By Bob Nagy
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)
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.
By Patina on Monday, March 10, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 200overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Cons: "small moon roof, no compass"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Just purchased the 2015 CX-5 Grand Touring with AWD and after 4 days with it, I have to say I'm very impressed. I traded in a 2012 Kia Sportage EX for the CX-5 and feature wise, the two are very comprable. I liked the Nav in the Kia better than the CX-5 but not a big deal. I wish the CX-5 had a larger moon roof but again, not a deal breaker. Things I like a lot are the headlights, really bright and definitely help with night driving. Seats are very comfy and steering/maneuverabilty are a dream! I also notice the CX-5 is a quieter, smoother ride than the Kia. Still on the fence with the gas mileage because the car is so new but can already see the average MPG is better than my Kia was getting. I do a fair balance of city and highway driving daily and right now I'm showing an average of 22.5 MPG in the CX-5. My Kia was getting 19-20 average MPG. I expect the average in the Mazda to improve as the engine gets broken in. The exterior of the CX-5 is very sporty looking to me and very similar to the Kia Sportage in looks. The CX-5 has a much larger back storage area which I like a lot. I have some very minor issues with the CX-5 but I had some with the Kia too. None of them are worthy of giving the CX-5 a low rating though. This is a stylish, full feature, fun to drive car and I'm very glad I traded the Kia Sportage for the Mazda CX-5."
By AS88 on Saturday, March 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000overall rating 5 of 10rating details
Pros: "Suspension, Looks"
Cons: "Blind spots, Bose Stereo, Navigation, Trunk light"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"We have had the car for a year now so I feel I am at a good point to write a review. On the plus side no issues with it, it looks great and it has the best suspension of any car I have driven. Onto the negatives...the biggest issue is the blind spots. This car is about 180 inches long, it should have no blind spots. I have owned 2 sedans both of which were a foot longer and they did not have blind spots. We have the blind spot system, but I am still not comfortable driving the car. We have the 2.5L engine and I still find it to be underpowered. Navigation is slow and unresponsive, and Bose system is a total joke,it sounds no better than the regular stereo in our other car. I have no doubt we will be selling it in a few years."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Mike on Monday, February 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "fun to drive and sharp looking car"
Cons: "The 2.0 engine does not have zoom zoom hoped for"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I was one of the first to buy this Grand Touring and had been waiting for it and we have liked it very much. I do mostly city driving where we have stop lights every mile so we only get about 21 mpg, which is good but less than expected. We got 30 to 32 mpg on the couple of longer trips we took with the car loaded. I know if we had regular city driving it would be more about 24 mpg. One thing I would have changed is to get the bigger engine. The 2.0 that came with the first cars is underpowered almost dangerous when pulling out into traffic, especially with 4 or 5 people inside. The zoom zoom is not there. I would buy it again but with the bigger engine. It is roomy for what we need and have gotten used to the side view mirror telling us if there is a car next to us. Have had no problems in the 2 years and 26,500 miles and only complaint is the underpowered engine."
5 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By jlatta on Friday, February 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,800overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Great crossover. Only thing i would have liked more was maybe a bit more power. The comforts inside the car are good to. Could have made the bluetooth a bit easier to connect during set up. The wheel wells kinda freaked me out seeing as how they seemed like carpet. Gets pretty millage although could always be better."
1 person out of 3 found this review helpful
By Shelly on Friday, February 07, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "great overall car"
Cons: "no lights in glove box or trunk"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I've had this car for about a year now and I still love it. The only real complaints I can think of is that there is no light in the glove box, so if you open it at night, forget about it, you can't see anything. Same with the trunk...no light back there either, so same problem when it's dark, you can't see. Those are enough of an annoyance that I can't give the car a 10, but after a year I have zero problems with the car and still love it!"
6 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Kitty Kat on Thursday, February 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,061overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive!!! Zoom zoom!"
Cons: "Does not sit up as high as previous SUV I owned."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"CX-5 is very peppy and fun to drive. Back up camera provides wider view of rear objects that others I've seen. Love it!!!"
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful