• Class-leading torque, direct steering and smooth ride, low fuel consumption, spacious interior
  • High starting price, wind noise from side mirrors, no rear air vents, some cheaper cabin plastics

8 / 10

Mazda CX-5 Diesel Review
Mazda CX-5 Diesel Review
Mazda CX-5 Diesel Review

The Mazda CX-5 finally fills what has been a gaping hole in Mazda Australia’s line-up by becoming the brand’s first diesel-powered passenger vehicle with an automatic transmission.

While Australians have warmed to the added torque and increased fuel efficiency of diesel engines in recent years, we have lost our love of the clutch pedal at an even faster rate, forcing manufacturers to offer self-shifting gearboxes or risk becoming irrelevant in the marketplace.

The introduction of the two Mazda CX-5 diesel models – the $39,040 Maxx Sport and the range-topping $46,200 Grand Touring – completes the all-new medium SUV line-up that launched last month with the petrol variants, which are priced from $27,800 to $43,200. (Click here to read our Mazda CX-5 petrol review.)

Both models feature Mazda’s all-new 2.2-litre diesel engine and six-speed automatic transmission, all-wheel drive, and a lighter, stronger body and chassis – all of which were developed under the brand’s ‘Skyactiv’ efficiency strategy.

The high starting price for the diesel models will exclude a number of prospective buyers from the outset – Mazda Australia has no plans to introduce a cheaper Maxx diesel – although compared with the superseded Mazda CX-7 Diesel Sports manual ($43,640), the CX-5 represents good value.

Mazda CX-5 Diesel Review
Mazda CX-5 Diesel Review
Mazda CX-5 Diesel Review
Mazda CX-5 Diesel Review

It’s now more competitively priced to take on other diesel autos like the Kia Sportage ($39,720), Nissan X-Trail ($38,240-$45,240), Skoda Yeti ($37,990) and the Volkswagen Tiguan ($38,490). Cheaper options include the Holden Captiva 5 ($33,990), Hyundai ix35 ($35,490) and the SsangYong Korando ($28,800).

Against all its competitors, the Mazda CX-5 offers the best combination of pulling power and fuel efficiency. The 2.2-litre ‘Skyactiv-D’ engine produces 129kW of power (at 4500rpm) and a class-leading 420Nm of torque (at 2000rpm). There’s some initial lag and a bit of a torque hole just above 1500rpm, but with an extra 222Nm over the petrol engine, the diesel feels much stronger and more responsive through the mid range up to its unusually high 5200rpm redline.

Low-speed throttle inputs provoke a raspy note (albeit, a muffled one), but the engine displays few other characteristic diesel traits. There’s no start-up or idle clatter – and, of course, no noise at all when the standard ‘i-stop’ stop-start system kicks in to switch off the engine at idle to reduce fuel consumption. Firmer acceleration inputs are rewarded with an enthusiastic, metallic engine sound, rather than the gruffer, less sophisticated growls common among its competitors.

The diesel’s 9.4-second 0-100km/h sprint time may be no better than the base model petrol manual, but it’s far more capable and immediate when you ask it to accelerate onto a highway or overtake at higher speeds. The diesels are 94kg heavier than their AWD petrol counterparts – ranging from 1637kg to 1687kg – and have an identical 1800kg braked towing capacity (750kg unbraked).

Mazda CX-5 Diesel Review
Mazda CX-5 Diesel Review
Mazda CX-5 Diesel Review
Mazda CX-5 Diesel Review

Despite the performance benefits, the Euro 4-compliant powerplant has an official fuel consumption rating of 5.7 litres per 100km and CO2 emissions of 149 grams per kilometre – better than many petrol-powered small cars. We achieved 7.7L/100km on the launch – an acceptable result given our drive route included no freeway stints.

We were critical of the automatic for changing up gears too hastily in the petrol variants, but it seems better behaved when teamed with the diesel engine. Shifts are smooth and generally well timed, and the engine’s extra torque makes it more forgiving of any tardy down changes.

What hasn’t changed from the petrol variants is the CX-5’s brilliant ride and handling characteristics. Despite its taller body and boosted ride height, the CX-5 doesn’t bounce or roll excessively. The suspension deals with ruts, potholes and undulations without drama, allowing the car to sit flat and remain poised and comfortable over a range of surfaces and road qualities.

The steering is well weighted, provides consistent feel regardless of the vehicle speed, and has an unrivalled ability to negotiate tight corners and hairpins with intoxicating ease.

Road noise is less intrusive than in some of Mazda’s other passenger cars, although wind noise from the large side mirrors and the top of the A-pillars detracts from an otherwise well insulated interior.

Mazda CX-5 Diesel Review
Mazda CX-5 Diesel Review
Mazda CX-5 Diesel Review
Mazda CX-5 Diesel Review

The 4.5m long CX-5 embraces Mazda’s new ‘Kodo’ design language, highlighted by the assertive headlights and prominent grille, curved body contours and strong shoulder line, and neat rear with its short overhang.

Despite having a shorter wheelbase than the CX-7, the CX-5’s cabin is more spacious.

Both diesel variants feature 40:20:40 split rear seats, which can be folded flat independently either by using levers in the cargo area or buttons inside the cabin. Capacity expands from a respectable 403 litres to 1560 litres with all rear seats folded forwards.

The look and feel of the CX-5’s interior is among the best in its class, with soft plastics across the dashboard and front doors and high-gloss black and satin inserts to add contrast the dark tones. The scratch-prone plastic housing over the climate control display and some panel fit issues take away from the premium ambiance.

The front seats’ thin bases suit slender bodies better than larger ones, and the Maxx Sport could do with the Grand Touring’s driver-side lumbar support. Rear passengers are unlikely to be wanting for room in any direction, although the lack of rear air vents could make “shotgun” a popular summer catchcry. Forward visibility is satisfactory for the driver although the view over your left shoulder is impeded by the sizable triangular D-pillar.

