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Used 2013 Mazda CX-5 SUV Review

2013 Mazda CX-5 SUV

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Edmunds Summary Review of the 2013 Mazda CX-5 SUV

  • B Edmunds Rating
  • With its fuel-efficient engine, engaging driving experience and daring styling, the 2013 Mazda CX-5 is a good pick for those seeking a sporty yet thrifty crossover SUV.

  • Pros

    Stylish design; very good fuel economy; agile driving dynamics.

  • Cons

    No optional engine upgrade; mediocre sound and navigation systems.

  • What's New for 2013

    The 2013 Mazda CX-5 is all new.

Full Edmunds Expert Review: 2013 Mazda CX-5 SUV

What's New for 2013

The 2013 Mazda CX-5 is all new.


The 2013 CX-5 isn't the first compact crossover SUV from Mazda, but it might as well be. Mazda's previous attempts at making inroads in the highly competitive segment included the Tribute (a clone of a Ford Escape) and the highly regarded but slow-selling Mazda CX-7. With this all-new, athletically minded and generously equipped compact SUV, Mazda finally gets the recipe right.

Starting with an all-new unibody, Mazda's engineers set out to combine a relatively roomy interior, sharp driving dynamics and a lightweight overall package. The 2013 Mazda CX-5 will be initially offered with one fuel-efficient engine, a sophisticated 2.0-liter direct-injected four-cylinder making 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 29 mpg combined with front-wheel drive, putting the CX-5 at the top of its class for efficiency.

Choosing a vehicle in the compact SUV segment can sometimes mean settling for less when it comes to modern amenities. Not so with the CX-5. Even on the base trim, an impressive list of standard equipment will keep budget-minded consumers happy. Moving up the range will naturally net you a more comprehensive roster of equipment, with the top-of-the-line Grand Touring equipped essentially like a luxury model.

In terms of storage and cargo capability, the CX-5 is on par with its competitors. The base model CX-5 Sport has 60/40-split-folding rear seats, but for those who enjoy four-up skiing and snowboarding, the Touring and Grand Touring models feature a special 40/20/40-split-folding rear seat to accommodate long objects in the cargo area. Maximum cargo capacity isn't class-leading, but it's not far off.

The 2013 Mazda CX-5 is conventional in concept yet still offers engaging styling and driving dynamics, class-leading fuel efficiency and modern amenities. There are a lot of good choices this year, but we think the CX-5 offers a compelling combination that can't be found elsewhere at this price. Those who are considering the next-generation Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Kia Sportage and Toyota RAV4 will benefit from putting the all-new Mazda CX-5 on their short list.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2013 Mazda CX-5 is offered in one body style and in three trim levels: base Sport, midlevel Touring and top-tier Grand Touring.

Standard equipment for the Sport includes 17-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories, keyless entry, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, an iPod/USB audio interface and an auxiliary audio jack. For the Sport, Mazda offers a Bluetooth Audio package that includes Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, an upgraded sound system, HD radio and a touchscreen electronics device.

The CX-5 Touring benefits from the above equipment plus foglights, rear privacy glass, upgraded cloth and interior trim, a six-way power driver seat, a 40/20/40 split-folding rear seatback, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a blind-spot warning system, a rearview camera and a six-speaker sound system. An optional TomTom navigation system can be integrated into the touchscreen interface.

The CX-5 Grand Touring adds 19-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, automatic headlamps, automatic wipers, heated mirrors, an eight-way power driver seat, leather upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control and a premium nine-speaker Bose sound system with satellite radio.

The CX-5 Touring offers a Moonroof/Bose package that includes the sunroof and nine-speaker Bose audio. The Technology package includes automatic and adaptive xenon headlights, the TomTom navigation system, automatic wipers and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Finally, the already well-equipped Grand Touring can be ordered with a Technology package of its own that adds keyless ignition/entry, the TomTom navigation system, the adaptive xenon headlamps and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Powertrains and Performance

Power for every 2013 Mazda CX-5 comes from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making 155 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque. Front-wheel-drive models can be paired with either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic. All-wheel drive is available on all trim levels, but must be paired with the six-speed automatic.

With all-wheel drive, Mazda estimates the CX-5 will accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 9.3 seconds, which should be a competitive time for a four-cylinder small crossover. Official EPA figures have yet to be published, but with the manual, Mazda says the CX-5 will yield best-in-class fuel economy with 26 mpg city/33 mpg highway. With all-wheel drive and the automatic, these numbers drop to 25 mpg city/30 mpg highway.


Standard safety features for the CX-5 include antilock disc brakes, traction and stability control, front seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. A blind-spot warning system is optional.

In Edmunds brake testing, a CX-5 Grand Touring came to a stop from 60 mph in 121 feet, which is a bit better than average for the class.

In crash testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the CX-5 received the highest possible rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset, side and roof strength tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

The cockpit of the CX-5, regardless of trim level, is attractive, modern and functional. It's a mature (some might say demure) design, but at least it isn't swathed in poorly rendered fake wood or highly reflective chrome trim. Soft-touch surfaces are set off with the limited use of satin-finish metallic details, and the black gauges with white lettering are highly legible. The optional navigation system is satisfactory, but many current smartphone navigation/map applications are quicker and more intuitive.

