Mazda CX-5 Test Drive
I think the Mazda CX-5 went from looking fine (previous generation) to looking great. (Current model)
It really is one of the best looking SUVs out there. At any price.
Sure, it is basically the newest in its class. (Besides the CR-V). So we’ll have to see what Toyota, Kia, Ford, Hyundai, Nissan and others come up with next.
For now, I really think the CX-5 sits at the top of the design food chain.
Same thing inside. Just look at it.
The interior is a huge improvement over the previous generation. And pretty much beats anything else out there for the price. (As well as many other more expensive models)
Everything looks and feels great and upscale.
The overall feel of the interior is very relaxing. It is very mature design, and it looks like everything has been well thought out.
The seats are very comfortable. The sunroof is actually quite large.
And very useful, since its opening starts ahead of the front passengers sitting position. (Many actually start so far backward they are useless)
One thing I wasn’t too crazy about wis the lack of Apple CarPlay. And the Mazda infotainment system requires you to go through menus that are just not as easy to navigate was an iPhone.
But I have to say, I was fine with it by the second day.
Also, this is not a touch screen. At least not 100%. It is when the car isn’t moving. As soon as you start going, the touch function is disable and you have to use the controls on the console.
Again, something I got used to.
The sound from the Bose system on the model I was driving was pretty great.
Although, like with all other Bose car systems, not super loud.
There are plenty of wonderful details like these around the interior.
This really feels like the interior of a premium brand. (Much nicer than the A4 wagon I drove last year for a few days. A car that was over $10 000 more than the Mazda)
Back seat room is fine. Not as much as a large sedan of course. But this is a car that is just a little bit shorter than a Honda Civic.
The grand Touring model even comes with rear seat haters. That foldable armrest also came with its own USB plug.
Plenty or room in the truck, even with the rear seats up.
And with the seats down, there is even room for my old walking shoes…
As you can see, the new CX-5 is quite popular. (over 112 000 of them were sold last year in the US)
The first thing I noticed is how quiet the CX-5 is.
The 2.5 Liter engine is pretty much always super quiet and smooth. (and basically silent when cruising on the freeway.)
The CX-5 AWD I was driving was rated at 23/29 MPG.
I got between 22 and 26 in the City.
But had no problem achieving over 36MPG on the freeway. So the official numbers are actually very conservative.
The ride is very solid and smooth. It, again, feels like a more expensive car.
The steering is excellent. Not like the over boosted feel you get in most cars this days.
It does have a real feel to it. This is a fun car to drive around.
The transmission is very quick to react when you want more power. Otherwise shifts are invisible.
There is also a “sport” mode on the console. Which does affect the shifting quite a bit. By holding the gears much longer.
But I couldn’t really tell much difference in the suspension or steering settings. (And truly, the steering does not need a sportier setting. It is just great the way it is.)
When I posted that I was driving a CX-5 for the week, lots of people were asking me about the power.
Many seem to complain that it is too slow (most of these complains I am sure come from people reading reviews and not actually driving the car)
In the 7 days I had the car, I was a few times by myself. Most of the time I had another passager. And a few times I had 4 people on board. I drove city, freeway. Up hill and down hill.
And I never felt it didn’t have enough power.
It never ever felt slow. So I am really not sure what people are talking about here. I know many journalists love to compare everything to their beloved BMWs,(which are NOT the “ultimate driving machines” by the way) and they take everything on a track.
I try to drive cars like real owners would.
And for that mission, the Mazda CX-5 always had enough power.
I know the Mazda6 sedan is getting a turbo option for 2018. And many hope the CX-5 might follow suit.
It might. Why not. But it is really not needed.
And if they ever offer it, I am pretty sure few people will pay the extra cash for it.
There is also a very nice and useful head display as part of the Premium package.
It even knows local speed limits. And stop signs!
I really enjoyed spending a week with the Mazda CX-5. And I highly recommend it.
A quiet, roomy, comfortable and great looking SUV. All at an affordable price.
The top of the line Grand Touring AWD starts at $30 695.
Mine had a $1830 premium package that added memory settings for the driver seat, power passenger seat, heated rear seats and the “active driving display”.
(You can also save around $1200 by getting the FWD version)