Mazda CX-5 SP25T review: Sports Package SUV
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MAZDA CX-5 SP25T
- Great interior
- Strong engine
- Radar cruise as standard
- Pricey for the segment
- No front-drive high-spec model
Introduced in 2012, it’s hard to believe that the Mazda CX-5 has been around for nearly a decade. It has solidified itself as one of the most impressive mid-sized SUVs, reflected by consistent sales numbers.
The CX-5 was the first vehicle from Mazda to use the “Kodo” design language, which is now present across the range. It was updated to a second-generation model in 2017, but the concept has remained the same.
In New Zealand, Mazda offers six variants of the CX-5, with front-drive and all-wheel drive, petrol or diesel power.
Pricing starts at $41,795 and goes through to $62,595 for the range-topping Takami AWD model. Our test vehicle here is the SP25T, which is one step below the Takami at $60,095, but utilises the same 2.5-litre turbo engine.
The turbo engine is good for 170kW/ 420Nm here, which is nothing to sneeze at. It has a six-speed automatic and AWD; while it won’t have you beating Nissan GT-Rs at the lights, it’s more than enough power for passing on the open road.
If performance isn’t what seals the deal for potential CX-5 buyers, there’s plenty more in the SP25T package.
The CX-5 is one of the more handsome SUVs in the segment, and it only gets better looking the higher you climb the range. Black 19-inch wheels are standard on the SP25T, complemented by other blacked-out pieces including the wing mirrors and the grille.
Like many Mazda models, the interior is a highlight, and feels a more premium than other offerings at the same price point. As standard it gets an eight-inch touchscreen (only when stationary) infotainment display that can also be controlled using the rotary dial on the centre console. This system comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and utilises a premium Bose speaker system.
While the entry-level models get black cloth and leatherette across the seats, Limited and above get leather, the Takami model coming with “Aged Merlot Nappa leather”.
As far as safety goes, the CX-5 is decked out with all the tech you’d hope for from a modern family SUV, including Lane Keep Assist, Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning and Radar Cruise Control as standard.
Head and legroom is plentiful in both rows of seating. At 506 litres, seat-up luggage space is sufficient for most family trips, but is eclipsed by the Toyota RAV4 which offers 580-litres with the seats up.
When put into perspective alongside other popular SUV options at a similar price point, the CX-5 can seem pricey. For instance, the Toyota RAV4 starts at $38,290, and the upcoming Kia Sportage will start at $34,990 when it lands. While both of these options are popular in their own right, I’d argue that the premium that you’d pay for a CX-5 is worth the extra performance and luxury provided.