Since it debuted as a 2017, Mazda’s compact CX-5 crossover has garnered several awards one of which was from Parents Magazine for the best in value, performance, safety and family friendly features. In fact, it has become the newest benchmark in its class.
Compared to others in this category, the CX-5 has the most athleticism, as they say. It’s completely new for 2017 with an attractive exterior and a beautifully designed interior.
CX-5 is offered in Sport, Touring and Grand Touring, the latter of which we tested. Of course all trim levels are offered in FWD and AWD, but here in the Snowbelt, AWD is the preferable option.
Aside from the CX-5’s good looks, Mazda did a superb job on the interior. Perforated tony leather seats, brushed aluminum type trim throughout combine to form an eclectic cockpit where even the sides of the console were nicely padded for us knee resters. Heated seats and heated steering wheel compliment this exceptional cockpit.
Atop the dash resides a 7-inch iPad-type touchscreen display with Mazda Connect infotainment system. And with that is added a HD Radio Traffic app, navigation, audio and more.
Operationally, HVAC controls are simple and easy to use with an LCD display to show temperature settings. A center console mouse directs a variety of offing’s such as navigation, audio and other useful tools. There’s also a toggle switch for “Sport” mode that when selected makes the transmission hold shift points longer for better performance.
With a low 20-inch step-in into the cabin, back seat passengers are treated to equal comfort. Headroom is ample however leg room can be tight if the front seats are racked too well rearward.
Back in the cargo bay and with the 40/20/40 split seats upright, the area measures 37 inches deep, 44 wide and 31 high. Flip all seats and depth reaches to 65 inches or 60 cubic feet. Not the largest cargo area, but you must consider the car’s length and width.
Powered by a 2.5-liter, 187-hp (185 lb/ft of torque) inline 4-cylinder and 6-speed automatic transmission, EPA rates the combination at 23 city, 29-highway mpg. CX-5 can also tow up to 2,000 pounds, which is on the light side. As such, the powertrain provides spirited acceleration around town with highway passing requiring a linear spooling up of torque to pass a row of 18-wheelers. And if you like diesel’s, there will be on coming later this year.
Because of its size, CX-5 parks easily and is nimble in traffic. Steering pressure is weighted somewhat but it exudes its sportiness.
Handling too is especially impressive. It can take sharp turns with excellent control. Turn the steering wheel a mere inch either way and the cars’ nose points 20 degrees left or right.
Ride quality on Toyo 19-inch tires is comparable to a midsize sedan. Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control uses engine timing for a for this smooth ride.
Outfitted with a host of safety features, the Grand Touring came with Smart City Brake Support that applies the brakes to reduce or prevent a frontal accident between 2 and 19 mph. Lane Departure signals when crossing the yellow line and can move the vehicle back between the lines. Then there’s Blind Spot Monitoring and Rear Cross Traffic Alert that are extremely helpful when backing out between vehicles from a parking spot.
Now get this. All this plus heated power mirrors, tire pressure monitoring, traction control, stability control, power moonroof, powered tailgate and more are all standard. The only extra cost options were cargo mats ($75), machine grey paint ($300), retractable cargo cover ($250) and a Premium Package ($1,830) that included heated rear seats, memory position drivers’ seat and 6-way powered passenger seat that brought the base price of $30,695 to $34,085 including delivery. An average price for a 5-passenger crossover in this class and with this much content.
The CX-5 comes with a 60 month/60K powertrain warranty. 36/36K bumper-bumper warranty and 24-hour roadside assistance.
Because they’re fresh off the assembly line, the CX-5’s have not yet been government safety rated. But we’re sure it will get high marks.