2015 Mazda CX-5 Review

Pros & Cons

  • Engaging driving experience
  • fuel-efficient engines
  • roomy, comfortable seating
  • excellent crash test scores
  • sharp styling.
  • Mediocre electronics interface
  • subpar stereo sound quality
  • weak acceleration with base engine.
Other years
List Price Range
$10,000 - $18,991

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Edmunds' Expert Review

With its spacious, functional interior, impressive fuel economy and top safety scores, the 2015 Mazda CX-5 is a top pick among small crossovers. The fact that it's also fun to drive comes as a bonus.

Notably, we picked the Mazda CX-5 as one of Edmunds' Best Used SUVs for 2015.

Vehicle overview

If you're shopping for a compact yet versatile vehicle with a relatively affordable price tag, a small crossover SUV is one of the best options available. With its outstanding fuel economy, functional, well-built interior, stellar safety ratings and excellent overall driving experience, the stylish 2015 Mazda CX-5 is one of our favorites in this class. If there's a small crossover in your future, this Mazda should be on your short list.

Although there are many reasons to like the 2015 CX-5, this Mazda is one of those vehicles that just makes your life easy. It's very comfortable to drive to work or run errands in with the kids, and you'll have no problems seeing out of it or parking it. In addition, the 2.5-liter engine that's standard on most trim levels offers strong acceleration while returning class-leading fuel economy. If you venture out of town for the weekend, you'll find that the CX-5's smooth ride, generally quiet cabin and comfortable seating make it a great road trip vehicle as well. Finally, compared with other small crossovers you might consider, this Mazda is actually kind of fun to drive, thanks to its precise steering and sporty handling.

Of course, no vehicle is perfect, and one of our main complaints about the 2015 CX-5 involves its subpar electronics interface. Compared with the infotainment systems in rivals, the CX-5's system has mediocre graphics, poorly organized menus and, with navigation equipped, no scrolling feature for its map screen. Similarly, sound quality is nothing to write home about, even with the available Bose audio system. And while the base 2.0-liter engine on the Sport trim level is quite fuel-efficient, it's also pretty low on power. If extended highway travel or full passenger loads are in your plans, we certainly recommend the available 2.5-liter engine.

There are a lot of choices in the small crossover class, so it's worthwhile to check out a few rivals before making your decision. Another top pick is the Honda CR-V, which has lots of space, high-quality interior materials and an easygoing driving demeanor that most shoppers will like. It's not as athletic as the CX-5, but it's an equally desirable choice. Others you may want to consider include the Ford Escape, which has top-notch interior materials and a powerful, optional turbocharged engine, and the Toyota RAV4, which is also quite roomy and especially comfortable on the highway. For shoppers interested in a small crossover SUV that can handle the occasional off-road excursion, we recommend looking at the Jeep Cherokee and Subaru Forester.

While each of these competitors has certain advantages, the 2015 Mazda CX-5 is one of the best all-around vehicles in the small crossover segment and deserves strong consideration.

Notably, we picked the 2015 Mazda CX-5 as one of Edmunds' Best Used Cars.

2015 Mazda CX-5 models

The 2015 Mazda CX-5 is a five-passenger compact crossover SUV available in Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trim levels.

The base Sport comes standard with 17-inch wheels, full power accessories, air-conditioning, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, auxiliary audio jack and a USB/iPod interface. The optional Bluetooth Audio package adds Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, a touchscreen interface, HD radio, Pandora Internet radio, automatic crash notification, SMS text message reading and audio system voice controls. Stand-alone options include foglights, rear parking sensors and remote ignition (automatic-transmission models only).

The Touring includes all the Sport's equipment and the contents of the Bluetooth Audio package. It also features a more powerful engine, keyless ignition and entry, a rearview camera, a blind-spot warning system, a six-way power driver seat, a 40/20/40-split-folding rear seat, a six-speaker sound system, upgraded cloth upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a six-speaker sound system. The Moonroof and Bose Audio option package adds a sunroof and an upgraded nine-speaker Bose audio system.

