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2013 Mazda CX-5

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2013 Mazda CX-5 Review

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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 New for 2013

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
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 194 Ratings for the 2013 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.9/10
    Quality
    9.0/10
  • Reliability
    9.4/10
    Performance
    9.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.7/10

Has been a great car.

By on Saturday, April 02, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great gas mileage, fun to drive"

Cons: "quality of carpet & seats need to be upgraded"

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

"Other than some minor cosmetic issues with trim, it has been a very reliable and fun to drive vehicle. Has great get up and go and handles very well. A gasket around the drivers door has let loose and it hangs down. (Actually talked to another CX5 owner with the same problem.) Front passenger seat has upholstery fabric ends popping out of the side of the seat. Wish they offered more interior color options. Disappointed in the carpeting, as it seems like more of a heavy felt than carpet and is hard to remove dirt."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Everyday Fun for the Price

By on Thursday, March 31, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,226

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Drives great, Good Navigation & Easy Media Access"

Cons: "High engine noise on highways."

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

"Drives and handles like German mid size SUV. Engine noise at high RPM is annoying especially at highway, have to increase the Stereo volume to avoid it (better than CR-V/Forester/Outback). Bose Stereo systems sounds like high quality fake Bose, still better than most but don't expect the best. Good for everyday drive to work and having occasional fun after a bad day at work. I get under normal mixed driving gas mileage average around 25.5MPG (with city 22 and Highway at 29), don't expect anything above 27.5MPG. Windshield cracks easily even with a small chip and requires iActive system calibration every time you replace the Windshield (one more annoying factor). Seating is surprisingly comfortable even on long drives, but not for your knees if you are taller than 6ft (have to stretch often). Breaking is really good and stops like a Sedan (Definitely better than Rav4 or Rogue). In a Nutshell - Overall I liked the vehicle with above said drawbacks. With my affordability I am compromised to what I really want."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Can't stand the ride

By on Sunday, March 13, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 900

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "zippy engine, nice radio and bluetooth sound"

Cons: "Stiff ride and highly uncomfortable front seats"

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

"The 18 inch wheels make for a very stiff ride, and that coupled with the most uncomfortable seat ever and a head restraint that pushes my head forward causing extreme neck pain cause me to HATE this car. I have only about 800 miles on it and I cannot get comfortable in the driver's seat and I'm trying to figure out how to unload it and get another car...maybe a CRV that has a smooth ride and comfortable driver's seat. I deeply regret buying this torture chamber."

8 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Very attractive elegant car!

By on Sunday, March 06, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 450

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, looks very beautiful and luxurious"

Cons: "none"

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

"Ever since I saw the Mazda CX-5 it was very beautiful and luxurious. The look reminds me of a BMW. I couldn't be happier for the purchase I have made! I received the AMD touring with the tan/sand cloth interior and titanium flash exterior!! Extremely gorgeous in all types of light! I would recommend this car to anyone looking for a compact crossover SUV. It is not big but not small either, its just perfect. The seats are very comfortable and the steering is firm but user friendly. The cabin noise is a lot better than I the reviews I have seen on youtube. I would recommend not taking the cons on youtube reviews very serious!The only way to see for yourself is to actually go to a car dealership and look at the car. You will be very surprised on how amazing this car is. The back seat leg room and space is more than enough for this kind of car."

8 people out of 8 found this review helpful

I hate this car. I want my Hummer back.

By on Wednesday, March 02, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
1/10

Cons: "Dog hair magnet and terrible at listening to music"

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

"I test drove many cars and when I bought one, I thought it had stuff in it. I didn't even get the window sticker so I could look. The dash board is made out of tires, and the upholstery is made of some fabric that dog hair is attracted to. The air conditioning doesn't get to the back seat. I hate it! I'd give anything to get my Hummer back. Maybe I should've bought a Subaru . More friendlly with dogs, less bumpy, and had a good sound system."

1 person out of 29 found this review helpful

2013 Mazda CX5 6 speed Manual

By on Friday, February 19, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

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
7/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "great mileage, fun and reliable"

Cons: "A bit of road noise in the base model interior"

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

"I have owned this car since July of 2012. I was looking for great mileage, good creature features and a manual transmission. I have been very very happy with this car. I average 7 liters per 100k, it is comfortable and very reliable. I live in the North and drive in all weather conditions. The manual transmission performs perfectly on ice and snow and is a ton of fun on dry pavement. The manual transmission is only available on the base model so no fun things like heated seats and extra noise dampening in the cab. Over all. I would recommend this vehicle."

8 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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