2013 Mazda CX-5 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Stylish design
  • very good fuel economy
  • agile driving dynamics.
  • No optional engine upgrade
  • mediocre sound and navigation systems.
Other years
List Price Range
$8,982 - $14,998

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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.

Notably, we picked the Mazda CX-5 as one of Edmunds' Best Used SUVs for 2013.

Vehicle overview

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.

Notably, we picked the Mazda CX-5 as one of Edmunds' Best Used Cars.

2013 Mazda CX-5 models

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.

2013 Highlights

The 2013 Mazda CX-5 is all new.

Performance & mpg

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.

Safety

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.

Driving

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.

Interior

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2013 Mazda CX-5.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Detailed Review of my new2014 CX-5
nkrishna,05/29/2013
I practically researched the following small SUV's before settling down for the CX-5: 1. Mazda CX-5 2. 2013 Rav 4 Limited Edition 4WD 3. 2013 Honda CRV EX-L with Navi - 4WD 4. Acura RDX 2WD with Tech Package 5. Infiniti EX 37 6. Ford Escape I test drove all the above, some even multiple times to cross compare. There were others on my list which I did not test drive: 1. Buick - Encore 2. Chevy - Traverse 3. Jeep - Grand Cherokee. (The new small version was still not out) Finally, settled for CX-5 more from a value for money, fun to drive aspect. I have a blue color CX-5, AWD, GT, Tech Pack.
Gas Mileage not as high as advertised
schuylkillsa,11/07/2012
Sport 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 6M)
My highway gas mileage is supposed to be close to 35 MPG. I have over 5000 miles on the car and have taken several long road trips and I've yet to hit 31 MPG. Are others finding the same thing?
Great SUV
formerhonda,05/22/2012
I purchased my SUV 2 weeks ago. I am currently getting 29-30MPG. I traded in a 2007 Honda CRV and it was the 4th Honda I had owned. Upon doing research on new auto's, I saw the Mazda CX5 and loved the body style. I considered the Honda Fit, but I was disappointed it does not have the height seat adjustment. I am a 5'2 female and the seat adjustment is something that cannot be an option for me. My only complaint is the headrest sit a little high. I seldom have anyone sitting in the back seat, so I just removed the head rest until I need them. I still trying to get used to no key start, but I think my loyalty to Honda is no longer there!
Tire warning light problem
mccreery,08/06/2013
Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl 6A)
Overall car is good, BUT, tire pressure light keeps coming on. Dealer has reset it, comes back on in less than 10 miles, dealer resets again and stays off for a month, back on again. I have done this dance 4+ times and is on again! No the tires are not low, no I have not pushed the reset button. I think this is a defect.

Features & Specs

MPG
25 city / 31 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
155 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
26 city / 32 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
155 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
25 city / 31 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
155 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
26 city / 32 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
155 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 2013 Mazda CX-5 features & specs

Safety

IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Good
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2013 Mazda CX-5
More About This Model

The CX-5 isn't the first compact SUV from Mazda, but it might as well be. Previous attempts at making inroads in the crossover market have included the Mazda Tribute (a clone of a Ford Escape) and Mazda CX-7, but neither stirred much consumer interest. With the handsomely designed and generously equipped 2013 Mazda CX-5, the people at Mazda finally get the crossover combination right. Plus, the CX-5 offers class-leading fuel economy and liberal interior dimensions, all at a competitive price. Sounds like a winning combination if ever we've heard one.

Official pricing will be announced closer to the vehicle's on-sale date in the first quarter of 2012, but official sources have reassured us that the five-passenger 2013 CX-5's pricing strategy will mirror that of its chief competitors, the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4. This means we should expect a price range from about $22,000 for the base CX-5 Sport to about $28,000 for the top-tier CX-5 Grand Touring. Mazda expects the midlevel CX-5 Touring to take the lion's share of sales, of course. All models are powered by the same fuel-efficient four-cylinder engine, and all are available with all-wheel drive as well.

When it arrives, the 2013 Mazda CX-5 will be the first all-new vehicle to completely utilize Mazda's latest and most significant engineering effort to date. Mazda cryptically calls its all-encompassing approach Skyactiv Technology, a suite of efficiency, safety and driving-dynamics technologies baked into a vehicle as a whole. From the CX-5's body-in-white construction, to the powertrain, to the way this crossover steers and rides, this new SUV represents a fundamental shift in the way Mazda will engineer and construct everything it sells from now on, plus it's a strong new entry in a market segment that is becoming incredibly popular.

Mazda is very serious about competing with both the brisk-selling Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 with its CX-5. So confident, in fact, that the company predicts the 2013 CX-5 will be the second-best-selling vehicle in Mazda's portfolio.

Used 2013 Mazda CX-5 Overview

The Used 2013 Mazda CX-5 is offered in the following submodels: CX-5 SUV. Available styles include Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl 6A), Touring 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 6A), Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl 6A), Grand Touring 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 6A), Sport 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 6A), Sport 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 6M), and Sport 4dr SUV AWD (2.0L 4cyl 6A).

What's a good price on a Used 2013 Mazda CX-5?

Price comparisons for Used 2013 Mazda CX-5 trim styles:

  • The Used 2013 Mazda CX-5 Touring is priced between $8,999 and$14,998 with odometer readings between 62479 and114397 miles.
  • The Used 2013 Mazda CX-5 Sport is priced between $8,982 and$13,998 with odometer readings between 44794 and91064 miles.
  • The Used 2013 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring is priced between $9,983 and$11,900 with odometer readings between 83540 and140258 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2013 Mazda CX-5s are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2013 Mazda CX-5 for sale near. There are currently 20 used and CPO 2013 CX-5s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $8,982 and mileage as low as 44794 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2013 Mazda CX-5.

Can't find a used 2013 Mazda CX-5s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mazda CX-5 for sale - 10 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $23,129.

Find a used Mazda for sale - 3 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $22,188.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mazda CX-5 for sale - 11 great deals out of 22 listings starting at $23,313.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mazda for sale - 9 great deals out of 19 listings starting at $19,639.

Should I lease or buy a 2013 Mazda CX-5?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Mazda lease specials
Check out Mazda CX-5 lease specials