2018 Mazda CX-5 Review

2018 Mazda CX-5 Road Test, Review

Mazda launched their all CX5 in April 2017 to great sales success and positive reviews. So you may ask, why just 12 months later are Mazda updating the CX5?

Well the all new CX-5 was pretty bloody good. What Mazda have done is focus on two key areas as well as some price reductions. That’s always a handy feature.

The two key areas are

  • Improvements to the engines in power and fuel efficiency and
  • Improvements in safety features.

The 2018 CX5 is available in five model variants, two engine options and two drivetrain options. Prices range from $28,690 – $49,190 MLP.

MLP is Manufacturers list price and doesn’t include things such as stamp duty or dealer delivery, registration or insurance etc. For a RDAP see your local dealer. It does include GST and LCT.

This indicates price drops across the range: the Maxx Sport and Touring variants will retail for $400 less than the previous model, while GT and Akera will retail for $800 less than the previous model

As mentioned the Mazda CX5 comes in five models

  • Maxx – all engines drivetrains and transmissions
  • Maxx Sport – all engines drivetrains and AT
  • Touring- 2 engines and AWD and AT only
  • GT – 2 engines and AWD and AT only
  • Akera – 2 engines and AWD and AT only

The various combinations and pricing are best explained in the following table;


Nothing has changed with the exterior for the 2018 update. This is a good thing as the CX5 looks great as it is.

Available with a choice of eight contemporary colours including  Soul Red Crystal Metallic, Eternal Blue Mica, Machine Grey Metallic, Sonic Silver Metallic, Snowflake White Pearl Mica, Titanium Flash Mica, Deep Crystal Blue Mica  and Jet Black Mica

In short the Mazda CX5 looks very stylish and gets a big tick from me for looks

2018 Mazda CX-5Interior

Again there are no changes to the interior for the update.

Obviously the top spec models have more bells and whistles, but even the entry level spec conveys these same four attributes.

Interior trims include Black cloth, Black Maztex/Black synthetic suede, Black leather and a Pure White leather option, which looks smart but I really question white as a trim option in what is essentially a family car.


Maxx Features:

  • 17-inch steel wheels with 225/65 tyres
  • Headlamps (LED)
  • Power mirrors (body coloured with electric folding)
  • Front seats with: height adjustment and seat back pockets
  • Rear seats with: reclining function and 40/20/40 split fold backrest
  • Seat trim: Black cloth
  • 7-inch full colour touch screen display (MZD Connect)
  • Audio system with: AM/FM tuner, Digital radio (DAB+) and 6 speakers
  • Bluetooth® hands-free phone and audio capability
  • Internet radio integration (Stitcher™ and Aha™)
  • Multi-function commander control
  • Advanced keyless push button engine start
  • Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM)
  • Parking sensors (rear)
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
  • Reverse camera
  • Smart City Brake Support [Forward/Reverse] (SCBS F/R)

Maxx Sport Features

As per Maxx, plus:

  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Front fog-lamps (LED)
  • Headlamps auto on/off
  • Wipers (front) 2-speed with rain sensing function
  • Rear-view mirror with auto dimming function
  • Air-conditioning (dual-zone climate control)
  • Rear seats with: Centre armrest storage and USB input
  • Satellite navigation

Touring Features as per Maxx Sport, plus:

  • Power mirrors (body coloured with heating and auto folding)
  • Active Driving Display (windscreen)
  • Seat trim: Black Maztex/Black Synthetic Suede
  • Advanced keyless entry
  • Parking sensors (front)
  • Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR)

GT Features

As per Touring, plus:

  • 19-inch alloy wheels with 225/55 tyres
  • Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS)
  • Remote operated power tailgate (open/close)
  • Power sliding and tilt glass sunroof
  • Front seats with: 2-position memory function (driver), 6-way power adjustment (passenger), 10-way power adjustment (driver) and heating function
  • Seat trim: Black leather or Pure White leather
  • Premium Bose® 249 watt amplifier and 10 speakers (including subwoofer)

Akera Features

As per GT plus:

  • 360° view monitor
  • Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC) with Stop & Go function
  • Adaptive LED Headlamps (ALH), hilo AFS
  • Driver Attention Alert (DAA)
  • Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
  • Lane-keep Assist System (LAS)
  • Smart Brake Support (SBS)

2018 Mazda CX-5Drive and Engine

Here is where half the story lies. The slight improvements to the 2.5l petrol and more torque for the 2.2L GD Engines

The Mazda CX-5 comes with a choice of a 2.0L and 2.5L SKYACTIV-G petrol and a 2.2L SKYACTIV-D diesel engines.

These come in both FWD and AWD drivetrains and with a 6-speed SKYACTIV-DRIVE automatic and a 6-speed SKYACTIV-MT manual transmission

The 2.2L SKYACTIV-D engine has increased maximum output from 129kW to 140kW and maximum torque from 420Nm to 450Nm.  The upgrade diesel engine is better and is my pick.

The 2.5L SKYACTIV-G engine has increased torque from 251Nm to 252Nm, while the 2.0L SKYACTIV-G engine has increased maximum power from 114kW to 115kW. As you would appreciate it is almost impossible to notice anything different about this engine.

There is no change to the 2.0L SKYACTIV-G petrol ENGINE.

The Mazda CX5 really is a city car with some AWD capability. If you limit your excursions to dirt roads, trips to the snow or to the beach then you will extract the best out of it.


The Mazda CX5 has a 5 star ANCAP safety rating. It’s here where they have also upgraded the CX5.

This is a two edge sword. The entry level Maxx is equipped with a reasonable array of features.  However to access the full array of safety features buyers have to go for the Akers top spec model.

Maxx Safety Features include:

  • Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM)
  • Parking sensors (rear)
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
  • Reverse camera
  • Smart City Brake Support [Forward/Reverse] (SCBS F/R)

The Touring adds:

  • Parking sensors (front)
  • Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR)

GT adds:

  • Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS)

Then the Akera adds:

  • 360° view monitor
  • Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC) with Stop & Go function
  • Adaptive LED Headlamps (ALH), hilo AFS
  • Driver Attention Alert (DAA)
  • Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
  • Lane-keep Assist System (LAS)
  • Smart Brake Support (SBS)

2018 Mazda CX-5Good Bits

  • Ride and handling
  • Style and design
  • Interior ambience

Not So Good Bits

  • Reversed Tiptronic controls
  • Some Safety features only available on top spec Akera
  • Restricted AWD capability


When Mazda introduced the new CX5 in 2011 they really tapped into the mind-set of the buying public. The all new model in 2017 was a great improvement. This upgrade is more of a tinkle with a few aspects.

Overall the Mazda CX5 is first class. Add to this the Mazda philosophy of an engaging driving experience and you have a medium AWD SUV that absolutely should be on your shopping list.

Facts and Figures: 2018 Mazda CX-5

  • Engine:  2.0L 115kW/200Nm, 2.5L 140kW/242Nm and 2.2 litre turbo-diesel producing 140kW/450Nm
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic or Six Speed Manual
  • Safety: Five-stars
  • Origin: Japan
  • Warranty: Three years
  • Price: from $28,690 – $49,190 MLP
2018 Mazda CX-5
  • Overall Rating

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