Test drive: Mazda CX5 2.0 GLS

By thoriq, 27 June 2018

It’s safe to say that we are no strangers to the new second generation Mazda CX-5 crossover. Having sampled one of the two higher-spec diesel variants previously, we find ourselves piloting a petrol-powered variant this time round to see how it fares.

Specifically, we spent an entire weekend piloting the CX-5 2.0 GLS variant, which happens to be the mid-spec offering amongst the three petrol-powered options available. While it’s not as frugal as its diesel sibling, there’s still much to love in this ‘Basic Plus’ variant indeed.

You’ve probably heard – or read – us say this countless times already, but there’s no hiding that Mazda has done well in making the CX-5 look good. Compared to the bulk of its Asian-made segment rivals, this is arguably still the best-looking one, more so when dressed in the ‘Sonic Silver’ paint scheme as featured.

Adding further to the affair here are the tasty 17-inch allow wheels our tester rolled on, as well as the dynamic LED headlights up front that sweetens this crossover’s sleek and sophisticated stance further. Our only disagreement lies in the optional aerokit that Bermaz had fitted on our tester.

Given how the CX-5 already looked good without it, we found this particular bit unnecessary. Nevertheless, we’re certain quite a number of you lot might actually like this sort of thing, but keep it mind it will cost you a few thousand Ringgits more.

Mazda CX-5 2.0 GLS
Mazda CX-5 2.0 GLS

Moving along inside and the story is familiar here. Those opting for this mid-spec 2.0 GLS will be glad to know the seats are covered in plush black leather, and it comes with a features count that’s far from Spartan – novel keyless entry and ignition, nifty automatic dual-zone air conditioning and more included.

Space does feel a tad cramped on board compared to the rivaling entry level Honda CR-V 2.0 2WD, but there’s still adequate comforts here for the daily grind. Again, the decent features count makes up for that, with this crossover brimmed with things like cruise control, a neat and intuitive MZD infotainment system, as well as electric driver seat adjustment and two USB charging ports amongst many.

Mazda CX-5 2.0 GLS

On the move, the CX-5 drives just as well as it looks, with its balanced spring and dampers setup delivering a rather refined and comfortable ride than the previous generation car did. Typically, the electric steering does feel a tad dull and too light at times, but this also means this is one car that won’t tire you out over long drives too.

Whilst on that note, it’s worth mentioning that all new CX-5 variants are brimmed with Mazda’s GVC or G-Vectoring Control. If you’ve seen our video on this particular tech on our Facebook page previously, you’d know that this is one ingenious system that enhances comfort and reduces fatigue for long distance drives.

What’s brilliant here too is the peppy yet frugal Skyactiv-G powertrain this CX-5 packs. In this trim, the CX-5 harnesses a 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder that decently outputs 162hp and 210Nm, the latter from as low as 4,000rpm. All of which powers the front wheels through a slick six-speed automatic transmission as well.

Mazda CX-5 2.0 GLS

Combined, the package’s rich low- and mid-range torque offers decent amounts of go, getting this crossover’s claimed 1,572kg bulk going effortlessly. More importantly, this powertrain will sip as low as 6.8 litres/100km on average, provided that you keep your right foot application as lightly as possible of course.

On the safety front, you’d be glad to know again that this ‘Basic Plus’ offering doesn’t skimp on this aspect. It has all the things you’d come to expect such as ABS, traction and stability control suites, six airbags, as well as ISOFIX childseat anchors, but there’s also more to that.

Opt for this 2.0 GLS option and it comes further brimmed with Mazda’s SCBS (Smart City Brake Support) autonomous city braking feature, as well as a RCTA (Rear Cross-Traffic Alert) to supplements the reverse camera feature. These alone see this CX-5 trump all of its similarly priced rivals easily.

At this point, some naysayers would keenly point out on how the CX-5 is slightly impractical with its smaller 442-litre boot space, not forgetting the noticeably lower noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) damping compared to some of its rivals. What certainly riles most up would be this CX-5 2.0 GLS’ rather steep RM149,265.50 starting price, and that’s excluding optional aerokit pictured mind you.

In real world terms though, this is still the safest offering in this price bracket, arguably the best looking and perhaps the most frugal one of the lot too. If anything, the inclusion of Mazda’s five-year or 100,000km warranty and three-year or 60,000km free maintenance in said price should ease the mind a little.

After all, this CX-5 does cover all its basics rather well, and it comes with a few extras on top over its peers to impress anyone really. We certainly are.

OR TRY THIS
Kia Sportage 2.0 2WD EX

Very basic but looks good, cheaper and still not a Honda CR-V.

VERDICT: 8.5/10

Steep price and small niggles aside, this one covers all the basics and comes with neat extras on safety.

  Engine

  2.0-litre direct-injected 4-cyl petrol,

  FWD, 162hp, 210Nm

  Price   From RM149,265.50
  Economy   6.8 litres/100km, 159g/km
  Performance   0-100kph in 10.4 secs, 182kph
  Weight   1,572kg