainment and electronics interface was also enhanced with an equipment list that typically can only be found in more expensive crossovers from other manufacturers. 

Newer trim options are now available, including the addition of the new 2.5L petrol SkyActiv-G PY-VPS turbocharged engine (190 kW / 420 Nm) in some markets. All trims come with the 6-speed automatic, except for the Maxx (4x2) which is offered with a 6-speed manual gearbox.

Good steering and handling are still one of the new generation’s attributes, together with being a crossover with a bit of off-road driving capability. The interior, although not the best found in this segment, is still good value for the price. 

Buying a Used CX-5

The CX-5 accounts for twenty-five percent of all global Mazda sales, which attests to its popularity. It’s stylish, pleasant to drive, and affordable family compact crossover with excellent value for the money you pay for it. The first-generation models have now proven their practicality and durability even for a crossover that has only been around for a few years. It's about time to treat yourself and your family to one of these.

Are you looking for a CX-5 or maybe thinking of selling one? Do you need parts or have some that you want to sell? Visit us at and see why we are the go-to site for premium car parts and accessories for your CX-5. You may also contact us at, and we'd be delighted to help you. 

Fred Cajulis