The CX-5 diesel models are identically equipped to their petrol siblings. The Maxx Sport – the entry-level diesel but essentially the mid-spec model above the petrol-only Maxx – features 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights and wipers, fog lights, dual-zone climate control, satellite navigation, push-button start, cruise control, and a six-speaker sound system with USB input and Bluetooth phone connectivity with audio streaming.

For an extra $7160, the Grand Touring adds 19-inch alloys, bi-xenon headlamps, daytime running lights, sunroof, leather upholstery, eight-way power driver’s seat, front seat heaters, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, keyless entry, front and rear parking sensors, and a nine-speaker Bose premium stereo. Both grades get a 17-inch steel spare wheel.

The Grand Touring is also available with the $1990 Tech Pack option, which adds blind spot monitoring, high beam control and lane departure warning driver assist functions.

Six airbags (dual front, side and curtains) and electronic stability control head the list of standard safety features, which is supported by a rigid body structure with widespread use of high-tensile steel.

Its on-the-road starting price of $40,000-plus will put it out of the reach of many Australians after a medium SUV, but for those who can stretch the budget beyond the underpowered petrol, the diesel is the pick of the Mazda CX-5 range and one of the best all-rounders in its class.

2012 Mazda CX-5 Diesel manufacturer’s list prices (excluding government and dealer charges):

  • Maxx Sport – $39,040
  • Grand Touring – $46,200
  • Grand Touring + Tech Pack – $48,190

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Mazda CX-5 Diesel Review
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  • Gus

    Could have been priced more attractively… At the 50k price point I’d start considering other options like the Jeep GC Laredo Diesel 

    • Suresh

      The CX5 lauched in US, UK has some additional features like multimedia controller, Digitial radio etc, I cannot understand why they cannot bring the similar models to OZ. Considering the price OZ models should have better equipment levels.

  • Springvale Boi

    50k is just too much for a car that’s like a Mazda3 on stilts.

    • URALe-hoo-sher

      How proud of your comment are you now with this being the best selling SUV in it’s class, and a waiting list of around 3 months?  Obviously no buyer of it thinks like you.

  • GIG

    Actually I love it sooo much but that price…

  • Wonderman

    I believe that the brilliance of the car (which is relative anyway) is gonna be instantly ruined by the overzealous price Mazda are expecting. The sale will be only moderate, at the best. Then they are gonna reduce the price – making the first few customers unhappy like starved bulldogs. Correct price for CX-5 Maxx Sports Diesel: 33000 plus on road. That day will come in about 3 months, and I gonna wait for that.

    • Chris

      you`ll be waiting

    • Libran_6

      it’s 3 months now… still waiting???

      • steve

         hey wonderman,why has the price on all models goen up? you still waiting?

    • Damian OToole

      you are not exactly Nostradamus are you?

    • OMG

      Still going!?

  • Bern

    Awesome. Test driving tomorrow and will purchase the GT if it lives up to its expectation…

    • Johnson

      Congratulations. You know what they say about a “fool and his money”….

      • Sydlocal

         If Bern is happy with it, what is it to you then? I am sure I would be able to find some “foolish” purchases at your place, just like there are at mine…

        • Sumpguard

          Yeah but his bad taste in underwear isn’t the same thing as laying out  50 grand on an overpriced Mazda!

        • Johnson

          I doubt that, I am homeless

          • Sydlocal

             Good call! 😉

          • jom

            I knew there was a catch.

    • Greglxndr2

      You’re everywhere talking up this car. Can’t tell if your a shill, or just annoyingly nieve.

      • Daniel

        You misspelt ‘naive’, oh the irony. 

        • Richo

          Fank goodness for the spell check police.

  • Shak

    Looks like a very good car on paper and im many road tests. However one little thing has already given it a black spot in my mind. I saw a black one drive by me today, and i was shocked to see that the right rear brake light was not functioning and the high mount brake light looked as if it was running at half voltage. If the car is already having silly electronic issues such as this i would be a bit worried going for the first few coming off the boat. I really want this car to do well simply because i really like the styling, but quality issues like this from Mazda are just not acceptable.

  • NotTheStig

    No rear air vents, even on the high end model ? – Mutiny in my household if I bought one…

    That SatNav system looks a bit clunky.

    As others say, it is a bit pricey though…

    • Amlohac

      Drove one the other day the sat nav is an exact clone of a tomtom, actually… it is a tomtom. Even comes with the $99 “4 map upgrades a year” thing your stick on the window one comes with.

    • Estiff95

       likewise agree. Also to me its looks a bit too boring. I may be harsh but it does not thrill the pants at all

  • Rj_biker

    I thought Skyactive tech was supposed to make it lighter? How come the the diesel model is just as heavier, if not more, than a Tiguan?  Same weight as a Xtrail Diesel.  

    • Amlohac

      The weight reduction is compared to the cx7 diesel, not to every other car on earth.

      • Richard

        Actually, that’s not what they said.  It was supposed to be the breakthrough technology of the century the way Mazda went on about it :)

        • Shak

          No it wasnt. Mazda simply said they were going to make existing technologies much better, and from what we’ve seen so far, they have done so.

  • Guest

    Between BMW X1 and this, I am not sure which one is uglier!

    • Roger

       Seen one this morning, I will take X1 or even IX35 over it everyday. The front looks very bland and doesn’t stand out at all. The price is way too high, will take subaru forester over this any day

  • Bachman Turner Overdrive

    Tim, good review on the CX5… The diesel does indeed look like an impressive car. Since I keep my cars long term modern diesels have one massive deal breaking issue for me… The high cost of replacing a consumable called a DPF. To my dismay a non warrantable DPF costs anything from $2,500 to $7,000 depending on the manufacturer. This is a massive ownership risk on top of the premium involved in buying a diesel in the first place. Until the cost of DPFs come down to around $1,000, there is no way I would consider a diesel.

    I really think CarAdvice should point these type of ownership considerations out.

    • Amlohac

      If you drive the car like its suggested in most diesel manuals you wont have problems with your DPF packing it in.

      If you fluff round town, short trips, its going to clog up for sure, they need a good 10-15 run down a freeway to clean them out. Otherwise as you have discovered you’ll be up for the big $$$.

      Most likley the price wont come down but diesels will become cleaner and not actually need them. The CX5 has already done away with that “AdBlue” stuff that was required in the cx7 diesel because it is cleaner.

      • Bachman Turner Overdrive

        DPFs last around 180k or so even if you observe the DPF light on the dash.

        • Bigj369

          I don’t know many people that buy anew car and drive it to 180k before trading. Most off load a new car before that (some won’t due to work etc, but most would). I guess it would be something to consider when these start to trickle down into the used market.

    • jekyl & hyde

      Diesel Particule Filters are not “consumables'”.they will last forever if you look after them.do some more reserch before dribbling on these forums…

      • Jinnzhang

         Maybe they are not consumables to you.

      • Bachman Turner Overdrive

        Yes they are and are not covered by warranty. They last around 160k to 180k. For me, no way I’d buy a diesel given this.

        • Sydlocal

           I know they are much cheaper, but catalytic converters on a “petrol” powered car don’t even last half that distance (ie still effectively doing it’s job) but people don’t always change them. The cost of a replacement DPF is still crazy though. Must have some “rare” material in them…

      • Richard

        Go look up DPF Failures/errors.  Even mazda owners are falling foul of these things.  Most people do in fact do short city trips.

        • Glenn

          The CX-5 doesn’t have a DPF.

      • Glenn

        Urea refills are required in most diesels. Quite expensive and often done every service. This new diesel is a rethink and given low level of NOx, doesn’t require filter.

        Read http://www.urea-scr.com/faq.html#3

  • Tony S

    For the same money as GT Diesel you can have a Premium Subaru Outback [Manual] Diesel.  Automatic boxes just don’t compete for the Zoom Zoom factor. What a shame!

    • Johnson

      A perfect choice, if you dont have eyes.

      • Josh

         Cmon, they’re hardly ugly…they’ve just been starved some styling attention that’s all.  It’s that inoffensiveness that causes the Outback to sell so well though.

        • Richo

          I’m with you josh, saying the Outback is ugly when comparing it to the CX-5 is strange. That grille on the Mazda is out of proportion and deserves to be placed into the history books along with the first AU falcon vertical bar grille.

    • http://www.bryanbyrtrenault.com.au/ Modern Man

      Or better yet a manual OR auto Skoda Scout Premium.

      Yeti diesel with all the options still is this price. Manual and auto as well.

    • Amlohac

      Im not so sure what you are trying to say here… so for the same money you get a manual (always worth a bit less than an auto), and im fairly sure the Mazda has better specs (trim, inclusions) Perhaps even better power and tourque (i think? someone find out for me!)

      Sounds like what youre trying to say is, the Subaru is over priced and to buy a Mazda instead?

  • Springvale Boi

    The diesel has:

    – $5,000 DPF
    – $4,000 high tech diesel fuel injectors (4 cyl x $1,000 ea)
    – Urea injection $70 for a couple of litres. The engine won’t run if it runs out. Good luck if you’re in the outback and run out of the urea stuff in the reservoir
    – $4,000 turbo and intercooler
    – $4,000 high pressure diesel fuel pump ($100 for a low pressure petrol fuel pump)

    For these to save 0.1L of petrol and diesel usually costs 10% more than petrol at the pump. And that’s not bringing up the higher purchase price of the diesel models and the diesel clatter noise. It’s false economy and I know which one I’d rather have.

    • Car Bore

      This diesel doesn’t use urea or AdBlue. However I won’t argue with the rest.

    • Mr Plow

      CX-5 does not have a urea selective catalytic reduction system. $5000 for a DPF? They would only cost that much if you had it replaced from the same type of dealer who will charge $1500 for paint protection. And if you know how to drive the diesel (hint, read the operating manual) it will last.

      And how many times does it have to be said, people don’t just buy diesels for fuel saving, it’s the torque, the torque, the torque.

      • Bob

         Totally agreed. Although the extra 300km per tank i get from my diesel over the equivalent petrol (Skoda Octavia), it was cruising along (quite quickly) on that fuss free wave of torque which sold me.

    • klowik

       are all these to be replaced some time in the maintenance schedule or only required if they broke?

      • Thrillhouse

        Are you really taking this random kid on the internet seriously?

    • Bachman Turner Overdrive

      Don’t forget the expensive low sulphur oil.

    • marc

       so you pee in the urea reservoir – urea is urine

      • Sydlocal

         Good luck finding the urea reservoir to pee in marc because there isn’t one on the CX5… 😉

    • Tom

      I have an X3 3.0d that has done 235 000km (admittedly a lot on the highway), and hasn’t required a new DPF yet (touch wood). As for the other expenses, most diesels don’t have a urea system; there are plenty of turbo petrol cars (especially newer more fuel efficient examples), so I’m not sure what your point is there exactly. 

      Also, many new cars use 95 or 98 octane, which certainly isn’t 10% cheaper than diesel – in many cases it is lineball or more expensive. Aside from the economy, diesels have much more torque and in many cases more power than their petrol equivalents. In the case of the CX5, I would have thought that the purchase premium would be justified by the extra 220nm of torque, regardless of the better economy. Finally, you obviously haven’t driven a modern diesel if you are complaining about diesel clatter, it simply isn’t a problem in modern diesels. 

    • Johnson

      I was about to buy a new car recently, just writing the deposit cheque and I asked the salesperson what the shiny compex thing under the bonnet was. He said “that’s the engine” and I said if it breaks will it cost more than $27.50 to fix it? He said “its under warranty for three years”….Anyway I cancelled the purchase right there, fancy a new car with all that new technology having parts that are expensive to replace on the off chance that one breaks! Crazy….

