SUV functionality paired with style and class leading drivability pretty much sums up Mazda’s CX-5. Although now more than a couple of years old the Japanese revelation still boasts a myriad of attributes setting it apart from the rest. This week in the EFTM Garage we have the Mazda CX-5 Diesel Grand Touring.

Mazda CX5

Mazda CX5

Make: Mazda

Model: CX-5

Variant: Grand Touring (GT)

Engine: 2.2 litre in-line 4 cylinder 16 valve DOHC intercooled turbo diesel (SKYACTIV-D) with i-stop

Transmission: 6-speed automatic with All Wheel Drive (AWD).

Vital Stats: Power 129kW @ 4,500rpm

Torque: 420Nm @ 2000rpm

Mazda Claimed Fuel Economy: 5.7l/100km

EFTM Claimed Fuel Economy: 6.9l/100km

MRRP Price: $47,178 (As tested)

Mazda CX5

Mazda CX5

Wow Factor: Still a perfectly proportioned, stylish SUV. Very few will debate the argument that Mazda create highly desirable cars. For those looking at affordable five seat SUV’s the CX-5 should sit at the very top of a wish list. Very little disappoints irrespective of the grade you choose. In GT guise equipment levels soar with goodies such as a premium Bose® 231 watt amplifier with 9 speakers, TomTom satellite navigation, Bi-Xenon headlamps with Adaptive Front-lighting System, heated front seats, leather seat trim, 19” alloy wheels and sunroof.

Most Impressive: Handling. You really appreciate just how well tuned the CX-5 is after jumping from a rival SUV into the seat of one. For a high riding, multi-purpose family runabout the Mazda steers and coasts along like few others. Personally it generates a feeling of satisfaction every time I’m in one, with great body control and a sense of inherent precision. You can just feel that people who simply “get” how to milk the best possible dynamics out of this type of vehicle have been hard at work. The coachwork inside the cabin is also first class for this price point. The dash isn’t lavishly appointed in a European type way, but is cleanly designed, sophisticated and constructed from materials that please. The 2.2-litre diesel powerplant has an excellent spring to its step and is the engine of choice in the CX-5 line up.

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Not So Impressive: It’s hard to pick on such a well-rounded vehicle. But the infotainment screen is too small at 5.8”, the Bluetooth connectivity can be clunky at times. Rear seat passengers are well equipped with plenty of space and comfort on tap, but where are some air vents? Mazda’s i-stop fuel saving function while idling may save a fractional amount of fuel, but when paired with a diesel it’s far from a smooth on / off transition. Expect to pay a premium for the best.

Inside the Mazda CX5

Inside the Mazda CX5

[schema type=”review” rev_name=”Mazda CX-5 Diesel Grand Touring” rev_body=”A solid car well built and well rounded ” author=”Chris Bowen” pubdate=”2014-05-08″ user_review=”4.2″ min_review=”0″ max_review=”5″ ]