First introduced to Mzansi in 2012 the Mazda CX-5 has become their best selling model. With some big shoes to fill because the previous generation the CX5 model has ticked all the right boxes for consumers.

Styling wise the CX-5 is a rather handsome looking car. Upfront it features a large grille, swept-back headlights and a sharp and neat look to it. Moving to the rear – it’s less dramatic, but overall a very well sought out design. The protective cladding along the side sills and wheel arches are purposeful and look good without making it look cheap.

The interior has a very premium feel to it. There’s lots of soft-touch plastics and some design features that stand out liked stitched leather on top of the dash. It has the same infotainment system as the previous generation model but with a glossy new 7-inch touchscreen. The infotainment system is very intuitive and is controlled by a rotary dial – similar to BMW.

Overall we love the CX-5’s styling, handling and value for money.

The driving position is brilliant and button placement is within comfortable reach. Rear legroom is good – even for adults – and there’s loads of headroom too. The rear door opens at 90 degrees which means loading a child seat will be a breeze. Boot space comes in at 506 litres which is pretty decent for most and can be expanded to 1,620 litres by folding down the rear seats via a 40:20:40 split.

This Akera model is powered by the tried and tested 2.2 litre 4 cylinder unit which churns out 129 kW and 420Nm of torque. Power delivery is smooth and overtaking is a breeze. It offers a sporty ride, it changes direction pretty well thanks to its suspension setup. We did a bit of soft-roading and it handled it quite well thanks to its all-wheel-drive. We got very little slip from the tires whilst going up muddy hills. Mazda claims as little as 5.7 l/100km, but we only managed to achieve a best of 9.2 L/100 km with lots of highway driving.

The market for compact SUVs is a very competitive one.

When it comes down to its direct competitors with the likes of the KIA Sportage, Hyundai Tuscon and Toyota RAV 4, the Mazda CX-5 seems to have the edge in terms of comfort, styling, handling and standard equipment. Overall we love the CX-5’s styling, handling and value for money.


Engine: 2.2 litre 4 cyl diesel
Power: 129kW @ 4500rpm
Torque: 420 N.m @ 2000rpm
rpmTransmission: 6 Speed Automatic
Acceleration: 0 – 100 km/h 9.5 seconds
Top Speed: 206 km/h km/h
Fuel Consumption: 5.7l/100km (claimed)
Price: R 579, 900

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