      I’m looking for a car that has all the latest technology, safety, performance, efficiency etc but I want no part to cost more than 30c to replace.

      For the same reason I do not live in a house, a tent in the backyard of my parents host will have to suffice.

      • fil

        Let me know when you find that car. Thank you.

      • Richo

        I’m the opposite of you, if I earn I spend it and enjoy it. Why live life so miserable.

    • Glenn

      CX-5 doesn’t use urea or DPF. The burn at 14:1 was designed to eliminate as many particulates as possible enabling no particulate filter or urea treatment. The compression ratio also allows a reduction of 100kg of the engine and an increase in the high rpm. The engine has torque of diesel with the vibration and noise almost like a cross between disel and petrol. After driving the CX-5 diesel then the Passat and Tiguan, was very impressed. Very big VW fan, but there was no comparison.

      • Robin_Graves

        Mazda have chosen a lower CR to dodge the need for a DPF at the expense of torque, efficiency and the need for more boost and a bigger turbo.  I acknowledge that the deletion of the DPF in itself helps fuel economy but the basic laws of thermodynamics show that a higher CR leads to greater efficiency.  Its a compromise – I see that Mazda have chosen a different path which is great but in this case the figures speak for themselves, its no better than the current leaders, it just does things in a different way.

  • Gua

    subaru sucks, mazda is better

    • Guest

      You suck, I am better… does it really matter to you?

      • Johnson

        I think we may need more evidence before we can make a definitive decision.

        • Let

          Are you kidding? Us internet commenters need next to know evidence to judge. Just take a look around you. I already made my pick on who’s better…

  • Chuck Bass

    The fuel economy and emissions difference between the petrol and the diesel are that close that i’d rather a manual petrol.

    • Bigj369

      You obviously have not driven the petrol. It is gutless. It is ok if you potter around and do not do any highway driving and then it would be better than the diesel. However if you do really drive then the diesel is the choice.

      • Richo

        The petrol would struggle to pull the skin off a rice pudding.

    • Glenn

      The petrol in practice is worse than on paper. The diesel in practice is much better than on paper.

      The diesel is a surprising drive that immediately sold me.
      Don’t care about the $50k. In the UK they’re estimating the the CX-5 Diesel will hold more of its resale than any SUV available in the UK this year.
      In Germany they’re raving about it. The two leading car mags already rate Mazda as among the most reliable though.In my opinion it’s a Tiguan, CX-5 or X-1. The CX-5’s transmission is quite clever. Mixing dual clutch with torque convertor for first 15km/h was a smart move. The only problem with a DSC was the take off.The use of 1800MPa steel was surprising. I reckon it’s at least $500 million of the $2 billion they spent on R&D right there. So far only manufacturer to crack that strength, so they better keep the patent.

  • tdg66

    Wow that’s expensive! Not really into diesel (don’t do enough driving with our family car) but for those that are wouldn’t this be the perfect opportunity to look at some of the alternatives e.g. Sportage, IX35, Forester etc at least you’ll be paying less than 50k and maybe get a decent discount. 

  • Cam

    To all the people moaning about the price – priced up a range-topping RAV4 or Outlander lately? How about a similarly-equipped X1 or Evoque? The diesel CX-5’s price suddenly doesn’t seem so bad.

    • DWS1

      …Not sure I would ever shop a Mazda “anything” – to a BMW or Range Rover, not in the same league.

    • Bruzzer

      X1 and Evoque are similar size but not in the same caliber as the Mazda.
      Mazda everyones car, X1 and Evoque priced above the Mazda and target a different market. The X1 at the $50,000 only gets you the base engine and perhaps front wheel drive. have to compare apples with apples.

      the Rav4 offers alot more space in the boot, the outlander also comes with 7 seats.

      i would compare this mazda with the likes of dualis, asx etc then you have a fair comparison and its then fair to say its way over priced.

      • Guest

        Not to mention V6 RAV4 has the acceleration that is the envy of most 4WD.

        • Bigj369

          And the chassis that struggles with that power.

          • Johnson

            And camels for drivers. That’s just dangerous really.

        • Shk

          V6 Rav4 is very fast..

          Way overpowered..

          • Stewie

            Yeah, and if you option up a $30K 2.0L 132TSI petrol Tiguan with an after-market APR chip to 195Kw then it will blow the door handles off all of the other SUVs you’ve mentioned here – so what?  

            One reason the GT Mazda is so dear is that it’s stacked with kit, eg Xenon headlights, 19″ wheels, Bose sound, sunroof, fr/rear parking sensors & camera, etc.  Option a VW Tiguan 103TDI up to exactly the same spec as the CX5 GT Diesel and it’s $60K on road!

          • Salchin_1

            I agree. Considered both. Loved both, but the Tiguan’s boot space is shit to say the least, cabin isn’t as wide and heaven forbid you want illumination over the vanity mirrors. That’ll set you back $1,500 because it only comes as part of the Comfort Pack. You want a reversing camera you say?? Hope you won lotto!
            I’m not sold on the Mazda’s looks but the diesel drives like a rocket and compared to all other diesels on the market has almost no turbo lag.
            As for the comparisons to the IX35 and KIA, c’mon guys, their comparable vehicle is $44,500 on the on the road, $2,000 more than the Mazda and crap quality!

      • Sydlocal

         Bruzzer, the BMW X1 2WD is RWD. The only FWD “BMW” in their entire range at this stage is the Mini…

      • JoeR_AUS

        FYI, There are over 10 X1 BMW xdrive at car sales under 50k!

  • Clint

    After driving the new petrol CX-5 (very disapointing i must say, most over rated car ive ever driven, it was boring and very low on power) You be hoping the diesel is alot better hey

    • tdg66

      Agree 100% 
      On the day of the test drive I was ready to buy but I could never live with the power of that petrol engine and dealer knew this by the expression on my face. 

