So we got a 2013 Mazda CX-5

So we got a 2013 Mazda CX-5

It’s weird that, aside from a brief look at our scribe Vivek Menon’s Mazda 6, we’ve never had a go with any Mazda models before. All we kept hearing about was how Mazdas handled well and all that, but we never took it seriously, especially since the local dealers did not have a media test-drive programme in place. So when we got the call offering us the fresh Mazda CX-5 for a proper test, we were actually sort of excited.

The CX-5 is the first Mazda to feature their new “Kodo” corporate front-end. It looks fine, but it doesn’t turn any heads.

The interior is very simple, functional but with no unique design features of note, even if there is a touchscreen. However, we did notice that Mazda now uses better interior materials, with lots of soft-touch surfaces.

The boot offers a pretty big floor area, so it’s deceptively spacious for its size. It is also the first crossover we’ve seen to offer a cargo cover that can be hooked up to the tailgate, like in a hatchback. It also has a 40:20:40-split rear seat.

We’re still not sure what the hype over the “SkyActiv” engine is. Aside from a super-high compression ratio, the performance and economy in real-world terms is similar to regular engines. However, the drive really is special for a car in this segment. More in the full review.

What do you think?



  1. “”We’re still not sure what the hype over the “SkyActiv” engine is.””

    Tsk tsk.. And you are an auto publication..

    • Author

      Are you a Mazda engineer? In terms of performance and fuel efficiency in the real world, there is absolutely no difference from any other 2.0-litre engine.

    • Mash has written that he doesn’t know what the hype about it is, not that he doesn’t know what it actually is.

      At least he has the courage to put his name along with what he’s written, unlike ‘Anon’. Nut up or shut up.

    • ofcourse coming up with a fancy name like *$*“SkyActiv” *$* engine might seem attractive to some people who are just blind fans.

    • Sounds more like the difference between VTEC, MIVEC AND VVTI..

  2. can anun educate us then?….

    PS the car looks like a sportage..hhahah ahah

    Mazada you are too slow on this 🙂

    • Agreed Prado, sometimes it does looks like kia and other times all crossovers have sleek design now a days just with slight difference in cuts and curves and corporate grill, so suddenly if someone sees a crossover in white, he doesn’t find something new, maybe that’s why nobody gave a second look to it, considering it as yet an another crossover.

  3. Mazda Skyactiv 2.0l Engine is way more economical than the ‘average’, how do you think Mazda gets the best or class leading MPG…..They are THE Highest compression engines made on the planet.
    Mazda’s ARE drivers cars…KIA (any Korean car) are not, all heavy all show with horrible driving dynamics.

    • Quite true Ash, that’s why there are more Kia Sportage on roads then sum of all mazdas sold together in several months, yes you are right all other people who buy cars, just buy, they don’t test drive or get money free hanging in tree. If you like mazda buy it, others will buy what they like, we buy car for practical usage not just for driving in roundabouts, if that was the reason, everyone would have bought a gokart. A mileage figure claimed in us site is totally useless, when the same car is driven in uae with detuned specs, family load, full ac. If author says its not better than other 2.0 litre, then you have to believe it or rent one and test yourselves.

  4. I dont know why all Japanese cars are still using screens that are the same size of Galaxy Note 2??? how I’m going to touch them if i keep looking for them in the first place? come on people, we are talking about mass production here and these things should not cost that much

  5. I own a Mazda AWD CX-5 and all I can say is,it hasn’t caught on fire once,unlike the new Ford Escape and it doesn’t ride like a garbage truck, like the new Kia Tuson.Actually it’s a lot like the Mazda 3 hatch I traded in,with more room and a higher center of gravity.After 6,000 miles I’m quite satisfied.

  6. mazada lovers smoking here …lol

    but relax i to once had mazda 1989 323 frankly i loved it


    why would any body buy a 95k Cx-5 one can a get a Santa Fe 3.3l V6, 7 seats, a bigger vehicle, good looks and kit for the same price is any beyond comprehension… unless you want buy for the sake of a Japanese car…

    one cant even give the arguement of build quality any more…

    • well i rented recently a sportage and liked it and decided to consider it for my daily AD-DxB travel. Called today Kia in Dubai and told me that the mid range is for 88k and the full is for 100k for 2013 models. It looks like they are starting to have “japanese prices” though their success was based first on price and also i can say that they proved reliable.

    • Marwan, you might be right in the first glance, but, my friend bought the 2.4 sportage at 88 no 2 spec which is very decent car, it even comes with 2 dvd screens in the back and front screen, if you go to the full option, you will still find it under competitors CRV is sold for 122 K (Full Options), the outdated RAV 4 which will be replaced in a month or two is sold for 119K, but if you want my advice, go for the Tucson, better quality especially in regards of interior materials

  7. Marwan

    ouch that is expensive.. i bought mine for 2,4L LX model for AED 71k….

  8. Let me try and explain SkyActive. SkyActive technology is a combination of SkyActive-G engine,SkyActive Drive transmission and SkyActive Chassis and the CX-5 is the first production Mazda o use SkyActive technology.
    The 2L engine’s key feature is high compression ratio. This is achieved using
    1)A 4-2-1 exhaust system to reduce hot residual gas in the cylinder.
    2)Multi hole injectors to produce an even air fuel mixture, which also helps lower the temperature inside the cylinder to avoid knocking.
    3)A specially designed piston cavity to accelerate the combustion speed.
    All this, results in better compression ratios and in turn improves efficiency with improvement in mid to low speed torque.
    This is the theory, now I don’t know if this works in real life cause I haven’t tested one yet. Maybe Drive Arabia can do it for us by comparing it with its competition. 🙂

  9. The higher the compression, the more important the quality of the fuel becomes. So, in our region, don’t bother too much about Skyactiv. It’s mostly Mazda’s new chassis tech that makes the difference.

  10. Go Ford.

    Except for the death of the Crown Victoria.

    I hope the Ford Escape comes to Saudi Arabia.

  11. I have seen Mazda CX5 in Abu Dhabi Showroom, has anybody bought it in Abu Dhabi..??

  12. I need to know regarding Mazda CX-5 2.5 which is upcomming option availalbe in CX-5 high end models.
    I dont see any review available with regards to pricing or performence

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