Flexibility the key to success for Mazda’’s popular SUV
OF all the cars in all the SUV categories in Australia today, we recommend the Mazda CX-5 the most.
The sales numbers back us up, as it’s still the country’s favourite SUV despite the recent arrival of the smaller CX-3 that is more suitable for younger buyers and nibbling at the edges of the CX-5’s appeal, eroding some of its monthly sales results.
What makes the CX-5 so good is that it is designed as a modern family car, with smart pricing from $27,190 and a backup plan that leverages Mazda’s quality reputation in Australia with capped-price servicing and a three-year warranty. It also gets everything from a standard reversing camera to a choice of three engines and either frontor all-wheel drive.
The CX-5 was given a minor facelift and tweak at the start of the year, just to keep it fresh and combat more recent opponents including the all-new Hyundai Tucson.
It’s the arrival of the Tucson that drives a CX-5 back into The Tick assessment, to check that the Mazda has not been overrun or overdone by the impressive Hyundai or other long-term rivals including the Ford Kuga, Subaru Forester, Nissan X-Trail or even the completely revised BMW X1 that’s now bigger and more suitable for proper SUV family work than the original with the same name.
The bottom line is simple: the CX-5 still rules.
Lined up head-to-head with the Hyundai it only loses on two fronts, suspension tuning and interior space. I can feel the difference that local suspension tuning makes to the Tucson at any time on any surface, while the South Korean cabin looks and feels a bit more roomy than the Mazda.
Mazda could learn some important lessons if it matched the local tuning work by