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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.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 8.4
  • 8.4
  • 7.1
  • 9.3
  • 8.4
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#3

out of 16

Fuel Economy

#14

out of 16

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

8.8 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
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
2013 Mazda CX-5 Front angle view photo

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.
Favorite Features

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 Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view 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
2013 Mazda CX-5 Engine photo

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)

Pricing Notes

Intent on having it become a much more significant force in an intensely competitive market segment, Mazda is launching the new CX-5 SUV with very aggressive pricing. The entry-level front-drive Sport model opens below $21,500 when equipped with a manual transmission. The CX-5 Touring begins around $24,700 while the Grand Touring commences closer to $27,900, a figure that can approach $31,000 on a fully loaded example. Opting for all-wheel drive will add $1,250 to the bottom line of any CX-5 equipped with the SKY-Drive automatic transmission. It's still too early to provide definitive estimates on the 2013 CX-5's long-term resale value. However, while residuals of its Mazda Tribute predecessor have historically fallen below class average, we expect the all-new CX-5 will fare considerably better in this critical area and that all-wheel drive versions will continue to retain a bit higher percentage of their original purchase prices than front-drive models. To get a better picture of what folks in your area are paying for their Mazda CX-5s, check out Kelley Blue Book's Fair Purchase Price in the "What should I pay for a new car?" section on our home page.

To find out what consumers are really paying for this vehicle, first select a style to see the Fair Purchase Price| Calculate payments for this vehicle

Get Your Fair Purchase Price See actual transaction prices, explore total cost to own, projected resale value and more.

2013 Mazda CX-5 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 101 Ratings for the 2013 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    8.9/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    9.1/10
  • Comfort
    8.7/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

Super Fun Daily Driver!

By on Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good Value and Fun to Drive"

Cons: "Lack-luster and impersonal interior design"

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

"This is a great car to drive! It's quick to pick-up speed when you need it to. The steering is right-on and the handling is quite nimble - you almost forget that you're not driving a coupe/sedan. It does not drive like an SUV/CUV at all. Freeway driving is smooth. This car will make you want to drive more. Fuel efficiency is close to advertised numbers - but, keep in mind that I am reviewing the GT AWD trim. Still, I feel 29-30mpg is quite acceptable for the size of the car. Another nice feature is that it takes normal 87 octane gasoline; no need to break the bank just for a Sunday afternoon cruise. I did not purchase the "Technology Package" as the features didn't really align with my priorities and lifestyle. Still, the GT comes packed with standard tech features like: Blind Spot monitoring, HD & Satellite (SIRIUS) radio, Bose speakers throughout, multi-position moonroof, cruise control, Tire Pressure Monitoring and rear back-up camera to name a few. For me, this is "enough-tech". For a smallish family, this is the perfect sized car. I manged to fit 2 adults, 2 children with booster seats, a medium dog kennel and some travel bags comfortably. On another trip, I packed in 4 adults comfortably - with 2 bigger guys in the back seat (one guy is 6'6") without complaints of head or leg space. Multiple snowboards traveled inside the vehicle thanks to the 40/20/40 seat folding positions. As much as I love my new car, there are a few things that I've been reluctant to pick-out as inconveniences, design flaws or frustrations. The first being the flimsy moonroof shade. It feels thin and does little to dampen the road noise when closed. Another thing that bugs me is the aesthetics (or lack there) of the instrument panel. This could be just my tastes and opinions, but I feel it's very plain and lacks integration. I've seen better displays on base model Nissan Altima's. Keeping with nit-picking on aesthetics, I wished Mazda had been just as bold with their interior designs as they did with their exterior. The whole center area is very minimal and sorry to say, boring. The orange-y LED and back lighting make the instruments panel feel dated and almost out of place. Lastly, I would like to complain about the shortness of the center console. It is short and length, height and depth. I find myself having to lean in toward the center to make use of the center console. My wife who is about 5 inches shorter also has the same complaint. Although, it is deep and houses the USB and AUX ports, I just wished it was a tad higher and wee bit longer. With that being said, I am extremely happy with my purchase. The vehicle is perfect the lifestyle and family size that I have. The car looks great, is fun to drive and has everything that I need for a great driving experience. My advice would be, if you can afford it - spring for the Grand Touring trim, it's worth the price and you get more value for your money! Zoom - Zoom!"

This car makes driving fun again!

By on Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good value, fuel efficient, roomy, nimble driving"

