Mazda CX-5 Review

2014 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 4dr SUV Exterior

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The Mazda CX-5 is an all-new model, giving this Japanese brand its most competitive entry yet in the popular compact crossover segment. The CX-5 is the first model built under Mazda's overarching "Skyactiv" product-development strategy that, in this case, joins a newly designed four-cylinder gasoline engine with six-speed (manual and automatic) transmissions and an all-new lightweight chassis.

As a result, the CX-5 gets very good fuel economy while still being roomy and affordably priced. But what really sets the CX-5 apart from other competitors is its excellent handling and fun-to-drive nature. Given its agile dynamics, distinctive styling and excellent efficiency, the CX-5 should be an appealing choice in the world of compact utility vehicles.

Current Mazda CX-5
The CX-5 debuted for the 2013 model year as Mazda's new entry-level crossover SUV. It's smaller and cheaper than the CX-7 and effectively replaces the now-defunct Ford Escape-based Mazda Tribute. There are three CX-5 trim levels: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. Front-wheel drive is the standard layout for any of the three trim levels, but all-wheel drive is available for any trim.

There is a single engine choice for the Mazda CX-5, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that generates 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard for the front-drive Sport, with a six-speed automatic being optional. All other CX-5 models receive the automatic as standard. Fuel economy is very good, with the CX-5 earning an EPA-estimated 26 mpg city/35 mpg highway and 29 mpg combined with the manual and 26/32/29 mpg with the automatic.

Standard equipment for the Sport includes 17-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and a four-speaker sound system with a USB port. The Touring trim brings a color screen to the center stack, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, a power driver seat and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Grand Touring trim adds leather seat trim, automatic climate control, an upgraded audio system and automatic climate control. Popular options, depending on the trim level, include keyless ignition/entry, adaptive xenon headlights, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a navigation system.

In reviews, we've found the Mazda CX-5 nimble and enjoyable to drive. The brakes, suspension and steering are uncommonly capable, and in general the CX-5 is downright fun and confidence-inspiring to drive around corners. The 2.0-liter engine's on-paper specs won't blow you away, but there's a suitable amount of power for real-world driving. Seating is comfortable both front and rear. The rear seat does not slide fore and aft, a handy feature some competitors offer, but it does fold easily. Furthermore, the upper trims offer a 40/20/40 split, allowing a useful amount of cargo-and-people-hauling combinations.

Read the most recent 2015 Mazda CX-5 review.

If you are looking for older years, visit our used Mazda CX-5 page.

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