The Grand Touring includes all of the Touring's equipment, plus 19-inch wheels, automatic headlights, automatic windshield wipers, heated mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats and leather upholstery.

Available on both the Touring and Grand Touring, the Technology package tacks on the Smart City Brake Support System (see Safety section), automatic and adaptive bi-xenon headlights, an auto-dimming mirror, satellite radio and a navigation system. The latter two items are available as stand-alone options. The Touring version of this package also includes automatic wipers.

2015 Highlights

Keyless entry and ignition is now standard on the Touring and Grand Touring trim levels. Otherwise, the 2015 Mazda CX-5 carries over unchanged.

Performance & mpg

The front-wheel-drive 2015 Mazda CX-5 Sport comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is optional. With AWD, the automatic is standard. Note that Mazda only built the CX-5 Sport with the 2.0-liter engine and AWD for a brief period before switching it over to the larger 2.5-liter engine (see below).

In Edmunds performance testing, an all-wheel-drive CX-5 with the 2.0-liter engine went from zero to 60 mph in 9.7 seconds, which is on the slow side for a small crossover. The EPA's estimated fuel economy is 29 mpg combined (26 city/32 highway) on automatic-transmission front-drive models; the manual version also rates 29 mpg combined but gets a 35 mpg highway estimate. With AWD and the automatic, estimates drop to 28 combined (25 city/31 highway).

The Sport AWD (built after May of 2014), Touring and Grand Touring models come standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that's good for 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. The six-speed automatic transmission is standard, and both front-wheel and all-wheel-drive versions are available for the Touring and Grand Touring.

In Edmunds testing, a CX-5 with the 2.5-liter engine and AWD accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 8.0 seconds, which is a very respectable performance for this class. The EPA estimates fuel economy at 27 mpg combined (25 city/32 highway) with front-wheel drive and 26 combined (24/30) with AWD. Properly equipped, all 2015 Mazda CX-5s have a 2,000-pound tow rating, though we don't recommend towing with the 2.0-liter engine.


Every 2015 Mazda CX-5 comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags and side curtain airbags. An automatic crash notification feature is optional on the Sport and standard on the Touring and Grand Touring, which also get a blind-spot warning system.

Optional on the Touring and Grand Touring, the Smart City Brake Support system uses a laser sensor to detect stationary objects (such as stopped cars or pedestrians) in front of the vehicle at speeds up to 19 mph. If the driver fails to respond to a warning, the CX-5 can automatically apply the brakes.

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

In government crash testing, the CX-5 received a perfect five stars for overall, front and side crash protection. In crash testing by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the CX-5 earned the highest possible rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, small-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests. Its seat/head restraint design was also rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.


Equipped with the base 2.0-liter engine, the Mazda CX-5 offers competitive power on paper, but out in the real world, it just doesn't feel that strong during merging and passing maneuvers. For the majority of small crossover shoppers, the 2.5-liter four-cylinder (which is standard on most trims) is a much better choice given its superior power and minuscule fuel economy penalty. Either way, the six-speed automatic shifts quickly and smoothly and is one of the most responsive transmissions in this class. Mazda still offers a very good manual transmission, too, but given that it's only available on CX-5s with the 2.0-liter engine, its appeal is limited.

Easily the most striking thing about the 2015 Mazda CX-5 is its athletic character. Even if you're just looking for a small crossover to drive to work every day, you'll notice that its brakes, suspension and steering are uncommonly capable for a vehicle in this class. It's an enjoyable vehicle to run errands in, and if you happen to turn onto a road with twists and turns, the CX-5 can be downright fun. On the highway, the Mazda rides just as comfortably as most other crossovers. It isn't the quietest choice available in this class, but as long as you get the 2.5-liter engine, noise levels are acceptable on road trips.


