Impressive performance – the Mazda CX-5 2.5 194ps GT Sport AWD Auto

I have said this before and will say it again, when it comes to designing SUV/crossover vehicles, Mazda sets a very high bar.

The Mazda CX-5 2.5 194ps GT Sport AWD Auto
The Mazda CX-5 2.5 194ps GT Sport AWD Auto

Their cars are stylish with a real road presence. Buyers tend to agree and since the launch of the original Mazda CX-5 in 2012, over 70,000 have been sold in the UK and today it accounts for around 25 per cent of UK sales.

Mazda says that for the first time, individual model grades feature subtle styling differentiation.

Also new is Mazda Intelligent Drive select (Mi-Drive) on petrol automatic models, which enables the driver to select the most appropriate drive mode with one touch of a switch.

Still obviously a CX-5, it retains its chiselled profile, but now has revised front and rear bumper designs combined with new headlight and taillight clusters and 19-inch diamond-cut alloys.

All models are well equipped but this range-topper, the GT Sport, is right up there challenging the executive class with high-quality interior materials and premium finish. It features Nappa leather with red stitching throughout, and soft-touch finish combined with genuine woodgrain.

Standard kit is impressive, but this model, while expensive at more than £38k, has a host of high end equipment usually found on premium models costing a lot more. This version adds, over and above an excellent range of standard kit, Qi wireless phone charging, 10-speaker Bose surround-sound system, powered, heated and ventilated front seats, 360 degree view monitor, plus all-wheel drive and auto transmission.

The GT Sport also offers a choice of engine, drivetrain and transmission with the 194ps 2.5-litre Skyactiv-G petrol powering this model. It comes exclusively with all-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox for improved efficiency.

Performance is impressive. Mated with a slick-shifting six-speed auto box, it can hit 60mph in around 9.4 seconds. Quick off the mark, yet a sublimely comfortable motorway cruiser, it ticks all the boxes except perhaps on economy, where the 2.5 litre engine and four-wheel drive hits mpg figures. Having said that 35mpg-plus is not that shabby.

The dash is dominated by the 10.25-inch colour touch-screen which controls major functions including infotainment and smartphone connectivity, via the Multimedia Commander on the central console. The in-car assistant systems allow access to certain features of your phone through the Mazda Connect system.

This model features Mazda’s i-Activ AWD system and although unlikely to go off-road very often and less like to tackle the really rough stuff, it gives it the ability cope with tricky, wet and slippery conditions offering the extra four-wheel drive traction.

Stowage space is impressive via the Karakul design system and when folded flat the rear seating is flush with the luggage space floor. It is cavernous when everything is folded, opening up stowage space from 510 to 1,626 litres. All Mazdas are safe and this latest model offers an updated range of i-Activsense safety systems which is standard across the range.

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