2018 Mazda CX-5: Monthly Update for November 2018
by Ronald Montoya, Senior Consumer Advice Editor
Where Did We Drive It?
It was back to commuting as normal for our 2018 Mazda CX-5 in November. Though a far cry from the 3,500 miles we drove in October, we added 1,300 miles in November, mostly local but with a long-distance desert drive to boost the total. With more than 13,000 miles on the odometer, we've still got thoughts on the CX-5's engine and performance, and we're contemplating an upgrade to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
Lifetime fuel economy decreased slightly from 23.9 to 23.3 mpg. It doesn't look like we'll beat or get near the EPA combined rating of 26 mpg during this long-term test. We can't even average the city EPA estimate of 24 mpg. Los Angeles traffic tends to take a big toll on our fuel economy. That said, it appears that other CX-5 owners are reporting numbers closer in line with the EPA estimates.
Average lifetime mpg: 23.3
EPA mpg rating: 26 combined (24 city/30 highway)
Best fill mpg: 33
Best range: 347.2 miles
Current odometer: 13,737 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"I hear that Mazda's officially putting the 2.5-liter turbo engine into the CX-5 for 2019, at least as an option, and it can't come soon enough. The regular CX-5's lackluster acceleration is the biggest reason why I don't look forward to driving the thing. Otherwise, it's a great little ute — easy to park yet substantial-feeling on the road. But the lack of authority when you need to merge or pass is a real letdown. Bring on the turbo, I say!" — Josh Sadlier, director, content strategy
"One of our biggest complaints has been the CX-5's lack of power. It's definitely an issue, but it shouldn't be a deal-breaker if you have some interest in this vehicle. I've gotten used to it for the most part, and it helps that I'm not an aggressive driver. If I need a quick burst of speed, I'll switch on Sport mode to make the throttle a little more responsive." — Ron Montoya, senior consumer advice editor
"Mazdas have long been the driver's choice when compared to the competition. But after spending some time in both the CX-5 and the Honda CR-V, I'm officially calling it. The Mazda is NOT the driver's choice in the compact crossover class. That honor now belongs to the CR-V. Not only is it apparent on back-to-back test drives, but the numbers on the track all favor the CR-V. It has a faster 0-60 mph time and a shorter braking distance." — Ron Montoya
"Mazda has quietly announced an Apple CarPlay and Android Auto retroactive upgrade for 2014-and-newer Mazdas. It costs $199 for the parts, plus two hours of labor. It's mostly a software upgrade, but you do get a quicker-charging USB port. I called a couple of local dealerships, and the prices with labor ranged from $450 to $499. We won't likely get this upgrade since the CX-5 is only with us for a few more months. It's pricey, but I'd definitely consider this upgrade. I hardly use the in-car nav, often opting for Google or Apple maps. Plus, it would be an improvement over having my phone mounted to the air vents." — Ron Montoya