My son did the research and saw the CX-5 AWD with the tech package as the best deal for a small SUV. He bought one. I liked it so much, three weeks later, I bought one. Paid $32K on the road - MD Update: The vehicle is great, the problems are with the dealer. They continue to attempt to see you services that are not recommended and not needed.
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.
I got my CX-5 in July and currently have about 9,500km on it. Driving it has been nothing but fun. Great response, torque and stability in all conditions. I test drove the CR-V, RAV4, Santa Fe and Cherokee before settling on this one, the most balanced package of all. I am absolutely in LOVE with the steering, which adjusts firmness perfectly with speed. The interior build quality is great with soft-touch materials and while some may find it bland, I prefer this over the overly done interiors of RAV4 and Santa Fe and the pointless buttons of the CR-V. No problems so far - definitely room for improvements as noted below.
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.
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!