MAZDA CX-5 GT
The GT is second from the top of the four models in the recently revised CX-5 range. Standard fare includes heated leather seats, sunroof, touchscreen satnav, rear-view camera, Bose audio and sensor key. Mazda’s capped price servicing interval is 12 months/10,000km (which, based on the national average distance travelled, equates to dealer visits every nine months). Servicing over three years on that basis costs $1328.
The 2.5-litre four-cylinder (138kW/250Nm) is not the most powerful or refined in its class but it is one of the most efficient and, unlike some rivals, requires only regular unleaded. According to the label, average consumption is 7.4L/100km.
Mazda gave the CX-5 a minor freshen up at the start of the year, including a new grille, headlights and tail-lights. The interior trim also got a cleaner look. Cabin and cargo space are slightly smaller than the Kuga but it’s still cavernous (403L seats up, 1560L down).
Six airbags and five-star safety rating are part of the package, as are a rear-view camera, daytime running lights and LED headlights that turn in the same direction as the steering for better vision in corners. An optional safety pack (at $1060, a worthwhile addition) bundles automatic emergency braking (front and rear), blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
The CX-5 GT feels secure on the road and the steering is precise, although the suspension is a little firmer over bumps than the more affordable versions. This is most likely due to the low-profile tyres on 19-inch wheels. The CX-5 can tow more than the Kuga (1800kg v 1500kg) despite its less powerful engine.