To a certain extent, that was Porsche’s justification for the Cayenne and subsequent Macan as well. Without those uber SUVs, they wouldn’t be able to continue blessing us with the likes of the legendary 911.
However, the masses of peasants like us eventually just fell hook, line and sinker for SUVs as they became incredibly carlike, negating the need for, well… cars or sedans. It’s hard to argue with the mentality that got us here though; you just can’t argue against the practicality of an SUV.
Nonetheless, an SUV doesn’t necessarily mean the end of motoring fun. Well, it does to an extent but that’s not the point here. It might sound like a paradoxical statement but you can get an SUV that’s somewhat fun to drive and feels like a premium machine.
Remember the Scooby-Doo villains? Well, the older we got the more we realised that they might actually have a point as well. Same goes for a used Mazda CX-5 KF; it might still be an SUV but it does make a solid case for itself over a traditional sedan.
The CX-5 KF variants offered in Malaysia
The second generation CX-5, codenamed KF, came in 5 different trims at during the initial launch before the facelift introduced an equal amount of variants but with a new engine option.
|2017 pre-facelift Mazda CX-5 KF variants
|2.0G 2WD GL
||2.0 Skyactiv-G (164 PS / 210 Nm)
|2.0G 2WD GLS
||2.0 Skyactiv-G (164 PS / 210 Nm)
|2.5G 2WD GLS
||2.5 Skyactiv-G (195 PS / 257 Nm)
|2.2D 2WD GLS
||2.2 Skyactiv-D (175 PS / 420 Nm)
|2.2D AWD GLS
||2.2 Skyactiv-D (175 PS / 420Nm)
All packed a 6-speed automatic and were generously equipped across the range.
The pre-FL entry-level 2.0G GL has 17-inch wheels and manual front seats but made up for that with keyless entry and dual-zone climate control. If you stepped up to the 2.0 GLS, things were looking mighty promising with the additions of LED tech for the DRLs and taillights, a powered driver seat, adaptive front lighting and leather upholstery. It even had limited active safety tech in the form of autonomous emergency braking alongside blind spot warning and rear cross traffic alert.
Everything remained the same with the 2.5 GLS save for the larger, more powerful engine and larger 19-inch wheels with adaptive LED headlights.
Only with the 2.2D GLS diesels did you get the full Mazda i-Activesense suite that now comprised lane departure warning, lane keep assist and driver attention alert.
Bear in mind that all trims included a 5-year warranty / 100,00 km warranty as well as a 3-year / 60,000 km maintenance package so rest assued they should have been officially maintained for the first few years but best keep an eye out for service history once the maintenance package was over.
In 2019, Mazda launched the facelifted CX-5 KF. You still had 5 variants but among them sat a new, turbocharged 2.5-litre petrol engine that blessed the capable chassis with the power it deserved.
|2019 facelift Mazda CX-5 KF variants
|2.0G 2WD Mid
||2.0 Skyactiv-G (164 PS / 213 Nm)
|2.0G 2WD High
||2.0 Skyactiv-G (164 PS / 213 Nm)
|2.5G 2WD High
||2.5 Skyactiv-G (195 PS / 257 Nm)
|2.2D 2WD High
||2.2 SkyActiv-D (175 PS / 420 Nm)
|2.5T AWD High
||2.5 Skyactiv-G Turbo (231 PS / 420Nm)
In the jump to the facelift, the entry-level trim lost out on keyless entry and the powered tailgate as well as the 360-degree panoramic view. Nonetheless, it gained LED headlights as LED lighting was standard for the headlights, tailights and fog lights across the range now.
Furthermore, the highest 2.0 trim gained 19-inch wheels but it's important to factor that in as the larger tyres will cost more when it's time to have them replaced.
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay was now standard for all.
As for safety, the usual array of 6 airbags and the usual alphabet soup of electronic nannies were standard while from the 2.0 High onwards, autonomous braking was standard.
Reasons to buy a CX-5 KF?
Granted, the segment is dominated by the Honda CR-V and for good reason too. It does what’s needed pretty darn well. But then again “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” This is precisely where the CX-5 knows how to let loose and have a little fun.
Also Read: Review: 2019 Mazda CX-5 2.0L High – the driver's better choice?
While both were definitely more akin to appliances, one bore more resemblance to an electric kettle while the other could be somewhat compared to a smart fridge and we all know which you’d rather have in your kitchen.
Don’t get us wrong, the CR-V is a much more practical appliance but how cool is that smart fridge though?
Same applies to why you’d consider a used CX-5. Sure, it’s not as roomy but it’s still very much an SUV and does what needs to be done with a dash of fun and a pinch of style.
The CX-5 might not light up that corner exit but it’s way more fun to drive and that cabin is a step up from its peers in terms of materials and finish. Safety wise, it constantly delivered solid results in crash testing as well.