The driving position and front-seat comfort are both quite good. The rear seats are spacious (especially in terms of legroom) for the category and, while a bit flat to sit on, feature an innovative folding mechanism that lowers the seat bottom before folding the seat back on top to provide a near-flat load floor. With all seats occupied, there are 34 cubic feet of luggage space that grows to a competitive 65 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.

Driving Impressions

The way the 2013 Mazda CX-5 drives is a dynamic departure from the compact SUV segment's otherwise typical low standards. The brakes, suspension and steering are uncommonly capable, and in general the CX-5 is downright fun and confidence-inspiriting to drive on a curving road. On the open highway, the CX-5 isn't the quietest choice available, but it still rides comfortably.

While the CX-5's on-paper engine specs won't blow you away, there is a suitable amount of power here for real-world driving. The six-speed automatic shifts quickly and smoothly and is well-matched to the engine. It's also refreshing to report that the six-speed manual transmission available on the front-drive CX-5 is truly rewarding to operate.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Average Consumer Rating (See all 89 reviews) Write a Review

Researched and found the one!

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Vehicle: 2013 Mazda CX-5

When I first realized I wanted an suv just because they were a little bigger then my car and would be practical I researched over 30 different suvs buy different factors such as by fuel economy, safety rating, size, style, value, purchase price, etc. The mazda cx-5 came out to be the number one choice on my list. I don't normally fill out surveys but this vehicle is excellent. Overall very happy with my cx-5.

2 of 6 people found this review helpful

Zoom zoom

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Mazda CX-5

Reliable, comfort driving!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

New transmission at 41k miles

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Vehicle: 2013 Mazda CX-5

I purchased this vehicle as a certified used vehicle from a dealer @39K miles. The engine had a whine while driving that was always present and not dependent on conditions. The salesman claimed not to be able to hear it. During the test drive. I purchased the vehicle and drove it a little less than 2K miles. I recently received a recall notice about another component and when I brought it back I asked them to road test it to check on the whine. After having the car for a day the service manager called and said the whine was due to a faulty transmission and they have to replace it. With the certified warranty the work is covered so I am not out of pocket, but it doesn't exactly instill confidence in the quality of this vehicle.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great change from subaru forester

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Vehicle: 2013 Mazda CX-5

Update to my original review Even after 7 months still loving this SUV. It handles great on the icy roads and through several snow storms this past winter. Have approx. 31000 miles as of now. Driving has mostly been locally to/from work etc. but planning to test it on some longer distance trips before summer is over. Having owned Subaru Foresters and a RAV4 along the way -was looking for a roomier vehicle and one that didn't cut off my vision when turning. Tested Honda CRV before deciding on the Mazda CX-5. The dash layout on the CRV was impossible to see over. The Mazda was the right fit -love how the dash is laid out and the ease of controls. The MPG changes as we drive. Current MPG isn't very accurate - have seen where it registers 99 mpg and then a few seconds later shows 44 mpg. The backup camera is ok but I still always check the surroundings. This comes with a blind spot monitor too-helpful when driving in heavy traffic and when merging into traffic. The interior lighting isn't the best -even turned up all the way up. Agree with other posters this is difficult to get up to speed when merging into traffic or when you resume after a stop. Overall it is great for getting around town to and from work and will be great for traveling as well.

Fantastic suv which seems to have gone unnoticed

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Mazda CX-5

Got the same mileage driving to Kentucky from PA as my Toyota Corrolla S did. Beautiful interior with the leather package. Geers shift a little bit slower than I prefer but you can always throw it into manual and shift yourself. Great stereo with the Bose package. The navigation system misunderstands often. Heard there are others that experience this and Mazda has been working on a solution. Actually about to visit the dealer tomorrow to see if buying the 2016 model makes sense. Love this vehicle.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

36,000 miles with just oil changes and tires

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Vehicle: 2013 Mazda CX-5

Purchased July 2012 touring AWD with moonroof bose and tech package.Only problem is/was rattle somewhere in the dash that comes and goes when the temp is around 35-40 .Didn't take the dash apart because the rattle was gone when I took it in for service. The engine IS underpowered but adequate with a light load ,2 adults and a dog.Forget 2 adults and 2-3 kids just not enough power to merge or pass safely.The transmission is great fast shifts and does seem to have logic control that learns to shift based on your driving,at least it seems that way to me.Ride is fine if a little noisy and handling is first rate a lot like a Mazda 3 with a higher center of gravity and I drive aggressively up and down mountain roads and few can keep up with me.Gas mileage is just OK,keep it under 60 on secondary roads and the gauge will say 32 MPG which is really 30 MPG because the gauge is calibrated for 19 in tires not the 17 in that comes with the Touring model,(What's up with that) get on a interstate and drive 75 MPH and you'll see a actual 24-25 MPG on hilly terrain.I'm sure I'll still be driving it when the redesigned model comes out around 2018 (unless I hit the lottery ) and then I'll decide if I'll buy another one. It's going to need even more power than the 2.5 for me to consider it.

Talk About The 2013 CX-5

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Read more about the 2013 Mazda CX-5

Gas Mileage


  • 26
  • cty
  • 32
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2013 Mazda CX-5 Suv in VA is:

$55.08 per month*