2018 Mazda CX-5: Monthly Update for June 2018
by Brent Romans, Senior Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
I drove our 2018 Mazda CX-5 about 1,400 miles in June. I came away from that time believing our CX-5 is a likable crossover SUV. It's got a classy interior, a suitable amount of interior and cargo room, and an appealing set of premium features. Interestingly, though, I was left a little underwhelmed by two things I thought the CX-5 would be great at: fuel economy and the way it drives.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
In June, our CX-5 averaged 23.7 mpg. That helped boost the lifetime average slightly to 21.9 mpg (up from 21.4 in May). Still, 21.9 mpg is disappointing, at least from my vantage point. Our long-term CR-V is thumping the CX-5 with its 27.6 mpg lifetime average.
Average lifetime mpg: 21.9
EPA mpg rating: 26 combined (24 city/30 highway)
Best fill mpg: 28.1
Best range: 324.8 miles
Current odometer: 4,928 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
We didn't have any maintenance due this month. Look for a report on the CX-5's 5,000-mile service in our forthcoming July update.
"I didn't find our CX-5 as fun to drive as I thought I would. As some of my co-workers have noted in previous updates, acceleration is merely adequate. More surprising to me, though, is the CX-5's heavy steering feel. It requires more muscle to turn the wheel than I think is necessary for a small crossover SUV. The heavy steering feel makes the CX-5 seem less willing to quickly zip around a turn, which partially masks the CX-5's otherwise sporty and composed handling capabilities. The heavier feel also means it's more of a chore when wheeling around parking lots.
"Now, I don't want an overly boosted and artificial feel, either. But a little more assist would be appreciated." — Brent Romans, senior editor
"Our CX-5 is comfortable on long drives. The ride quality is reasonably smooth on the highway, and I have no problems staying comfortable in the driver's seat for multiple hours on the road." — Brent Romans
"The CX-5's interior is impressive. The two-tone color scheme, high-quality materials, solid-feeling controls and no-nonsense design all help raise the CX-5's game. It's one of the main reasons to consider getting a CX-5, I'd say. As for downsides, the only thing I can come up with is the regular-size sunroof. Some rival crossover SUVs offer bigger, panoramic-style sunroofs that extend farther back so that the rear passengers can more easily see out." — Brent Romans
"It seems like Mazda's been using the same infotainment system for a few years now. Overall, I continue to like the knob-and-button controller interface. I find this interface helps reduce driver distraction compared to a traditional touchscreen interface. (The Mazda's screen is also touch-sensitive, but only when stopped.) However, the system lacks Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support, and the graphics are starting to look a little dated." — Brent Romans
"The brake auto-hold feature of our CX-5 is a nice touch. When turned on, it automatically engages the brakes when you're at a stoplight so that you don't have to keep your foot on the brake. In heavy city traffic, I'll take the opportunity to stretch out my right foot a little. When you press on the gas pedal, the brakes immediately release." — Brent Romans
"As a middle-age married guy with two kids, I understand the appeal of owning a small crossover SUV. Whether I'm taking my kids to various summer camp activities or making runs to Target, the CX-5 is up to the task. There hasn't been a time yet where I needed a bigger three-row SUV. It's also comfortable, easy to get in and out of, fuel-efficient and just a tad more interesting to drive than most of the other crossovers out there.
"I also like the CX-5's exterior design. It's handsome and distinctive enough to be memorable. Too many other small crossovers just fade from memory. Our CX-5's optional Soul Red Crystal Metallic paint looks great, too.
"For more on our CX-5, check out our new comparison video that pits our long-term CX-5 against a Honda CR-V and a Toyota RAV4." — Brent Romans