      • Amlohac

        Its not the engine, its the gearbox. From what i understand the gear box basically forces the driver to drive ecconomically unless you floor it… which really isnt that great for fuel consumption anyway haha. Tourque lock up occurs much much earlier with this new gear box so theres no slap of power, its just comes on very slowly. The car isnt too bad when you wring its neck.

        The diesel is freakin sweet though, tons of tourque

      • Clint

        Yeah we went in ready to buy as well…So we bought a runout CX-7 classic sport instead, its a way better car IMO, i know it uses alot more fuel, but id rather power and drivability hey, Had the CX-7 for two weeks now and couldnt be happier hey…

        • Brendo


    • Noel

      Yes agree 100% too, the Mazda sales guy then tried to tell me putting into tiptronic made it a different car, he was right, now it’s slow and annoying.

    • Glenn

      Clint… thankfully it’s 200% better

  • Harold Carmichael

    I agree with some comments here, it’s overpriced, grossly overpriced but then most things are downunder. Doomed

  • mervynC

    The grand tourer CX5 looks great, but it should have the automatic boot like the CX9

  • Jerrycan

    I am disappointed with a fewreported  aspects of the CX5 and with this review.
    The pre-release blurb on skyactiv technology suggested that Euro 6 standards for NOx and particle emissions would be met without recourse to Urea injection and DPF. It is only to Euro 4 standards and the review does not mention how this is attained.
    DPF’s are fire risks (causing grass fires) on SUV’s which may go (albeit not far) off-road, so this is important.
    The promised fuel consumption gains are good but not quite what I expected. I am more impressed with the reported petrol skyactive results.

    While the auto is seems very good, I am amazed that Mazda do not offer a Manual variant.

    Incidentally I think the review should have read that the claimed economy was “better than many diesel powerd cars” rather than “petrol powered cars”. Nearly every diesel is better than equivalent petrol for economy.

    The review also does not really mention how well the car copes with torque steer from the diesel, many cars fail in this area and is absolutely appalling on a similarly powered Hyundai Santa Fe R.
    Does the CX5 manage to get all that power down to road effectively, the Mazda 6 diesel could spin the front wheels in third gear in the wet. Does the traction control cut in or does it put power to all 4 wheels?

    Mazda’s tend to have a more graduated throttle mapping, compared to the over-sensitive Hyundai R,
    So the Mazda appears less responsive but you only have to apply more throttle, whereas the Santa appears to be more powerful on the test drive but you have to be incredibly careful with the throttle to achieve its potential economy. I found it a bit wearing after a while and was thankful it had a good cruise control.

    I would love to have an extended test drive in a CX5 though.

    • Bigj369

      I’m seriously considering this vehicle, but I agree with your caution with the torque steer (handling and ride) as I am looking at Kia Sportage Diesel as well. If the Mazda behaves the same then I may as well go for the Kia anyway. But the reviews so far are positve, so I do not know if this hype or not. So the only way to know is to test it. I have already done so with the Kia so I have a bench mark.

      I have tested the petrol CX5, it behaved well but it was gutless so that is why I am looking forward to the diesel. Also for my own persoanl bench mark my current ride is a CX7, so it has big shoes to fill (I am not expecting it to be the same).

      • Glenn

        Diesel CX-5 rides far better than CX-7. It’s a good replacement.

    • Sydlocal

       Jerrycan, some good points there however how is the fire risk of a DPF any different to a petrol powered car with a Catalytic Converter? The DPF only really gets extremely hot during a burn cycle, unlike a Catalytic Converter which is hot all of the time. However I would agree that during a burn cycle a DPF would get hotter than the Cat.

      • Richard

        The CX5 will have a DPF and a Cat Con

    • Glenn

      It is actually Euro 6. Take a look at the stats in UK and German write ups.
      It doesn’t have DPF.
      Manual variant is only offered in countries that demanded it – e.g. UK and Germany.
      Torque steer is possibly going to occur in anything with a standard transverse engine layout. AWD at least does it’s best to help eliminate that in standard driving. Get in a rut on mud or something though or climbing up a hill and you’d demand a Subaru because the only thing it it’s class that does longitudinal layout are the subaru’s with Boxer engines.
      Linear mapping is on petrol, diesel eliminates that completely.

  • David

    Given all the hype about SkyActiv, the power stats, performance and fuel economy seem …… well, ……….rather lineball with its competitors.

    • Eric Knutsen

      I Think you need to do MPG/Power/Feature comparsion there no Medium SUV that is as good as the CX5.

  • Henry Toussaint

    Even if the Price is 50k, It will sell since it’s an SUV 

  • Kejovi

    cheap looking centre stack, no hooks,nets out back no manual diesel

    • Eric

      You can buy different storage systems for the cargo area.

  • Ramjet

    Why buy an expensive diesel to take the kids to soccer. I would only consider a diesel unless it was a serious 4WD and I was spending most of my time on country roads in rural areas.

    • Johnson

      My kids dont play soccer, what car should I buy?

      • Guest

        Oh, why didn’t you say so earlier? This is it. This is the one you should buy. Just go do it right now.

  • Robin_Graves

    The 2.2lt R series Hyundai diesel has more torque than this?  Pie in the SkyActive. I still cant see how such a low compression ratio is a good thing – the more the better for efficiency and torque, less reliant on high boost.

    • Ken

       I have the Sorento 2.2lt R series and that’s a nice engine without this so called lag at 1500rpm like the CX5. The R Series engine pulls strong from idle and makes 145kW and 436Nm of Torque. I can’t see how the CX5’s Skyactive engine is “Class Leading” when the R Series Hyundai/KIA engine makes more power and Torque from the same 2.2L capacity.

      • Eric

        2.2Lt R uses 7.4L CX5 is 5.7L. Might be the reason

      • Eric

        Also the CX5 has no cold start rattle and no lag due the 2 turbo chargers.

