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Used 2016 Mazda CX-5 Sport SUV Review

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2016 Mazda CX-5 Sport SUV.

5 star(33%)
4 star(34%)
3 star(22%)
2 star(0%)
1 star(11%)
3.8 out of 5 stars
9 reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

1 out of 5 stars
MAZDA CX 5 2016 - MAZAD non-cooperation re Lemon
Tamanna Ahmad,01/08/2016
Sport 4dr SUV w/Prod. End 01/16 (2.0L 4cyl 6M)
I purchased a 2016 MAZDA CX-5 at the end of September 2015. By the first week of December, with about 1,300 miles, the engine light came on and the car became sluggish and would struggle to pick-up speed. I took the car to the nearest Mazda dealership. After a few days when I called them they told me that they did not know what was wrong and they were consulting MAZDA “tech-line” to … figure it out. I picked up the car a few days later but even before I exited the dealership lot the light came back on. The service advisor aked me to leave the car and informed me that they actually did not know what caused the engine failure and had to confer with Mazda again. Everyday for the next week, I got a call informing me that they had no updates, and still had no idea what was wrong with the car. The only piece of information I was offered was that the problem stemmed from an error during the actual assembly/manufacturing of the car. The following week I got the most disturbing piece of information: an employee at the dealership had crashed into my car with another. I went in to the dealership the next morning only to be told by an employee, "Sometimes these things happen." I asked for the police report of how the accident happened but they said as the accident was in their premises they were not required to have a police report. I then asked for the dealership’s written report along with photos of the accident, which they refused to provide. All along we have been in touch with Mazda Customer Service. They said they understood the situation and that were looking into the matter and considering either to replace the car or give me a full refund. But when we asked for a firm written commitment from MAZDA they just danced around the issue. I told MAZDA that not only a brand new car has a serious defect but also the MAZDA dealership crashed my car and has caused significant depreciation. At this point MAZDA said that the dealership is not cooperating with them and they have no control over the dealership. We have asked to accelerate this to Mazda corporate but they would not let us talk to anyone senior at the company above the Customer Service Rep. It is now almost 5 weeks that my car is still in the shop and MAZDA is silent hoping that I will go away after hitting a wall at MAZDA.
4 out of 5 stars
had one for two months now
Sport 4dr SUV w/Prod. End 01/16 (2.0L 4cyl 6M)
I traded a 2007 Mazda3 for the CX5 2.0 6speed manual transmission. Even though it has the same size engine and mileage rating as the Mazda3 i had, i noticed right away I was getting less miles per gallon. Probably due to the extra weight, larger tires, etc. The Mazda3 was a 5 speed, so having the 6th gear in the CX5 helps with gas mileage on highway driving. I would say I average … with the CX5 around 25 to 28 mpg and i do mostly highway driving. I wanted a car that would do better in the snow, so there is the trade off. The anti-rollback in the manual transmission is kind of weird to me. Since I have always drove a manual, i'm used to the roll back and can deal with it. It almost seams like the breaks are on and it creates a little resistance when taking off. The electronic parking break is the one thing that drives me crazy. A manual parking break, you can decide how much of the break you want to apply. With this it's all or nothing. It also makes this weird noise when applying or releasing the parking break. I think in the manual it says this noise is just let you know what is happening and serves no mechanical purpose. I would rather not have the noise. I already had my battery go dead. I must have left something on, no big deal, jump started the car. Then I found out I could not drive because my parking break had been on the night before and it would not release. The light just kept flashing. I get out the manual and it says if it won't release...make sure your doors are closed, seat belt is on and if you put in gear and let out the clutch half way, it will release. It didn't. I ended up letting the battery charge up for a few minutes, then turned off the car, turned it back on and the parking break was steady lit now and I was able to release normally by pressing in the break and hitting the parking break switch. Luckily I made it to work on time. So no, I'm not a fan of electronic parking breaks. I doubt I ever use it again for fear of being stuck somewhere. They should have put in some sort of manual override or release. Other than those things, I still think its a great car. The interior, the lights and the outside design makes other cars in this class look dull. I'll get the most out of it in the winter time or having the extra storage area to haul things. If the new Mazda3 didn't sit so low to the ground, I might have bought another one instead of the CX5.
5 out of 5 stars
Great Vehicle for Skiers!!! Love it
More Snow,02/11/2016
Sport 4dr SUV w/Prod. End 01/16 (2.0L 4cyl 6M)
After driving 2 Subaru Outbacks for 300,000 miles combined we went over to the CX-5. Nothing against the Outback but we always weigh our options. Love the roomy inside, handles fabulous in the snow, little noise in the cabin, fun to drive. We added a tow hitch for our mountain bikes, cross bars and rails for the ski rack, Mazda re-mote car starter, mud flaps and door sill plates. We … ski an average of 30 days a year. This car rocks if your active and outdoorsy!
3 out of 5 stars
Room for change
Sport 4dr SUV w/Prod. End 01/16 (2.0L 4cyl 6M)
I test drove one tonight ready to buy. My girlfriend "had to have it" because of the new red color. After some time spent with a very patient salesman we decided on a price and took a test drive. I instantly noticed the flat "airplane" style seats. We were looking at the base model and the seats were very flat and lacked padding. While she drove I played with the dash and found the deal … killer. The radio was as bad as it gets. I noticed someone had tweaked the EQ to try to hide the issue but I tell you this was the worse sounding radio I have ever heard, no lie. As my girl put on a sour face with her seating displeasure I quickly felt this might be the wrong car to buy. Considering the simple fact that the seats were poor and the radio was really bad it would not be a great choice for road trips. Theyt really missed the point. We returned to the dealership and had to inform the salesman that we needed to think about it. I did feel bad for him because we had already communicated for days and this was supposed to be the trade in, sign and drive moment. I am proud that my girlfriend found these 2 instant flaws big enough to wait it out. We are going back to recheck the Hyundai. She has driven hers for the last 4 years and I must admit, it drives better, is more comfortable and the sound system blows away the Mazda. Plus she has had zero issues with it. Yes, the red is an awsome color and the car felt solid but they missed some simple points that would make it a great car.

