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2013 Mazda CX-5

Overview
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2013 Mazda CX-5 Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 8.4

The all-new 2013 Mazda CX-5 is destined to serve as a bellwether vehicle for the automaker. Introducing both the next generation of its corporate styling language and a comprehensive array of weight-saving, efficiency-enhancing Skyactiv technologies, this 5-passenger compact SUV promises an even greater level of Zoom-Zoom appeal. Available in Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trims, the CX-5 offers a choice of front-wheel drive (FWD) or all-wheel drive (AWD) as well as an attractive array of standards and options. Aimed squarely at the heart of one of the most hotly contested SUV market segments, the new Mazda CX-5 goes up against a host of formidable rivals, including the equally new Ford Escape and Honda CR-V as well as more seasoned veterans like the Chevrolet Equinox, Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you're in the market for a roomy compact SUV that matches impressive comfort, exceptional flexibility and outstanding fuel economy with class-leading handling and controllability, the 2013 Mazda CX-5 is well worth a test drive.

You May Not Like This Car If...

The CX-5's new 2.0-liter engine does sacrifice a measure of pure power in return for its increased fuel economy, a tradeoff that some may find a bit too 1-sided in light of the comparative output/mpg numbers put up by prime rivals like the new Ford Escape and Honda CR-V, as well as the Chevrolet Equinox.

What's Significant About This Car?

This de facto replacement for the Mazda Tribute – a vehicle that was largely based on the current-generation Ford Escape - the 2013 CX-5 is an all-new, all-Mazda effort that significantly raises the benchmark with respect to its appearance, driving dynamics and overall efficiency.

Driving the CX-5

Driving Impressions Feeling more like a 5-passenger sports car than compact sport utility vehicle, the new CX-5 makes a stellar dynamic impression on any road. A brilliant extension of Mazda's "Zoom-Zoom" spirit,...

it matches a strong, rigid body with lighter, tighter underpinnings that add outstanding control without compromising overall ride comfort. The new electrically assisted power steering is well weighted and offers great feedback, while the CX-5's synergistically optimized suspension package limits body roll in corners and works to channel road harshness away from its well-isolated passenger compartment. Coupled with a robust wheel/tire package, this new Mazda feels agile, confident and surprisingly sure-footed. Although the added weight of the available all-wheel drive system puts a bit more stress on an engine that has more enthusiasm than absolute power – especially during more demanding uphill runs and passing maneuvers - the extra mass has little meaningful impact on the CX-5's dynamic characteristics.

Skyactiv technology

Mazda's comprehensive approach to weight reduction and design optimization in the CX-5's powertrain, structure and suspension elements endow this compact crossover with a genuinely winning personality that bodes well for its future success.


3-way remote rear seatback release

A trio of well-positioned handles located in the CX-5's cargo bay make quick work of lowering individual elements of its 40/20/40 rear seatback to more efficiently accommodate payloads of varying shapes and sizes.

2013 Mazda CX-5 Details
2013 Mazda CX-5 photo Interior

Mazda's new-generation design themes carry over into the CX-5's well-tailored cabin, creating a more inviting look and feel to this roomy and easily reconfigurable domain. Crafted to please both the driver and passengers, it complements a generous helping of soft-touch surfaces with user-friendly control layouts and a host of impressive standard features. The well-formed front bucket seats have been redesigned to provide greater comfort and support, while the adult-scaled 40/20/40 rear bench in the upline Touring/Grand Touring models features an industry-first, remote quick-release system for each individual back element. Pop its large, single-piece liftback rear hatch and pull a lever, and the CX-5's 34.1-cubic-foot rear bay nearly doubles in size, creating a long, near-flat cargo floor in the process.

Exterior
2013 Mazda CX-5 photo

The 2013 Mazda CX-5 is the first production vehicle to embody the automaker's new "Kodo - Soul of Motion" styling language. Closely resembling the Mazda Minagi Concept SUV on which it's based, the CX-5's bold, sleek lines and elegant proportions are set off by a functional rear spoiler. It also boasts a new front-end treatment that replaces the awkward "happy face" look with a far more sophisticated variation on Mazda's classic pentagonal grille. Aluminum 17-inch wheels mounting 225/65 all-season tires are standard on Sport/Touring CX-5s, while the Grand Touring wears 19-inch alloys wrapped in 225/55 rubber.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The new Mazda CX-5 is available in distinct model configurations. Key features in the CX-5 Sport include a full range of power assists, tilt/telescoping steering column with multifunction steering wheel, cruise control, keyless remote and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat. The Touring model adds things like upgraded upholstery cloth, 6-way power driver's seat, Blind Spot Monitor, 5.8-inch color display with backup camera, Bluetooth connectivity and a 40/20/40 rear bench. Highlights of the leather-lined CX-5 Grand Touring include a power moonroof, Bose audio, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, dual-zone climate control and 19-inch wheels. All CX-5's come with stability/traction control, Hill Launch Assist, antilock brakes and front/front-side/side-curtain airbags.