        • Ken

           The 2.2 Litre R Series only has one turbo and no cold start rattle that you speak of. The Sorento is also much larger with 7 seats weighing more than the CX5. The 5.7L will soon go up if you threw that engine into a larger SUV that weighed more.

          • Eric

            The twin turbo mean no Lag
            The no cold start rattle is due to the veriable valve timming. Over lapping to keep a bit of the hot exhaust in the cycl.
            (the best way i can discibe it)

          • Robin_Graves

            Thats not what the reviewer says, ”
            There’s some initial lag and a bit of a torque hole just above 1500rpm” The small turbo still needs some exhaust gas to spool up.  My bet is a compromise in the tuning to get around the low comp.  Lower compression ratio means greater combustion chamber surface area – more heat loss to coolant and less to push the piston down. The twin turbo setup was probably necessary to push boost into the engine earlier just to make it drivable due to the tiny off-boost torque.

    • Richard

      In fact wouldn’t it require MORE boost to offset the lower comp ratio.

      • Robin_Graves

        Exactly – thats what I was saying, this skyactive was meant to be so much more than it is.  I cant imagine a diesel with 14:1 comp ratio starting too well in cold climates either.  Seems like a backwards step to me just to placate people who still associate compression-ignition rattle with tractors.  The R series Hyundai is more ‘class leading’ than this and the R has been around for quite some time now.

        • Glenn

          The Hyundai is a old style engine from about 15 years ago. This engine is a complete re-think in design. Go read the technical documents. There is a reason well over $300 million was poured into the development of this engine.

          • Robin_Graves

            The Hyundai engine is only a few years old – it has the latest Bosch piezo common rail system, cooled EGR etc.  The skyactive engine is a complete rethink that hasnt delivered the goods.  BMW is still the king of diesels in the premium segment with Audi not far off but in the budget bracket Hyundai is still the best.  The fuel economy savings of the skyactive are only realised by the lower weight of the vehicle, it has not delivered any benefits at all over the Hyundai R series, has lower torque and may have more lag off the line – probably due to a lower CR and a larger A/R exhaust turbine to try and eek out more power in the higher rev range.  If you have recently bought a CX-5 and are somehow trying to justify your purchase I dont see the point, enjoy your new vehicle and live with its compromises (all cars have them) – the skyactive is just another player – its not a game changer.

    • Eric Knutsen

      The Kia has the MOST uncomfortable leather seat in the class.
      The lower compression means lighter parts. This means lest reciprocal weight and that make power and better MPG.

      • Robin_Graves

        Lower compression is purely down to the combustion chamber size, it would not lead to lower reciprocating mass if it has the same torque and BMEP.

        • Eric

          Lom Comp means lighter interal parts as they dont have to be as strong.

          They can be made lighter/thinner ect

          • Robin_Graves

            Only if peak cylinder pressures are lower, and the torque figures are not far off the Hyundai so what are we talking about a few kg?  Hardly makes much difference when there is a big fatty boombah driving with their mcdonalds munching kids in tow.  Most of the internal stress occurs just after TDC on the power stroke when the peak combustion pressure is trying to push the crank out the bottom of the engine, the other stressful part is TDC on the exhaust stroke when inertia is trying to stretch the conrod, which will be greater at higher RPM unless the rod length to stroke ratio is higher (taller deck height)

  • Sumpguard

       I am bemused at the obsession with Sat Nav. My Sportage doesn’t have it and I am (seemingly alone) glad about that fact.

       My samsung galaxy monile has it and it works fine and came as a free app! That’s an expensive item in dash when it goes bung.

    • Labryz

      It’s not necessarily the Sat Nav itself but the screen that goes with it. That will usually show other information, sometimes be a touch screen, and generally smarten up the look of the interior.
      It helps to get rid of buttons etc and instead of the old chromatic/ display you get a nice new digital one. :)But yeah it’s more how it makes the centre stack look then the fact that it is a gps. 

  • Alpha101

    Have they changed service intervals to 15000KM yet?

    • Amlohac

      dont think so

  • Efficient design

    The CX-5 back and side profile looks like a Hyundai which in itself is not an unattractive design…but that gapping grill spoils the front profile, particularly when compared with the clean design lines of the VW Tiguan. Sky active tech is good, even considering it really just plays catch up with the Europeans.

    For those of us who like to drive our cars I hope they continue to develope and refine their manual gearbox. For those who are scared of manuals you don’t know what your missing.

  • Rusty

    The base model 2WD with the 2 litre  engine is as heavy as an AWD 2.5 litre Forester.  Factor in AWD and a heavier diesel engine, and you can add a couple of hundred kgs more.  Thats 1.7 tonnes.  Compare that to the first shape Rav 4 s at 1.34 tonnes.(Current one 1.7 tonnes)  They weren’t called subcompacts .Mazda should replace the cheetah in the TV adds with a turtle racing around the streets.

    • Johnson

      Is that because a turtle is slow or because they lay eggs?

      • Guest

        Neither, it’s because of the shell. Duh.

    • Richard

      I wondered when people would realised this.  The CX5 is no lighter than the competition.  And why exactly does this new revolutionary diesel engine add close to 100kg extra to the car over the petrol model?

      • Eric

        Its all alloy block is lighter then the one is repalces

  • JoeR_AUS

    Euro 4-compliant powerplant, this will need upgarding soon. The GT price point competes with X1 and S60 diesel and the Mazda does not offer the performance of these models, no zoom, zoom here.

    • Amlohac

      Doesnt compete with those cars at all. Have a look at what $52,000 gets you in a BMW or a volvo, not very much AT all.

      • JoeR_AUS

        Actually you can purchase a D3 S60 Volvo 53k driveaway, MAZDA CX-5 GT tech pack is $52,716 There is over 10 BMW X1 Xdrive 2.0 listed under 50k at car sales!

        • Bigj369

          JoeR_AUS do they come with the same kit or do you have pay for bluetooth, reversing cameras etc??????