Just because you’re stuck having to buy an SUV doesn’t translate into not having a little fun at all and that’s the USP for the CX-5. It looks sharper, handles better and feels nicer.
Used market prices for the CX-5 KF
Mazda has always projected an air of elitism to its badge and models over its contemporary Japanese rivals. It was by no means arrogance but rather confidence. They never went around with their Kodo grilles tilted upwards at other brands but strived to be better and it shows.
Nobody would dare argue against that because all their vehicles drove and felt like they were a bit better than everyone else.
Also Read: 2020 Mazda CX-5, which variant is best to buy? 2.0L, 2.5L, 2.2D, or 2.5T?
The drawback to that however is the fact that the used models tend to retain their value in the market. Many would argue that Hondas hold their value the best but a quick look online makes it quite clear that the CX-5 holds its own against CR-V and for good reason.
Pre-facelift KF models start around the RM 100k mark for the entry level 2.0 GL and will just about breach RM 120k for the 2.5 GLS or the 2.2 diesel GLS.
If you’re aiming for the facelifted one, you might want to sit down for this. It starts at just under the RM 120k and very much like the horsepower figures in the flagship 2.5 turbo variants, climbs all the way to around RM 130k.
Common problems with the CX-5 KF
First things first, there was a recall issued for the Mazda CX-5 here. It comprised 15,780 models manufactured between 2017-2019 that required their fuel pump module replaced. Therefore, it goes without saying that if you’re in the market for a pre-facelift model, ensure that this box was ticked.
Also Read: Bermaz recalls 19,685 Mazda vehicles over fuel pump replacement
As far as common problems go, the CX-5 keeps its nose pretty clean. Owners do report a suspension bushing noise/rattling from the front. The cause can be placed firmly on the type of rubber used in the construction of the bush not working well with the local weather.
While Mazda unfortunately doesn’t have a fix for it, an aftermarket solution can be had by replacing the component with a polyurethane unit that’s firmer. However, that would compromise the famed Jinba Ittai handling aspect.
We’d recommend checking for noises from the front suspension on models that’ve clocked over 100,000 km.
Also Read: One in every 3 Mazda sold is a Mazda CX-5, but this is where the sexy Mazda 3 stands
Apart from that, the CX-5 did come with a free maintenance package when purchased new. This would almost certainly ensure owners sent them back to the authorised service centres since the cost of scheduled maintenance was pretty much covered from 3-5 years depending on the year of purchase.
Given it's relatively problem-free, just exercise the usual caution against flood-damaged units and those with heavy impacts from accidents. We can say with some confidence that poorly maintained units are few and far between given the free-service package but as always, only trust a a complete service history.
Which variant should I buy?
By now, you should have a pretty clear idea on the best variant to purchase. That would be the 2.0G 2WD GLS pre-facelift. The facelifted 2.0G 2WD High would be a close second.
Between these and the non-turbo 2.5-litre trims, you're pretty much just paying for the extra grunt that comes with the larger engine.
As for the diesel, we're huge fans of it and that lump of torque it dishes out can be addictive but the extra coin you'll be forking out doesnt quite justify that.
It goes without saying that the 2.5 turbo in the facelift can transform you into an equally compulsive throttle masher but again, we circle back to the fact that the price doesn't quite justify the power. Furthermore, if you're heavy footed in the 2.5 turbo, expect the fuel consumption to be closer to its notorious rotary-powered RX-7 sibling than a family-oriented SUV.
Therefore, if you're in the market for a used second-gen CX-5, the pre-facelift 2.0 GLS is the smartest choice although if you do desire some extra power, you can't go wrong with any other trim above that.
Furthermore, if any of the current owners had opted for Mazda's Extended Service Maintenance programme, definitely jump on that. You can even buy into it yourself if your used CX-5 qualifies.
As far as used C-segment SUVs go, the CX-5 KF is a winner on all levels except perhaps cabin space. Again, it's by no means small or cramped, just not as spacious as its chief competitor. On every other facet though, it's lightyears ahead and will do its best to crack a little smirk on that face during the school run or family road trips out of town.
Also Read: Pros and Cons: Mazda CX-5 - Brilliant drive, but are you willing to sacrifice space?
Carsome's website would be a great starting point to look at some prime examples of used CX-5s that are all given the Carsome Certified stamp of approval. That means a comprehensive 175-point inspection as well as a 5-day money back guarantee and a 1-year warranty on top of the existing manufacturer's warranty; should it still be valid.
Mazda even has it's own certified pre-owned programme here although most of the listed models currently are all sold out. Give Mazda Anshin a gander by clicking here.
Just be sure to get the CX-5 in Soul Red Crystal and subscribe to Mazda's Privilege Card for some added discounts during servicing.