Regardless of the trim level, the cockpit of the Mazda CX-5 is attractive, modern and functional. It's a mature design, and it isn't swathed in poorly rendered fake wood or highly reflective chrome trim. Instead, materials are simple and high in quality, and soft-touch surfaces are set off with limited use of satin-finish metallic details. The CX-5's black gauges with white lettering are also highly legible.

On the other hand, the CX-5's touchscreen electronics interface, which is available with or without navigation, is just OK. The screen is small, and the system is sometimes slow to process touch inputs. The TomTom-sourced navigation software will get you to your destination, but there's no ability to scroll on the map screen and the navigation units in most competitors have better graphics.

Most Mazda CX-5 drivers will be able to find a good driving position, and front seat comfort is excellent on long road trips. The backseat is spacious and offers plenty of legroom for this class. Although the seat-bottom cushions might feel a bit flat to adults, they feature an innovative folding mechanism on the Touring and Grand Touring that lowers the seat bottom before folding the seatback 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 2015 Mazda CX-5.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

5,000 Miles in, all smiles
Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
We purchased this CX-5 in December 2014 after my 7 years driving an X3. Of all the compact SUVs available in the $25-30K price range, we liked the CX-5 styling the best. Now 5,000 miles on the odometer and I really have no complaints. On highway trips through the PA mountains and over OH flatlands, I averaged 29mpg at 70mph. In mixed driving (local errands, groceries, etc.) I'm seeing about 25mpg. And all this with 87 octane on a high-compression engine. The in-dash multimedia system works great, pairing with multiple iPhone/iPods cleanly and transmitting bluetooth info as needed. The update to the TomTom nav system worked as described on the web guide. Very happy with this choice so far.
Except for the heating, A/C and defogger systems
Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
I wanted to wait till I owned this CX-5 touring long enough to experience all seasons to their worst. 8 month's ownership in central IN, former CR-V owner. I have to say that I love everything about this car except for the defogger/heat and air system. I must choose between having clear windows or a comfortable cabin. In the 11 years I owned the Honda CR-V, this was not the case. In the CX-5 you cannot turn on the internal air re-circulation if you have the defogger dial engaged. (I went to the dealership to make sure it wasn't user error.) I realize this is common with other makes, but I hate it. I experienced sudden visibility loss on a hot, muggy night when I first owned the car. I hate having to smell car exhaust inside my vehicle. On a 15 degree day my windows froze shut on my 35 min. drive because I (only person in the car) could not keep the interior warm enough to keep the window seal from freezing. I had to keep the defroster on or I couldn't see. And, this was after parking in a heated garage overnight. The car rides like a dream, is quiet, gets great mileage, is comfortable for large adults in the front and back. The sound system is great and I love the look of the car. This car is great for a desert dweller, not for anyone who must fight foggy windows in humid environments. This is a deal breaker for me. I will trade the car within 2 years, whereas I kept my Honda for 11. If it were not for Honda's road noise, I probably would have purchased another. I thought the CX-5 was my answer. One other tiny thing, the cargo area could use more than a 1 by 2 inch light for a $28K car. July 2016, still have the car, still hold the same opinion. Jan. 2018 update, I didn't trade the car because I would lose too much money. I am still driving the car. It's still a good car, but my feet freeze in the winter, even with the dial turned to floor blower and with the heat turned on high. July 2019, I am still driving the car. I am still the only car on the road with the windshield wipers running early on a summer morning because I can't get rid of the condensation, with the defogger, any way I set it. No other complaints.
Quite Pleased (Needs a few tweaks)
Marc Edwards,03/16/2015
Grand Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
Bought in June 2014, 54k on it so far. Very fun to drive. Very reliable. Get as advertised mileage 25 city, approx. 32 hwy, and 27+ combined. The changes I think are needed are more comfortable front seats (more bolstering and more aggressive lumbar support), climate control vents for the back seats, better sound insulation for the cabin (too much wind noise), Garmin based navigation system over the TomTom system, a push button "sport mode" since around town I have to keep the transmission in manual shift mode all the time since the auto mode shifts up to higher gears too quickly thereby sapping any torque and acceleration from the engine. I believe they did incorporate this feature in the later year models. Having the window and door lock control buttons on the driver's door lighted is needed as you can't see them at night. Would like to see the steering wheel have more texture to it. have had to put aftermarket wrap on it since I find it to be too slippery. A set of speakers in the rear cabin section are sorely needed. Lastly I was very disappointed to find that, according to Mazda, they discontinued many of the accessories for the CX-5 model most notably color coded door edge protection strips.
750 miles and love it so far (Update at 36k)
Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A)
I really love my CX-5. I tried the Toyota Rav4 (my #2), Ford Escape (my #3), and Honda CR-V (#4--hated it) before choosing this car. It was a clear winner. I appreciated how the middle trim level I purchased had features other makers only offered with higher trim levels (i.e. blind spot monitoring). As a college student without my own family, having the single control for the AC/heating works well for me. If you have children, you’'d probably be more inclined to consider the Grand Touring model since it allows passengers to control their own temperature control. The car is fun to drive and easy to maneuver. Best deal for the money. Update at 36k Miles: I still really love this little car. My gas milage is nothing special but it's good (averaging a little over 27 mpg living in Dallas with lots of traffic and school zones mixed with random bouts on the highway). Back up camera is something I so appreciate having, and the blind spot monitoring has been great with living in the city. The only times the tire pressure light has come on were the two times I had nails in tires, so I was able to have them patched before a flat on both occasions. Bluetooth works like a charm, but the car does have a lot of road noise (which I noticed on test drive but has been more apparent to me lately), and a pet peeve of mine is that the inside paneling by the gas pedal sometimes will pop off if my shoe catches it when I get in or out of the car. I also wish that the window controls and locking button on the driver door were backlit--it's kind of ridiculous to not be able to see them at night. That being said, I still love this car and would recommend it to anyone!

