15 of 15 people found this review helpful
Best Crossover For the Money
By flarp on
2013 Mazda CX-5 Touring 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
Got the Touring w/ Bose Audio + Moonroof and Technology packages. Compared w/ CR-V, RAV4, Forester, and Murano. Engine is smaller, but it is plenty responsive. All the others I tried had more raw power, but the difference wasn't significant for most commuter driving. Handling and road feel, the CX-5 blew all the others out of the water. It's a crossover, but it handles more like a sporty sedan. Fuel economy was also a huge improvement over the others. All this at a price about $2-3k less than comparably equipped models from the other manufacturers.
The steering, handling, and road feel, while not a specific feature, is what set the car apart from the rest. It is a smaller engine, but it is still plenty responsive and gets far better mileage than the competition (a big win as fuel costs continue to rise). The USB port plays MP3's off a memory stick and iPod and is integrated with the car's audio controls, which is great. Push-button start is nice, but the need to press the unlock on the key fob (rather than unlock by proximity) defeats that convenience a little. Steering wheel controls are convenient. All the little things in the Tech package are also pretty handy, although I wouldn't say they make or break the deal.
Deeper bucket seats would be nice (like in the Mazda3). I also liked the style of cloth in my 2006 Mazda3 a more. The speaker positioning isn't great. It's tuned to provide optimal listening to the center, rear passenger rather than driver. Audio balancing (F/B, L/R) don't help, as the speakers project towards the center of the cabin. The mute button on the steering wheel from other earlier models was also handy. The audio controls for USB file playback also limits to 255 files (8-bit counter?). The interior storage space is also smaller and less than my old Mazda3 (door slots, glove box, center console, hidden organizer in trunk floor). The TomTom interface is clumsy (compared to Garmin).