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2016 Mazda CX-5 Sport SUV

Pros & Cons

  • Sporty driving feel that makes you feel secure while cornering
  • engines earn great fuel economy
  • spacious seating in both rows
  • many desirable safety features.
  • Subpar stereo sound quality, even with the Bose upgrade
  • weak acceleration with base engine.

Full Edmunds Review: 2016 Mazda CX-5 SUV

What’s new

For 2016, the Mazda CX-5 receives a refresh in the form of minor styling tweaks, improved interior materials, revised suspension tuning, added sound insulation and an updated infotainment interface. New options include LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alert and lane departure warning, while Bluetooth is now standard across the board. Additionally, a midyear update brings separate 2016.5 models (production after January 2016) that include a standard rearview camera (except manual-transmission Sport), standard heated seats for the Touring trim and standard navigation for both Touring and Grand Touring.

Edmunds says

When you're shopping for crossover SUVs, it can seem like they are all just different flavors of bland. The Mazda CX-5 breaks that mold. It has an engaging driving character, yet it still gives you pretty much everything you're looking for, including great fuel economy. Let's take a closer look at what makes this Mazda tick.

Notably, we picked the Mazda CX-5 as one of Edmunds' Best Used SUVs for 2016.

Vehicle overview

With their ample cargo capacity, good fuel efficiency, elevated driving positions and enhanced foul-weather driving capability, compact crossover SUVs have massive appeal. Indeed, this is one of the most popular vehicle segments. And within that crowded class, the 2016 Mazda CX-5 stands as one of our favorite picks.

What pushes this Mazda to the front of the class is that, in addition to satisfying those core requirements, it also boasts a nicely trimmed cabin, excellent safety ratings, a smooth and quiet ride, comfortable seats and good visibility. The CX-5 also has something quite rare in this segment: a fun-to-drive personality that comes by way of its precise steering and sporty handling. With the bigger engine that's standard on most trim levels, the CX-5 also provides an impressive combination of peppy acceleration and high fuel economy. Whether you're driving to work, running errands or dropping the kids off somewhere, the 2016 Mazda CX-5 is enjoyable to drive and as comfortable and easy to live with as a favorite pair of jeans. Those traits also make the CX-5 a great road trip companion.

We think the 2016 Mazda CX-5 is one of the best crossovers on the market.

For 2016, Mazda has updated the CX-5 in a few areas. Refinements include styling tweaks to the front and rear ends, an electronic parking brake, added sound insulation for reduced road noise, an updated infotainment system and revised suspension tuning for a more comfortable ride. There's also more cabin storage thanks to larger door pockets and a bigger console bin. Mazda improved the seats as well, with the backseat gaining a larger seat-bottom cushion.

If you're looking for a weak spot in this generally excellent package, the main one is the base 2.0-liter engine found on the Sport trim level with the manual transmission. It's pretty low on power and, although it's quite fuel-efficient, it has a negligible advantage over the significantly better-performing 2.5-liter engine. If full passenger loads and/or hilly driving are in your plans, we certainly recommend the available 2.5-liter engine. In addition, the Mazda CX-5's sound systems are subpar. Even the uplevel Bose system delivers unimpressive audio quality.

