I've bought the new Mazda CX-5 Maxx in Soul Red Crystal purely for the elegant look that it is displaying. Secondly, knowing that Mazda's engine is reliable and fuel-efficient was a major factor (coming from a 2014 Mazda 3).
The interior and the infotainment system are almost close to luxurious in look and feel, until you hear a few dash rattle noises, especially from the passenger side where you have most of the hard plastic bits and pieces.
I was also a bit disappointed on the interior space, especially in the back row. I thought it might've been greater than I was initially expecting, however it does the job for now (with no kids).
In addition, I also hated the fact that Mazda configured the way that climate control works for the new CX-5 Maxx model, as this model is the only one with the 'old-fashioned' controls. When you set the dial to 'Windshield' only, there is absolutely no way you can turn off the 'Fresh air' option! This is really inefficient when I turn the AC on to clear up the fog on the windshield while driving. I even thought it was faulty and took it back to the dealer, however even in the driver's manual this was also mentioned.
In terms of efficiency, this particular model was advertised as 6.9L/100km, however with all my cautious and efficient driving I was only able to achieve 7.4–7.6L/100km in six months of driving. Whereas with the Mazda 3, I was able to achieve 6.1L/100km with it advertised as 5.9L/100km – pretty close. I absolutely think this might have been a miscalculation done by the engineers from Mazda, and appropriate testing wasn't done prior to advertising this value. However, it is still more efficient than most of the other medium-sized SUVs.
So far, I have no problems at all with this car. It drives like a dream, and the space is always there once you put the back-row seats down. I love the leather feel here and there for the Maxx model being the entry level – it doesn't feel much different from the upper models.
Lastly, I would recommend Mazda introduce additional (useful) apps to its infotainment system, and of course include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in its next upgrade as a starter. Mazda should allow some personalisation of the infotainment display screens, as it feels a bit basic once you're used to it.
This also applies to the speedo, as even the 2014 Mazda 3 has a much better-looking speedo than the 2018 CX-5 – the Mazda 3 has two digital screens and the CX-5 only has one. This also needs to be reviewed by Mazda for future updates.