Mazda CX-5: Good or Bad for Travel

Estimated read time 5 min read


Mazda introduced its latest line of CX-5 compact SUVs in the Australian market this year. Unlike other cars, these new models matter to Australians because the Mazda CX-5 has long been the nation’s favourite SUV.

That is until Toyota introduced their RAV4, which overtook the CX-5 in the Australian market.

Nonetheless, the latest line of Mazda CX5 SUVs remain important to Australian travellers, and today, we will list all the things that we think are good or bad about it when it comes to travelling.

Mazda CX-5: Good or Bad for Travel?

Let’s start by listing all the good things about the latest 2021 Mazda CX-5 that make it worth a traveller’s compact SUV.


While looks may not be the biggest concerns for travellers, it is nice to know that you are travelling in style. After all, the exterior design of these new models is one of their most attractive features. They look modern, stylish, and aesthetically pleasing.

Most people will agree that these cars look more like a large hatch than a compact SUV, which isn’t a bad thing. Unlike most compact SUVs that try to copy larger SUVs and end up looking like their younger siblings, the Mazda CX-5 does not try to look like anything that it isn’t.

It does a great job at not appearing like an SUV at all. Instead, it looks like a large hatch, and this is a risky approach. However, most people will agree that it pulls off this unique look very nicely.

Fuel Efficiency

Fuel efficiency is a major concern for travellers because the cost of fuel accumulates quickly over time, especially for long-distance travellers. In this regard, the Mazda CX-5 offers plenty of options, of which one is particularly good for travelling.

The Mazda CX-5 variants come with 3 different engines between them. The entry-level MAXX (FWD) comes with a 2.5-litre naturally-aspirated four-cylinder petrol engine and has a rating of 7.4 litres per 100km. Next, the 2.2-litre twin-turbo diesel engine is rated at 5.7L per100km.

Lastly, the range-topping AKERA variant has a 2.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine with a surprising rating of 8.2L per 100km. Apart from the twin-turbo diesel variant, the petrol variants offer great fuel efficiency for this type of compact SUV. The best of which is offered by the engine in the top variant.

The Ride and Handling

The Mazda CX-5 is an excellent all-rounder when it comes to the ride and handling. The suspension is well-tuned and the electric rack-and-pinion steering is nicely weighted as well. They give you more control and agility than you would expect.

This can make a huge difference during travelling regardless of whether you pass through urban or rural areas. Travellers will appreciate the ride and handling more than others because their journeys are long, and it can have a big impact on travel comfort.

Luxury Features

There are plenty of luxury features available with the Mazda CX-5. They include things like dual-zone climate control, 19-inch alloy wheels, rain-sensing wipers, electric tailgate, sunroof, parking sensors, auto-folding side mirrors, active cruise control, and a new 10.25-inch infotainment system with Bose audio.

There are also things like a head-up display, electric and heated seats, heated steering wheel, satellite navigation, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, traffic sign recognition, and a full 360-degree camera. However, some of these features are limited to CX-5’s high-end variants.

All-in-all, your journeys will have plenty of tech to keep you engaged, entertained, and comfortable.

Now let’s discuss some of the things that we disliked.

It Isn’t Too Spacious

Compared to competitors like the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V, the Mazda CX-5 is lacking in a little space. While average height passengers should have no problems, taller ones will find that the back seat lacks legroom, knee room, and headroom.

Even the boot space is a little disappointing, especially when compared to the RAV4. The Mazda CX-5 offers 442 litres of boot space and 1342 litres with the seats folded. The lack of space may be the biggest concern for most travellers. However, depending on your individual needs, perhaps the CX-5 has enough space for you and your travels.

Weak Lane-Keeping

The active lane-keeping assist of the Mazda CX-5 is slightly on the weaker side, and it could do a better job at keeping the car centred. Since lane-keeping can be an important feature for longer journeys, you may want to test drive the CX-5 to fully understand just how much this feature may affect your journeys.


The Mazda CX-5 variants are priced between AUD 31,190 and 52,380, which is slightly higher when you compare it to its direct competitor, the Toyota RAV4. Although it isn’t a huge difference, it may put off someone who wants the most bang for their buck.

More specifically, travellers who are looking for a better price to space ratio may want to consider other options as well.

Final Thoughts

As with every car, there are some good things and some drawbacks. In general, the Mazda CX-5 is a great compact SUV for the Australian market but, many would argue that the lack of sufficient room and boot space kills the purpose of a compact SUV.

We don’t think this is entirely true for the CX-5 because it may not be the most spacious but it has enough space for most travellers. Space is not everything and we think it holds too much power over modern buying decisions.

We often forget that not that long ago, SUVs were not that common and all cars, including SUVs, were much smaller than they are now. Regardless, friends and families still managed to travel comfortably. There is also a lot to be said about the ride, looks, features, and technology that is on offer with the Mazda CX-5.

We would easily recommend the 2021 Mazda CX-5 to an average Australian traveller, who wants a good-looking, semi-luxury, compact SUV from a trusted brand.

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