There are a lot of good choices in the small crossover class, so it's worth checking out your options before making a decision. The Honda CR-V has lots of space, a high-quality interior and a likable, easygoing driving demeanor. It's not as athletic as the CX-5, but it's an equally desirable choice. There's also the Ford Escape, which has a top-notch interior as well as the option of a powerful, turbocharged engine. The Toyota RAV4 boasts a roomy cabin and is especially comfortable on the highway. For those 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 2016 Mazda CX-5 is one of the best all-around vehicles in this segment and deserves strong consideration.

Notably, we picked the 2016 Mazda CX-5 as one of Edmunds' Best Used Cars.

2016 Mazda CX-5 models

The 2016 Mazda CX-5 is a five-passenger compact crossover SUV available in Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trim levels. All trim levels offer a choice of front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD).

The base Sport with the 2.0-liter engine and manual transmission comes standard with 17-inch alloy 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, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, auxiliary audio jack and an iPod /USB interface.

There's also a Sport variant with the larger 2.5-liter engine and an automatic transmission. Its standard features expand to include a 7-inch touchscreen interface, a multifunction controller knob, HD radio, Pandora Internet radio, automatic crash notification, SMS text message reading and audio system voice controls. For the 2016.5 model, a rearview camera is also standard; it's optional on the earlier 2016 version.

The Touring includes all of the above as well as foglights, keyless ignition and entry, blind spot and rear cross-traffic warning systems, a six-way power driver seat, a height-adjustable passenger seat, a 40/20/40-split folding rear seat, 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 above plus 19-inch wheels, automatic headlights, automatic windshield wipers, heated mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, satellite radio, heated front seats and leather upholstery.

Leather upholstery comes standard on the CX-5's Grand Touring trim.

Available on both the Touring and Grand Touring is the Technology package. It features a navigation system, the Smart City Brake Support System (see Safety section for more details), adaptive LED headlights, LED running lights, LED foglights, LED taillights and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. On the Touring, it also includes automatic headlights and automatic windshield wipers.

Optional on the Grand Touring is the i-ActiveSense package that includes adaptive cruise control, Smart Brake Support (see Safety section), lane departure warning and automatic high beam headlight control.

Note that the 2016.5 CX-5 Touring trim gets the heated front seats as standard, while both the 2016.5 CX-5 Touring and the 2016.5 CX-5 Grand Touring come standard with the navigation system. Otherwise, the content of the optional packages is unaffected.

Performance & mpg

The front-wheel-drive 2016 Mazda CX-5 Sport comes with a choice of two powertrains. You may choose either a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque matched to a six-speed manual transmission, or a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine with 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. All-wheel drive is optional on Sport models with the 2.5-liter engine. The bigger engine is standard on Touring and Grand Touring models.

The EPA's estimated fuel economy for the Sport FWD, 2.0-liter version is 29 mpg combined (26 city/35 highway). All FWD CX-5s with the 2.5-liter engine earn an identical 29 mpg combined (26/33), while those with all-wheel drive (AWD) rate 26 combined (24 city/30 highway).

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.


Every 2016 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 blind spot and rear cross-traffic warning systems.

Available 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. The Grand Touring can also be had with the i-ActiveSense package that features adaptive cruise control, Smart Brake Support (allows automatic braking from higher speeds than the City system), lane departure warning and automatic high beam control. On automatic-equipped CX-5s, remote door locking is possible via the optional Mazda Mobile Start smartphone app service.

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 government crash testing, the CX-5 received a four-star rating for overall crash protection, with four stars for frontal-impact protection and five stars for total side-impact 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 it just doesn't feel that strong during merging and passing maneuvers in the real world. For the majority of small crossover shoppers, the 2.5-liter four-cylinder is a much better choice given its superior power and virtually identical fuel economy. Furthermore, the six-speed automatic shifts quickly and smoothly and is one of the most responsive transmissions in this class. Mazda still makes a very good manual transmission, but given that it's only available with the 2.0-liter engine, its appeal is quite limited.

Easily the most striking thing about the 2016 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 steering, brakes and suspension 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, making it a fine road trip companion.


Regardless of the trim level, the cabin 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 tasteful metallic or piano black accents. The CX-5's black gauges with white lettering are also highly legible.

The 2016 version of the CX-5 brings a much-improved infotainment system. Boasting a 7-inch (versus the previous 5.8-inch) screen and an intuitive multifunction control knob, the new system is one of the better ones out there. Most drivers should be able to find a good driving position, and front-seat comfort is excellent on long road trips.

Mazda has added an improved infotainment system to the 2016 CX-5.

The Mazda's backseat is spacious and offers plenty of legroom for this class. That rear seat features an innovative folding mechanism on the Touring and Grand Touring trim levels that lowers the seat bottom before folding the seatback on top to provide a near-flat load floor. With all seats occupied, there are 34.1 cubic feet of luggage space. That grows to a competitive 64.8 cubic feet with the rear seats folded.

Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2016 Mazda CX-5 in Virginia is:

not available