MAZDA CX-5 2012 – 2018

2012 Mazda CX-5

2012 Mazda CX-5

A combination of style and the brilliant red paint finish has had the Mazda CX-5 sitting at the head of the sales race in its class virtually all the time since it arrived here in February 2012.

Mazda’s Kodo styling theme with its big grille, long bonnet and deeply sculpted sides works even better in the CX-5 than in the rest of the range.

This is a comfortable five-seater if those in the back aren’t overly large, as is usual in this class two adults and a child makes more sense.

Mazda CX-5 has a three-piece 40:20:40 fold-down rear seats to let you juggle luggage and passenger loads.

Initially CX-5 lagged somewhat in performance thanks to the use of 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine.That criticism was answered with the introduction of a 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol in 2018 .

Mazda CX-5 received the option of a SkyActiv turbo-diesel only six weeks after the launch of the petrol. Interestingly, the diesel powered Mazda CX-5 isn’t a performance unit, not an economy one. So it doesn’t have the low fuel use you might expect. Still it uses less than the petrol and – all that torque is addictive.

A 2.5-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol was introduced in November 2018. These are still rare on the used car scene, but are worth hunting down if you’re into performance SUVs.

2014 Mazda CX-5

2014 Mazda CX-5

The second generation CX-5 was introduced in April 2017. It looks similar to the successful original, but had a smoothing out that’s almost being minimalistic in its lines.

Inside, the central screen is a good size. Infotainment is by the easy to use Mazda MZD Connect system via a 7.0-inch touchscreen. The instruments are sporty in their layout.

Though based on the powerplants of the Series one CX-5 they have significant improvements based around driveability and faster response.

A six-speed manual is on offer with the smaller petrol engine, all others have a six-speed automatic transmission and this unit is also mated to the 2.0-litre petrol when requested..

Every model across the Mazda CX-5 range comes standard with six airbags, Dynamic Stability Control, ABS brakes, Emergency Brake Assist and Electronic Brake Force Distribution.

The CX-5 had mild understeer when hustled on fast bends, but it’s capable of going a lot harder than the typical owner will demand before needing any correction from the driver, or the backup of stability control.

2018 Mazda CX-5

2018 Mazda CX-5

It has a fuss-free pleasant ride even on corrugated dirt roads. On motorways it’s almost in the luxury sedan class for noise and vibration suppression.

Servicing and repairs are generally mid range for this class. We heard of no ongoing complaints about parts not being available. However some parts may have to be specially imported from Japan.

Insurance costs are pretty well line-ball with other Asian SUVs.

Some of the early diesels had fuel leaking into the engine sump if the CX-5 was used only for short around town trips. Look for white smoke and an engine that’s down on performance. A software fix prevented this – check the service records to be sure this has been carried out.

Avoid AWD CX-5s that have been used off-road. They’re city slickers and ground clearance isn’t great. There are plenty of pampered suburban alternatives to be found.

Then again, the suburban runners have scars on their sides caused by careless door opening by others.

Previous crash repairs can be spotted by sighting along the sides. Unevenness is likely to be a sign of panel repairs. If there’s the slightest doubt have a professional do a complete inspection.

Check the interior for signs of rough treatment by the little darlings. Similarly look over the cargo area for items that were loaded in an uncaring manner. Also look for damage to the boot floor and sides.

In September 2016 Mazda Australia issued a recall to repair a poor paint coverage on the tailgate. If not rectified there could be corrosion on the ‘gate.

Look for scars to the wheels, the left-front is usually the first to suffer.

Feel for uneven tyre wear by running your hand from side to side across the tread. If it’s greater one way there could be alignment problems.

Budget on paying from $9000 to $14,000 for a 2012 Mazda CX-5 Maxx; $12,000 to $17,000 for a 2013 Maxx Sport or a 2015 Maxx; $15,000 to $22,000 for a 2013 Akera; $17,000 to $25,000 for a 2014 Grand Tourer; $20,000 to $28,000 for a 2015 Akera; $22,000 to $31,000 for a 2016 GT; $27,000 to $36,000 for a 2017 GT; $30,000 to $41,000 for a 2018 Akera.

Do a quick walk around a car before getting deeply into inspecting it. That way you can pick up obvious defects that may put you off buying it altogether.

RECALLS: To browse recalls on all vehicles go to the ACCC at:

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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