Optional Equipment

Beyond the standard feature variations that differentiate its three model lines and the choice of front-drive and all-wheel drive, the 2013 Mazda CX-5 offers several trim-specific option groups. A Bluetooth Audio Package for the Sport bundles Bluetooth phone/audio connectivity, a 5.8-inch touch-screen monitor and HD radio. The CX-5 Touring can be upgraded with a Moonroof/Bose Package (power moonroof/225-watt Bose premium audio system) and a Technology Package (TomTom-based Navigation, automatic auto-leveling bi-xenon headlights with Adaptive Front-lighting System and more) while the Technology Package for the Grand Touring also includes Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry. Sirius Satellite Radio (Touring only) and a trailer hitch are stand-alone extras.

Under the Hood

All versions of the 2013 Mazda CX-5 share the same naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G gasoline engine, a free-revving 4-cylinder designed for maximum efficiency and minimum weight. Developing 155 horsepower and 150 lb.-ft. of torque, it can be backed by a 6-speed manual (Sport FWD only) or 6-speed automatic that's standard-issue in Touring/Grand Touring models. Both compact, smooth-shifting transmissions are infused with their own dedicated Skyactiv elements and capable of taking the CX-5 from 0-60 mph in roughly 9.0-10.0 seconds, depending on drivetrain configuration. Stellar EPA highway numbers in the 31-35 mpg range place this new Mazda at the top of its class when it comes to mileage-maxing capabilities. And waiting in the wings for its 2013 debut is an even more efficient alternative: a Skyactiv-D turbodiesel set to make 170 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque.

2.0-liter inline-4
155 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
150 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4,000 rpm
EPA City/highway fuel economy (est):
26/35 mpg (manual transmission, FWD)
26/32 mpg (automatic, FWD)
25/31 mpg (automatic, AWD)

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2013 Mazda CX-5 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.7
Out of 10

Based on 114 Ratings for the 2013 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    8.8/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    9.0/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

I get car sick in traffic

By on Thursday, August 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "it's cute"

Cons: "engine pulls causing a jerking motion"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I've owned this car since July 2012. Between 0 and 20 miles an hour the car "jerks". The dealership told me the engine pulls...whatever that means. I've had to pull over and gotten sick on the side of the highway several times. Or I come home nauseous and dizzy for hours after sitting in traffic. I absolutely HATE this car. The dealership can't do anything to fix the problem."

8 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Great mid size SUV to drive

By on Monday, July 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Refined , good economy ,reliable , great handling . Drove to Florida in two days without any issues and in comfort"

19 people out of 36 found this review helpful

uncomfortabe car

By on Thursday, July 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,200

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
2/10
Comfort
2/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"this car is great in snow but you do lack in power my main complaint is I have a bad back and this the most uncomfortable car I have ever owned and am now stuck with it have tried lumbar pillows with no good result."

8 people out of 19 found this review helpful

Best Purchase

By on Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "SLEEK COMFORTABLE DEPENDABLE ECONOMY"

Cons: "NONE"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The mileage is incredible the value is top notch. I am exceptionally pleased with this purchase. The technology package was well worth the extra cost!"

8 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Good Rental Car Experience

By on Thursday, July 17, 2014

I don't own this car

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Fun to drive and good acceleration."

Cons: "Underwhelmed by gas mileage and chipped paint."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I had a 2 day out of town business trip and was given this car by the rental agency. Here are my thoughts after driving it for about 460 miles. PROS: Good acceleration and engine noise isolation in the passenger compartment. Handles road bumps well. Good interior materials and build quality. Seats are stiff, but not uncomfortable. CONS: Touch screen radio is set about 2.5" into the upper dashboard causing me to bend to reach it each time I wanted to use it. It got annoying after a while. I drove about 95% highway miles at about 70 mph with a lot of cruise control and little air conditioner use, because of cooler weather lately and averaged just under 27 mpg, calculating it at the gas pump. The trip meter was consistently pegging it in the low 30s mpg, so it was way off from actual mileage. I know this is AWD, but I was a little disappointed after seeing so many TV commercials touting this car to hit up to 35 mpg. I saw several areas with chipped paint, but no dents. I know this is a rental car, but I wonder how thin the paint is? Overall, I enjoyed it as a rental and would probably request one again."

21 people out of 32 found this review helpful

Awesome Ride! Sweet Exterior! Fun to Drive!

By on Sunday, June 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,910

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Priced right! Fun to drive! Plenty of room!"

Cons: "Took a lot of time for 1st to 2nd gear break-in."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Purchased April 2012 the 2013 Model. I looked for 6 months before deciding on the Mazda CX5 and I'm glad I waited. Given that I keep my vehicles 12 or more years, I was pretty discerning in my selection. I was looking specifically for a manual transmission (hard to find these days) because they have fewer issues than manual transmissions overall(any maker). I'm not disappointed with Mazda. I traded a 2001 Toyota Corolla because I was looking for an SUV and this model fit the bill on every level. Gas mileage on my trip from CA to CO exceeded 35MPG even with the AC on in the middle of August. Around town and back and forth to work 22-25 MPG. Lots of compliments on the body design. Not the right fit for a growing family, but great for a family of 4. I've not experienced any paint pitting issues mentioned by some reviewers, but that might be a regional thing (snow/gravel/salt)."

20 people out of 35 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?