2018 Mazda CX-5 Akera Review | Asian Car Guide
September 21, 2020

2018 Mazda CX-5 Akera Review

2018 mazda cx-5

When Mazda first introduced the CX-5 it was well received. This new SUV continues the same design philosophy and language (KODO – Soul of Motion), expressed in a bold, sophisticated, elegant new look.

The exterior has been redesigned for a bolder, more dynamic stance expressing the feeling of acceleration.

The distinctively gaping front grille with large Mazda emblem, thick chrome surrounds and slim headlamp clusters either side are elements of the aggressive styling.

Side sheet metal, as in the previous Mazda CX-5, features sweeping, purposeful folds, some forming up to visually rest on the tail lamps and also to subtly pump out those rear haunches.

2018 mazda cx-5 interiorWindow height proportional to body is rather large, contributing to a generally sportier stance, with rear quarter glass partially framed by a large bit of chromed plastic trim.

I noticed an almost unseen but important feature, rubber lining installed between door gaps to prevent wind noise intruding into the cabin.

You sense Mazda engineers have been taking note of comments about the interior.

The new car features chrome surrounds for aircon vents. Gone is the tacky glossy black paneling extending to passenger side.

Lower profile dash also means the Mazda MZD Connect infotainment unit does not sit in but rather on the dash, featuring a hi-res, 7″ screen controlling digital radio, navigation, voice control, and extending to reading emails and messages.

One appreciated added feature was the standard Bose sound system, with 10-speak set-up.

Tweeters in the “A” pillars ensure crisp treble sounds at ear level, while the bass module sits with the space saver spare in the boot.

Yes! – Space saver spare, not repair kit.

The MZD Connect infotainment is similar to that in current Mazda cars, meaning it is simple and comes across as a little toy-like.

Tactile feel of dash buttons is actually very user-friendly. The steering wheel style buttons are extremely pleasing to depress.

Seat comfort is very good, offering great support and firmness. The electric driver’s seat has lumber support and memory settings.

Second row passengers get a reclining function, adaptable to optimum seating position. Storage is good.

A low and easy to load boot can be extended via 40:20:40 split-fold rear seat backs, with operating levers in the boot.

Against the previous CX-5 which had 403-litres, 442-litres is now a vast improvement.

A power lift gate has been added for convenience.

This new Mazda CX-5 exhibits high levels of craftsmanship and build quality; 85% soft touch with genuine leather stitching and wood and metal finish, a triumph of design.

The CX-5 is the second model in the line-up to feature the new G-Vectoring Control (the first being the facelifted Mazda 6) – a combination of hardware and firmware, designed to gently tweak the engine’s delivery of torque, ensuring the best possible weight transference in anticipation of the car cornering or braking.

According to Mazda this provides less roll and greater overall stability when cornering.

Passengers, especially in the case of taller cars, feel less tilt hence enhanced comfort.

Our test car with 2.5-litre four-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine is priced at $46,990 plus on-road costs.

Maximum torque delivery of 252Nm is at 4,000rpm. Maximum power is rated at 140kW, nothing huge but more than adequate.

The CX-5 Akera boasts decent 7.5km/L fuel economy.

Revving the 2.5-litre above 3,000rpm’s induces a little bit of four cylinder engine noise into the cabin but never harshly.

The six-speed automatic transmission is available for both the 2.0L and 2.5L and the 6th gear comes with electric lock-up that activates when the car is on cruise mode, helping with fuel economy.

Being front-driven, you would experience a little understeer around bends, but the G-Vectoring Control helps with building confidence and soon you find yourself going a little lighter on the brakes.

The drive is certainly satisfying and seat comfort is good enough for those long journeys.

There are 5 model levels of added features, MAXX, MAXX SPORT, TOURING,  GT and AKERA, according to need and budget.

Engine choices, all 4 cylinder, include 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol on the model we drove, see specs below, or  2.0L petrol (- $3000) and 2.2L intercooled twin turbo diesel (+ $3000).

The diesel is the choice if you need pulling ability.

Compared with the 2.5L petrol engine it has the same power but 450 Nm torque (at 2000rpm) and 5.7L/100 km combined fuel economy. There is manual or Auto transmission.

2018 mazda cx-5 side and rearMazda did a good job with the CX-5; the build quality is very impressive, and this feels like a premium brand SUV.

2018 Mazda CX-5 Akera Pricing and Specifications:

  • Price: $46,990 (plus on-road costs)
  • Engine: 2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol
  • Power: 140kW at 6,000rpm
  • Torque: 252Nm at 4,000rpm
  • Transmission: Six-speed automatic
  • Dimensions mm: L 4,550 / W 1,840 / H 1,675 / WB 2,700
  • Fuel: 7.5L/100km (ADR Combined)
  • Fuel Tank: 58 litres
  • CO2: 175g/km (ADR Combined)
  • Safety Rating: Five-star ANCAP