          • JoeR_AUS

            Well when I spend $50,000 I look at many other items first but each to there own.

    • Glenn

      It’s not Euro 4 – it’s Euro 6. Go read the real documents on UK and German websites.

      You can’t trust Australian media.

      • JoeR_AUS

        Thanks for pointing that out, I was surprised when I read it above. ^^^^

  • guest

    well i test drove a max petrol last week and my wife commented that it felt like we had gone back 10 years. it was very ordinary, rough noisy and uncomfortable. i had a mazda 6 for 6 years and it was great

  • 80’s Robot

    Sorry, but I don’t understand all of the hype for this car. Why are so many people getting excited about it, rushing out to buy one or taking test drives? I don’t see anything particularly special. If you’re looking for space and good fuel economy to save money, why not buy a slightly used CX-7, or a good wagon instead (after the initial new-car price depreciation)? A Mazda 3 or 6 would also be good choices. What is the current obsession with bland-looking soft-roaders?

    • tdg66

      Yep have to agree with you my wife wants an SUV to be with the soccer mums crowd (we have two children). I’m trying to talk her into downsizing into a Focus Titanium Hatch or something similiar but I’m not getting very far. It looks like we’ll be getting an IX35, Forester or Sportage.

      • Johnson


        • tdg66

          Yep have to agree!!

    • http://twitter.com/holotropik Holotropik

      Agree. We bought a 2yr old Mazda 6 Hatch instead. Was looking forward to this but only from seeing the early pics. Didn’t really work out in the end :(

      • Runningman

        How do you find the fuel economy with the Mazda 6 with city driving? I am considering a late model one myself.

    • Glenn

      Drove the CX-7, Tiguan, Passat, Odyssey, X1, CX-5 Petrol and CX-5 Diesel.

      The CX-5 Petrol was probably bottom 2. The CX-5 Diesel was easily number 1.

      Petrol plays economy card and should be put in a smaller car…. diesel makes mean work of this fabulous chassis.

  • http://twitter.com/holotropik Holotropik

    A major slip-up by Mazda here. Petrol engine is too gutless and the Diesel only good for those who do the big trips.
    Shame. I really wanted one but the petrol engine is a dog :(

  • Devil’s Advocate

    Give me a Mazda6 wagon over this any day…

  • ryan bane

    Australia it is official, you are being fleeced!

    NZ pricing released today.  e.g. diesel GT (with safety pack as std in NZ) and *3 years free scheduled servicing*  is the equivalent of A$44000 + on roads (GST rate change allowed for)

    Diesel sport maxx (again with the free servicing) is closer, at A$37000 + on roads.

    Not sure what the 3 years scheduled servicing is worth, but assume A$1000 would be in the ball park…

    I realise NZ is a very different market to Oz, but someone is making some easy cash at your expense!

    • Eric

      What the average wage NZ Vrs Aus

      • Tony

        He did say aussie is a different market, but does a higher average wage really justify a higher price?  (Yes, if people buy it i suppose)

        Just looking at the NZ market and the relativity of CX5 vs it’s rivals (price/equip), certainly looks like Mazda Aus are putting an unjustified premuim on the diesel CX5 (relative to the same competitors).

    • Glenn

      German price is $1000 short of Australian price despite the weak Euro.

      It’s what you can afford.

      I think the Diesel CX-5 is great for the kit. The Petrol is overpriced.

  • Dberkovitch12

    Drove the GT diesel today. No lag @ 1500 rpm. That’s a load of rubbish. Drives nicely albeit not as compliant a ride as I thought. Not a great looker though up close – shame. But at the price id have any day over a VW, KIA , Hyundai etc. Think the missus might like it after years with a Subie outback.

  • Guest

    You can’t blame Mazda for thinking it can price this car higher than its predecessor. They makes a tonne of sales with the 3, CX-7 and CX-9, so there’s clearly huge demand for Mazdas. So why not try raise the price a bit to see if they can get the most money for their product? It’s basic economics. Only time will tell if this works out for Mazda, though.

  • Reality check

    Um, the overall pricing schedule is pretty comparable to the Tiguan and Kuga, two of the main competitors. Of course, it would’ve been nice for Mazda to undercut its competitors, but the fact that they haven’t isn’t anything to b*tch and moan about. Grow up, people.

  • Tony

    Drove a diesel sport maxx today – extremely impressed with the refinement of the motor – very quiet and no vibration through the structure.

    Interior was pretty good quality wise but a bit dark and conservative.  Handling wasnt quite as “zoom zoom” as expected (not bad, but more understeer than i hoped), not really surprising given relatively high profile tyres and a feeling of real weight over the front wheels.

    Hopefully the petrol with less weight will feel a bit better handling wise – even though I know performance will be lactluster compared to the diesel…

    • Glenn

      Don’t bother with Petrol.
      Worth nothing steering weights up at speed. Euro steering is spec’d on Australian CX-5’s which are overpowered at lower speeds and well weighed for highway speeds.

  • terri7

    We drove the petrol Maxx Sport yesterday and loved the comfort,steering,  driving and smoothness. We drove only around the suburbs, and no hills or freeway driving.
    Couldn’t really fault the driving experience.
    What I didn’t like was the dash layout.
    The main centre screen is just for the GPS and audio, which aren’t that important to us.
    The computer readouts, which are, are placed in the far right binnacle and are very hard to read. The speedo is also one you have to really focus on to read.
    As well, the aircon system is controlled by a low down panel covered by a shiny reflective finish, and is also a bit awkward to read.
    The dash trim was already showing finger marks, and the balck interior was a magnet for dust and such, which showed up immediately.
    The all-black interior is a disappointment.
    So while it drove beautifully for us, the black trim and the poor dash design might stop us getting it.
    Will wait and see what else comes out.
    Funnily enough, we are looking for something just a bit smaller than our Ford Territory, but found that the CX-5 is only 50mm narrower, and 300mm shorter.
    After the test drive, it was a pleasure to get back into the Territory with its simple, easy to read dash, and it is still a great drive. The CX-5 didn’t seem that much different, just a bit more nimble and with a few more electronic aids.
    Obviously fuel use would be less, as we are getting mid 12’s in the T.

