By KBB.com Editors
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
By coach on Saturday, March 21, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Very good vehicle for everyday driving. We have average 30 plus mpg since owning this vehicle for two years, most of our driving involves very little stop and go driving. It meets most of our everyday needs. We drove it to Florida and I found the driver seat to be uncomfortable after long driving periods. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a small suv."
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By short legged person on Friday, March 20, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"I enjoy all of the features of this car except for the elongated seats. I have short legs and the middle section of the seat extends about 3 inches longer than the sides of the seat. I bought this car when I had a heavy winter clothes and coat and didn't notice until the warmer weather came. Now I have a great car with seats that don't fit me..."
6 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By Trukntigger on Friday, March 13, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,200overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great feel driving- stable, surefooted, spirited"
Cons: "Passenger seat could use power seat ajustability"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Purchased the Fwd Touring model, wife use to cars with some giddy up and go, this delivers. Sport model test drive felt sluggish, get the touring or grand- the extra hp is worth it. Decided on Fwd vs Awd- pretty flat around here so just some snow too deal with and better long term fuel mileage. Touring came with the extras most want- bigger motor, backup camera, hands free for cellular and Pandora link for smart phone and other little touches. Passed on the big extras like moon roof and nav system. Wife is 5'4", I'm a tall 6'6" and we both fit comfortable in either seat. Time will tell if we get the expected use/mileage out of it but so far so good. Fuel mileage 24ish in town, 30 or so hwy with her driving (she a tad heavy on the pedal and not use cruise enough)."
2 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Gave up gas mileage for comfort on Tuesday, March 10, 2015
I owned and sold this car
Reason: uncomfortable drivers seat configuration, road noise
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"Pros: Reasonably good gas mileage for that size SUV; good interior room, did well in snow and bad road conditions, handled well on back roads, etc. Cons: Lots of road noise "roar" heard inside of cabin with all windows closed; Drivers seat never stayed adjusted and was very uncomfortable-would fit a 6 foot tall man better than a 5'3" woman by far; Bose sound system was a real letdown; Interior fabric was not impressive, looked cheap; Found the backup camera and screen on dashboard to be more of an annoyance than anything else. Only ever hit 28 MPG tops even on long trips. Average was consistently 27, so not quite as good as what they tell you. I had previously driven a Jeep Liberty for 9 years and ended up trading a 2014 Mazda for a 2012 Jeep Liberty. I sacrificed the gas mileage for my own physical comfort."
4 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By Gouldilocks on Saturday, February 21, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "best value, ability to customize add-ons"
Cons: "road noise, lack of bass, body color"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I was searching for a vehicle with more space than a sedan but still with excellent gas mileage. The Mazda CX-5 delivers on that! I chose to upgrade to the Bose sound system and moon roof, and loved that I had the option to pay for those without paying for the entire tech package. The ride is wonderful as well, and gas mileage is on par with expectations. There are a few negatives to the vehicle however. There is a lack of base in the upgraded sound system as well as high road noise (which is said to be typical of vehicles in this class). Both the interior and exterior seem to scratch fairly easily, and I don't love that the bumper and bottom exterior features of the car are not body-colored like other Mazda vehicles. Other than that, this is by far the best vehicle I've owned, and I still believe it is the best value in its class!"
12 people out of 21 found this review helpful
By Suziesilverado on Wednesday, January 28, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,900overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I tried every car out there before buying this SUV (traded in a 2014 Accord) and thought that this was the best value out there. I even liked it better than the BMW and Acura. I was impressed with the quality of the ride and the smooth transmission. It is really fun to drive, it has a relatively quiet interior, and uses regular gas. The drivers seat is very comfortable. What I don't like is that I'm only getting 27 mpg highway driving at 70 with cruise control most of the way. I expected at least 30 mpg. In the city, I'm getting about 26.0, paying attention to upcoming stop lights and using all the tricks available to increase mileage. I bought the Grand Touring model without the Nav/tech package since I'm happy with my 6" portable unit. Black interior--the beige was not offered with my color exterior. A few things they should change-- the instrumentation panel (really too small and slow, put the clock where you can see it, add lumbar support and electronic controls on the front passenger seat, add a subwoofer and small upper tweeter to the sound system (which is pretty good anyway), redesign the back headrests (I had to remove them to be able to see out the back window). Offer the beige interior with more exterior colors. Put a bit more soundproofing material in the doors/floor. That said, I love driving this car and am really happy I bought it."
35 people out of 55 found this review helpful