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2015 Mazda CX-5

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2015 Mazda CX-5 Expert Review

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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

#4

out of 25

Fuel Economy

#19

out of 24

Horsepower
View all rankings

Consumer Rating

8.9 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.

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)

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.

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2015 Mazda CX-5 Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 186 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
    8.7/10
    Styling
    8.8/10

Excellent Excellent Automobile

By on Saturday, January 09, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,950

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "# os airbags-backup camera-blind spot mirror"

Cons: "I have no cons"

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

"Excellent Small SUV...Can find nothing negative to report...but then I have only 3590 miles on it in 7 months ownership"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

MAZDA CX 5 2016 - MAZDA's LEMON CAR

By on Friday, January 08, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,300

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
Not Rated

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

"I purchased a 2016 MAZDA CX-5 at the end of September 2015. By the first week of December, with about 1,300 miles, the engine light came on and the car became sluggish and would struggle to pick-up speed. I took the car to the nearest Mazda dealership. After a few days when I called them they told me that they did not know what was wrong and they were consulting MAZDA “tech-line” to figure it out. I picked up the car a few days later but even before I exited the dealership lot the light came back on. The service advisor aked me to leave the car and informed me that they actually did not know what caused the engine failure and had to confer with Mazda again. Everyday for the next week, I got a call informing me that they had no updates, and still had no idea what was wrong with the car. The only piece of information I was offered was that the problem stemmed from an error during the actual assembly/manufacturing of the car. The following week I got the most disturbing piece of information: an employee at the dealership had crashed into my car with another. I went in to the dealership the next morning only to be told by an employee, "Sometimes these things happen." I asked for the police report of how the accident happened but they said as the accident was in their premises they were not required to have a police report. I then asked for the dealership’s written report along with photos of the accident, which they refused to provide. All along we have been in touch with Mazda Customer Service. They said they understood the situation and that were looking into the matter and considering either to replace the car or give me a full refund. But when we asked for a firm written commitment from MAZDA they just danced around the issue. I told MAZDA that not only a brand new car has a serious defect but also the MAZDA dealership crashed my car and has caused significant depreciation. At this point MAZDA said that the dealership is not cooperating with them and they have no control over the dealership. It is now almost 5 weeks that my car is still in the shop and MAZDA is silent hoping that I will go away after hitting a wall at MAZDA."

20 people out of 25 found this review helpful

Great Car That I Love -- But, It Needs Some Tweaks

By on Saturday, December 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "fantastic gas milage, fun to drive, solid build"

Cons: "poor visibility, no cupholders"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"I bought my CX-5 for its stylish good looks. I've fallen in love with it's fantastic gas mileage (I average around 30 MPG) and its quality build (Knock on wood...I haven't had an issue with it in 2 years). The car is fun to drive, handles well, and turns on a dime. Some of my older relatives complain about a rocky ride. But, that really doesn't bother me. After all, it's an SUV raised by a family of sports car. The antilock brakes, bluetooth, large display, and pushbutton start feel very luxurious. I just wonder if this was the designers first attempt at designing a car. Small windows, huge pillars, and trim around the rearview mirrors, create dangerous blind spots and a feeling that I am going to die while driving this. Hopefully, the newer models have added some cameras to correct this. Inside, the light colored cloth on the arm rest collects dust like Grandma's nicknacks. I lost some conveniences that were included in my older, less expensive SUV. Like cup holders....Really? There are none at all in the back. The two in the front are really unusable for anything other than one large drink and some change, or two child-sized drinks. Oh, and the lack of a defroster on the sideview mirror is super annoying. I paid $5k more for this used car than I did for my last new car. But, I have to wipe down the mirrors and don't even have a place to put a cup!"

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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