    • Rob

       Might be time for an eye checkup :s

  • Wonderman

    Just went to see the car in metal. Didn’t test-drive coz missus always wanted to be there for that test. Well, there is no wow factor for external styling, but I think it looks reasonably modern. The front grill’s loss of that mazda’s sardonic smile is welcome. That had pushed me off Cx7. I asked about the petrol version’s feeble power that has been criticized and the salesman says that the drivers need to learn to drive. ‘Dig the right foot in if you need to fly off’, says he. But we were basically for the Diesel version.
    The console lacked some ergonomics. The steering wheel was really small, like that of a sports car. But otherwise it was good.
    Price? 42 and half. So as we all are whinging about – it is a high starting price. But in a way it does not look too unrealistically high, given that the base diesel version is well equipped already. Take for example the Kia Sportage: if it could be optioned with satnav it would go above 43 odds K. I tried to bargain but he won’t budge, saying ‘Mazda have told us enough — they sold 9000 when they were expecting 1000 to sell’. So the wait is June if I put deposit now.
    Yeah the ‘Sportage syndrome’ again … car is good but just it ain’t there.

    Next week is my test drive — but if the car isn’t there to buy NOW I will only have 20 minute’s of free fun. …. and perhaps buy CX7 Classic for 28 K and save 14 K.

    • Rob

      I tested the sportage as well and was set to buy it until I felt how poor the drive comparison was to the cx-5 diesel. It handles the best of that price range by far and in my mind that is worth paying for. I traded a car in when buying from them and that gives you a little room to move on price. Still, it would have been nice if it was around $39K drive away to start with… but the fact that they’ve sold 9000 already means they have priced it quite well.. I got told 1st May in Melbourne for the wait – maybe try another dealer?

      • Rob

        Awesome drive the gt diesel! Tested the tiguan,forester and territory and wasn’t looking at a diesel but once I took it for a test drive it was a done deal.. Delivery date is 24 April. Can’t wait!

  • klowik

    I’ll wait for the next generation VW tiguan. By that time, CX-5 diesel will be cheaper.

  • klowik

    In the meantime, I think some demo or dealer driven BMW X1 diesel will be about 50k. Besides, BMW resale value is better.

  • kevdog12

    I was lucky enuff thanks to a dealer friend to grab thier first GT diesel meant to be the demo car. Took it away for Easter and did over 800kms for the trip and all I can say is that the car is sensational, it has so much torque, overtaking was a breeze and did a spot of off road without wanting to get it too dirty. At a winery 2 guys were seen peering in through our window. One works for BMW but loved the look and knew so much about the car (competitive research no doubt) and he wants to get one as a weekender. In terms of cost, he felt it was a steal and stacks up well against the BMW x3. I drove the petrol and yes there is said to be a trick in driving the pedal harder / deeper to get full benefit but let me tell you… with my diesel, I look forward to the drive home and to work every day and look fwd to the next big trip.

  • Harvic6

    Would like to know how the Mazda CX-5 diesel handles towing, has anyone actually towed caravan, boat etc

  • ken

    mazdas are among some of the most reliable cars on the planet skyactive cars will steal sales from every other manufacturer mazda has a viable plan to lead the world in motoring tech.

  • Richo

    I had the best laugh today, went into our local Mazda dealer and over heard the sales guy saying that he is getting a lot of people buying the CX-5 over an Audi Q5. Apparently no difference in the build quality.

  • Sully100

    Booked a test drive. Showed up 5 mins early. They asked me to wait. 50 minutes later I walked out. Not happy.

  • Doc Ghonze

    have had the mazda twin turbo diesel  now  for 5 months ,good acceleration from a standing start  -good  on  overtaking – fuel economy is all about driving  gently -if you want to see a fleet  of cars in your rear vision mirror  – get the grunty diesel –

  • Myles

    I bought a CX5 diesel GT demonstrator a couple of months ago. The engine is a delight – it makes me smile every time I drive it with its effortless performance. Dash is not as well laid out as it could be, but when did a dashboard ever bring a smile to anyones face. Fuel use when driven with fun in mind has been 7.6 in Sydney traffic and 6.5 on South Coast roads (measured at each fill; not what the computer says because like all trip computers the one in this car is a bit optimistic).

Mazda CX-5 Specs

Car Details
Body Type
New Price
Private Sale
$28,270 - $32,130
Dealer Retail
$28,680 - $34,100
Dealer Trade
$22,000 - $25,700
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
Engine Size
Max. Torque
198Nm @  4000rpm
Max. Power
113kW @  6000rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
Bore & Stroke
Compression Ratio
Valve Gear
Drivetrain Specifications
Drive Type
Final Drive Ratio
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
Fuel Tank Capacity
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
6.9L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
Gross Vehicle Weight
Not Provided
Ground Clearance
Towing Capacity
Brake:1800  Unbrake:750
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
Turning Circle
Front Rim Size
Rear Rim Size
Front Tyres
225/55 R19
Rear Tyres
225/55 R19
Wheel Base
Front Track
Rear Track
Front Brakes
Rear Brakes
Front Suspension
MacPherson strut, Coil Spring, Gas damper, Anti roll bar
Rear Suspension
Multi-link system, Coil Spring, Gas damper, Anti roll bar
Standard Features
Power Sunroof
Control & Handling
Traction Control System
Power Steering, Reversing Camera, Satellite Navigation, Trip Computer
Radio CD with 9 Speakers
Rear Spoiler, Xenon Headlights
Power Windows
Side Airbags, Seatbelts - Pre-tensioners Front Seats
Service Interval
6 months /  10,000 kms
36 months /  100,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
Driver Side Front Floor
Country of Origin