Used 2013 Mazda CX-5 SUV Review |

Used 2013 Mazda CX-5 SUV Review

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Edmunds Expert 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.

  • Safety | Rating Details
  • 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 2013 Mazda CX-5 Review

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 79 reviews) | Write a Review

Great suv

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl 6A)

We have had this car since 2012 and it has been great! It is just the right size for getting around town but with lots of space. AWD gets through the snow without a problem. As many, had to replace the tires at 27,0000 miles.

Cheap tires. cheap bose speakers.

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Mazda CX-5 Touring 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 6A)

Yokohama tires at 27,000 miles are cupping and need new set. Bose speakers are not a true Bose. No pick up and go. Navigator update is not Mac Compatible.

Cx-5 grand touring-(27,500 miles) fun car but underpowered

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl 6A)

I think I was the 2nd person to buy in MN because I was waiting for the cx-5 or the escape whichever came first. Bought the car in Feb of 2012 and have really enjoyed the car and now have 27,500 miles on the car. It is fun to drive. The tires are 19 in and were replaced at 23k and are expensive because they are not a popular size. The only problem is it is underpowered with the 2.0 especially pulling out into traffic or having the car loaded with 5 people, almost unsafe. Would not buy this again but would consider the 2014 which has the bigger engine. I get 32 mpg on the highway and 20 or 21 mpg in the city which is a stop light ever mile or so. For a suv we were happy with the mpg.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Cx-5 4 cylinder base model

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Vehicle: 2013 Mazda CX-5 Touring 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 6A)

Purchase a CX-5 4-Cylinder Base model on Jan 18, 2013. After one year of ownership, I am still happy with the purchase, no major issues have cropped up, and everything seems to be working fine. I purchased this car to replace a 1999 chevy venture that we had outgrown. Most of the reviews I have read complain of poor fuel economy and lack of engine performance. If you wanted performance then buy a sports car! This is a small SUV with a small engine, Most of our driving is done in town under 40 MPH on flat Kansas roads. After one year I only have 9,000 Miles on the car.

20 of 35 people found this review helpful

Best of the current breed

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Vehicle: 2013 Mazda CX-5 Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl 6A)

Doing as much research as possible on the current market led me to the CX-5. A long term RAV4 owner with friends who drive Subarus provided some first hand insight on my most likely competitor candidates. Yet a test drive--along with some nudging from style--made the decision an easy one. I settled on a Touring AWD with Sunroof and Bose. So far I'm pleased with the driving experience, style, value and comfort. Any negatives? Yes, for a dozen reasons, I wish I did NOT purchase the Bose audio system. What a waste of $ not to mention effort I'll expend to replace it with something less annoying.

17 of 48 people found this review helpful

Beware mazda! bad!

by on
Vehicle: 2013 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl 6A)

Cross shopped all the high-efficiency small AWDs. Mazda was a little more expensive but "appeared" to have more amenities. Appearances are deceiving. I bought a fully loaded GT CX-5 with everything but a NAV, based on reviews of the NAV. After 6500 miles that pretty sky blue paint has more white zits than a teenager, the leather is like paper, the "Bose" speakers sound like a discount house box speaker, and I can't get the fuel efficiency higher than 26.0 on interstate driving. Mazda, by way of your dealer, will not stand behind its product.

Talk About The 2013 CX-5

2013 Mazda CX-5 Discussions See all Started By

We are having problems with our 2013 CX-5. The dealership can't find anything wrong. Sometimes on take-off from a stopped position, the car doesn't move forward normally, which is very dangerous try...

I was in an accident with my Mazda CX-5 on April 3, 2014. I slammed on my brakes due to the unanticipated stop of the vehicles in front of me. My brake pedal went all the way down, but then pushed bac...

My husband and I have been looking into the CX-5 for the past year or so. We were first looking to purchase a 2013, but then heard about the not great acceleration and so we waited for the 2014 as tha...

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:

$154.50 per month*

Identifix Reliability Ratings

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