Cons: "Mainly lack-luster and impersonal interior design"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"This is a great car to drive! It's quick to pick-up speed when you need it to. The steering is right-on and the handling is quite nimble - you almost forget that you're not driving a coupe/sedan. It does not drive like an SUV/CUV at all. Freeway driving is smooth. This car will make you want to drive more. Fuel efficiency is close to advertised numbers - but, keep in mind that I am reviewing the GT AWD trim. Still, I feel 29-30mpg is quite acceptable for the size of the car. Another nice feature is that it takes normal 87 octane gasoline; no need to break the bank just for a Sunday afternoon cruise. I did not purchase the "Technology Package" as the features didn't really align with my priorities and lifestyle. Still, the GT comes packed with standard tech features like: Blind Spot monitoring, HD & Satellite (SIRIUS) radio, Bose speakers throughout, multi-position moonroof, cruise control, Tire Pressure Monitoring and rear back-up camera to name a few. For me, this is "enough-tech". For a smallish family, this is the perfect sized car. I manged to fit 2 adults, 2 children with booster seats, a medium dog kennel and some travel bags comfortably. On another trip, I packed in 4 adults comfortably - with 2 bigger guys in the back seat (one guy is 6'6") without complaints of head or leg space. Multiple snowboards traveled inside the vehicle thanks to the 40/20/40 seat folding positions. As much as I love my new car, there are a few things that I've been reluctant to pick-out as inconveniences, design flaws or frustrations. The first being the flimsy moonroof shade. It feels thin and does little to dampen the road noise when closed. Another thing that bugs me is the aesthetics (or lack there) of the instrument panel. This could be just my tastes and opinions, but I feel it's very plain and lacks integration. I've seen better displays on base model Nissan Altima's. Keeping with nit-picking on aesthetics, I wished Mazda had been just as bold with their interior designs as they did with their exterior. The whole center area is very minimal and sorry to say, boring. The orange-y LED and back lighting make the instruments panel feel dated and almost out of place. Lastly, I would like to complain about the shortness of the center console. It is short and length, height and depth. I find myself having to lean in toward the center to make use of the center console. My wife who is about 5 inches shorter also has the same complaint. Although, it is deep and houses the USB and AUX ports, I just wished it was a tad higher and wee bit longer. With that being said, I am extremely happy with my purchase. The vehicle is perfect the lifestyle and family size that I have. The car looks great, is fun to drive and has everything that I need for a great driving experience. My advice would be, if you can afford it - spring for the Grand Touring trim, it's worth the price and you get more value for your money! Zoom - Zoom!"

Zoom, Zoom, Great Vehicle

By on Tuesday, April 08, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"I drive around 35k per year, all types of weather and this vehicle has been great so far. I’m coming from driving and f-150 for about 100k before the transmission went out, and before that came from a family that would only drive Honda and Acura. With that being said, this is the best car I’ve owned. I love the way it drives, especially with the electronic steering. My wife drives a new Honda Odyssey and I never realized how loose the steering was on the Honda until I went back and forth between the CX-5. Like I said, this is a great vehicle and when the lease is up on the Honda we are going to look at another Mazda."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Oh, the transmission

By on Wednesday, April 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "great interior, good sound system, gas mileage"

Cons: "ride, transmission, acceleration"

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

"If you do plan to purchase this car, I recommend going with a newer model (not the first couple production lines). I got this car BRAND new. There were few at the dealerships at the time. I LOVE the interior, and the overall design is nice for sure. However, this car is a slug on acceleration. Even getting onto a freeway on-ramp is quite challenging. Passing other cars? Forget it. Also, I've had some significant trouble with the transmission. Several months ago, I was going up a hill and some electronic controls took over. The car raced to 4000 rpm and wouldn't go faster than about 5 or 10 mph. I was on a fast-moving road, so cars behind me almost hit me. It was frightening for sure. Then, recently, the gear shifting started getting intermittently loud. I took the car in, and they cannot identify anything wrong. I've owned several cars in years past, so I know something is not right. Now, I get it. Not every car is representative of the whole fleet. But I do have to still express caution at all this."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Love it except for 1 thing......

By on Friday, March 21, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Fun, looks , gas mileage"

Cons: "Non-ethanol gas to run right."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"When I first saw it, I fell in love. I live where you have to have AWD or 4WD, so it was perfect. It handles and drives like the Mazda RX8 I had, which is so much fun. Now here's the 1 thing.....My husband always uses non-ethanol gas in his vehicle, so of course, we use it in mine. A couple of times I wasn't near a station that sold this type of fuel, so I just put in regular. At about 15,000 miles, the check engine light came on. We took it to the dealer and they had to call in a special "team" of people to try and figure out what was causing the light to stay on. What it all came down to, the couple of times I had used regular gas, caused the light to come on and stay on. The service manager told us to only use non-ethanol gas in it. Are you kidding me?? Those stations are far and few between where we live and besides that, it's about .20 cents higher per gallon. So, had I known that, I would not have bought this particular vehicle. I have read where a lot of people are experiencing stalls and sudden acceleration........I bet it's the fuel they are using. Anyway, other than that, I love the looks, it's fun to drive and gets great gas mileage."

23 people out of 34 found this review helpful

Excellent Choice!

By on Monday, March 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great Overall Handling, zippy power, fun to own"

Cons: "Awkward getting into armrest, small center console"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Bought the car in late January (in the heart of the NE winter). Was looking for a fitting replacement for my 2008 Toyo Camry but with better gas mileage and better traction. Found it in my 2014 Touring model. Still too young to tell, but I am averaging 26-28 MPG combined (same as my Camry) but with AWD it is more than acceptable. Seating is very comfy. I have back problems and the lumbar support really helps and the seats make you sit up straight. I am 6'2" (but slender) and find it more than roomy enough in the front and back seats. It has been great so far in this winter that won't end... It has a great ride (great in the snow, too), sporty and receptive handling and is a real pleasure to drive. It has plenty of zip for me with the 2.5 liter. I work right off the highway and have to merge with traffic quickly - a breeze with this car. My friends also love the sporty looks as do I. Sitting higher up than in the Camry gives you better vision, as well as the use of the back-up camera, which has virtual lines to help you back into a parking space with ease. Center console is a little tight with not much storage space and it is a little awkward if you have to get something out of the armrest storage. LCD screen is a little small but the touch functions are receptive. Center dashboard vents are right under the LCD and I sometimes hit them when reaching for other things, have to constantly fix them. Other than those small items, I love it and would recommend it to others looking for great things in small packages."

7 people out of 8 found this review helpful

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