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2015 Mazda CX-5

Overview
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2015 Mazda CX-5 Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 8.2

The 2015 Mazda CX-5 marks the third model year for this compact SUV. Up against veteran competitors like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape, it offers Mazda's Skyactiv technologies, which promise to combine fuel efficiency and performance. In the case of the CX-5, it succeeds and adds solid value and advanced safety features. In keeping with Mazda's sporty image, the Mazda CX-5 is actually fun to drive, and offers a manual transmission on the base model. After Mazda added a new and more powerful 2.5-liter 4-cylinder to the lineup last year, this year it carries over with few changes. Add it up, and the 2015 Mazda CX-5's combination of sporty style, fun-to-drive dynamics, and very good fuel economy make it a strong choice for those who don't want to see themselves coming and going.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you demand that your 5-passenger compact SUV looks great, gets good fuel economy and delivers good value, then you should take the 2015 Mazda CX-5 for a test drive. Its fun to drive nature seals the deal.

You May Not Like This Car If...

While the bigger engine gives the Mazda CX-5 adequate power, it should be standard across all trims, instead of a step-up. The manual transmission is a rare treat, but it's only available in base model front-wheel-drive (FWD) versions.

KBB Expert Ratings

  • 8.2
  • 8.2
  • 6.9
  • 9.1
  • 8.2
  • N/A
How It Ranks

#1

out of 2

Fuel Economy

#2

out of 2

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

8.8 out of 10
View all
consumer ratings
2015 Mazda CX-5 Low/wide front photo What's New for 2015

The 2015 Mazda CX-5 is mostly carryover from last year. The only notable change is the addition of Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry as standard equipment on Touring and Grand Touring trims.

Driving the CX-5
2015 Mazda CX-5 Front angle view photo

Driving Impressions With the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, the 2015 Mazda CX-5 offers up barely adequate performance, hardly what Mazda's "Zoom-Zoom" tagline suggests. Step up to the Touring or Grand Touring models though, and...

you'll get the more powerful 2.5-liter Skyactiv engine. While it doesn't outperform competitors like the Kia Sportage turbo or Subaru Forester turbo, it's at least in line with competitors like the Honda CR-V, with good acceleration. If you like manual transmissions, you're in luck, as the Mazda CX-5 is one of the few SUVs available with one. We love driving the slick-shifting 6-speed manual, but it comes at a price: You can only get it in front-wheel-drive versions of the base Sport model, meaning you sacrifice a lot of the CX-5's creature comforts. On the road, the CX-5's handling impresses, with sharp reflexes and an ability to carve corners that's rare in the compact-SUV market.
Favorite Features

SMART CITY BRAKE SUPPORT
It's rare to see an automatic braking system available in such an inexpensive vehicle, especially a mainstream compact SUV. At speeds of 3 to 19 mph – think heavy traffic, where there's a good chance drivers are distracted – the system automatically applies the brakes if its laser sensor detects an imminent collision.

SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY
Goofy marketing names are usually just that, but Skyactiv really does deliver on its promise of performance without sacrificing fuel economy. Skyactiv emphasizes a combination of factors, such as aerodynamics and lightweight materials, in addition to advanced engine technology.

2015 Mazda CX-5 Details
2015 Mazda CX-5 Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

The 2015 Mazda CX-5 holds up to five passengers, although like most compact SUVs, the 2nd-row bench gets cramped with three adults. There's good headroom and legroom in the front and rear seats, which are covered in cloth in Sport and Touring trims, or leather in the top-line Grand Touring trim. The driver's controls are all easy to find and use, but the Mazda CX-5 needs more storage nooks and crannies for small items like phones and wallets. The 34.1-cubic-foot cargo area is plenty big for groceries or suitcases, and the center section of the second row folds independently from the outboard positions to accommodate long objects without sacrificing the outboard seating positions, a handy touch.

Exterior
2015 Mazda CX-5 photo

The Mazda CX-5 was the first to embody the automaker's "Kodo – Soul of Motion" styling philosophy. The upshot of the fancy language is a compact SUV with elegant and muscular curves, with a slightly forward stance from the side that gives it an athletic appearance. The rear roof spoiler and dual exhausts are standard, adding to the sporty look. The base Mazda CX-5 comes with 17-inch wheels, while the Grand Touring trim gets 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. If you need more room than the cargo area can provide, an optional roof rack adds functionality.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

All three 2015 Mazda CX-5 trims – Sport, Touring, and the range-topping Grand Touring – get stability and traction control, antilock brakes, and front, side, and side-curtain airbags as standard equipment. The Sport version gets push-button start, a 4-speaker audio system with USB input, cruise control, and the base 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine. Touring and Grand Touring trims add the 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, along with blind-spot monitoring, Bluetooth, a better audio system with HD Radio, and a 5.8-inch color display with a backup camera. Grand Touring models add leather, a 9-speaker Bose audio system, heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, automatic windshield wipers, and 19-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. Keyless entry is now standard on Touring and Grand Touring trims.

Optional Equipment

All 2015 Mazda CX-5 trims are available with all-wheel drive (AWD) to enhance traction, with the exception of the manual-transmission Sport model. Otherwise, packages and options vary according to trim. If you order a Sport trim with an automatic transmission, you can add a Bluetooth package that includes HD and Pandora radio, along with a 5.8-inch color screen. Touring and Grand Touring trims offer the Smart City Brake Support collision avoidance system, as well as navigation, high-intensity discharge headlights, and adaptive front lighting. Front and rear parking sensors, fog lights, SiriusXM satellite radio, and a trailer hitch are also available.

Under the Hood
2015 Mazda CX-5 Engine photo

The 2015 Mazda CX-5 offers two engine choices. The first, available only on base-model Sport trims, is a 2.0-liter 155-horsepower 4-cylinder that comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission. A 6-speed manual is available on FWD Sport models. If you move up to the Touring or Grand Touring, you get a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder, which produces a more competitive 185 horsepower and is available only with a 6-speed automatic. All trim levels are available with either front- or all-wheel drive, and both engines use Mazda's Skyactiv technology to get the most out of each drop of gasoline. However, unlike many advanced engines, the CX-5 runs on the less-expensive 87-octane "regular" gasoline. The CX-5 can even pull a small trailer, thanks to its 2,000-pound towing capacity.

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

2.5-liter inline-4
184 horsepower @5,700 rpm
185 lb-ft of torque @ 3,250
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/32 mpg (FWD), 24/30 mpg (AWD)

Pricing Notes

Prices for the 2015 Mazda CX-5 rose a modest amount compared to last year, increasing $150 across the board, regardless of trim or drive configuration. The base CX-5 Sport with its manual transmission costs $21,545. Add the automatic, and that goes up to $22,945. The mid-level Touring models start at $24,965, while the top-line Grand Touring costs $27,970. All-wheel drive adds $1,250. Price-wise, the Mazda CX-5 is mid-pack when it comes to price. It's undercut by competitors like the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson, but right in line with the Honda CR-V and Ford Escape. But the price doesn't reflect the intangibles that come with the car, such as the Mazda CX-5's fun-to-drive nature. Before you buy, be sure to check out KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price and see what others in your area are paying for the Mazda CX-5. Residual value for Mazda's compact crossover SUV is expected to be good, although not quite as good as the CR-V, Tucson, or the Toyota RAV4.

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.

2015 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!"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

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!"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

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."

2 people out of 3 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."

5 people out of 6 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."

25 people out of 36 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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