Features & Specs

24 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
184 hp @ 5700 rpm
25 city / 32 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
184 hp @ 5700 rpm
24 city / 30 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
184 hp @ 5700 rpm
25 city / 32 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
184 hp @ 5700 rpm
See all Used 2015 Mazda CX-5 features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover17.4%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2015 Mazda CX-5

Used 2015 Mazda CX-5 Overview

The Used 2015 Mazda CX-5 is offered in the following submodels: CX-5 SUV. Available styles include Grand Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Touring 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Grand Touring 4dr SUV (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Sport 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 6A), Sport 4dr SUV AWD (2.5L 4cyl 6A), Sport 4dr SUV AWD w/Prod. End 05/14 (2.0L 4cyl 6A), and Sport 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 6M).

What's a good price on a Used 2015 Mazda CX-5?

Price comparisons for Used 2015 Mazda CX-5 trim styles:

  • The Used 2015 Mazda CX-5 Touring is priced between $10,264 and$15,681 with odometer readings between 52931 and152670 miles.
  • The Used 2015 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring is priced between $10,700 and$18,991 with odometer readings between 38054 and126523 miles.
  • The Used 2015 Mazda CX-5 Sport is priced between $10,000 and$14,998 with odometer readings between 40111 and139161 miles.

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Which used 2015 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) 2015 Mazda CX-5 for sale near. There are currently 29 used and CPO 2015 CX-5s listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $10,000 and mileage as low as 38054 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 2015 Mazda CX-5.

Can't find a used 2015 Mazda CX-5s you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Mazda CX-5 for sale - 9 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $12,620.

Find a used Mazda for sale - 5 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $9,494.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mazda CX-5 for sale - 1 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $8,625.

Find a used certified pre-owned Mazda for sale - 7 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $20,470.

Should I lease or buy a 2015 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
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