2018 Mazda CX-5 Review: Trailing Its Own Triumph

2018 Mazda CX-5 Review: Trailing Its Own Triumph

– Cleveland, OH

Verdict 5.8 / 10

The CX-5 had been a vital darling since it am fun they are driving. Mazda, however, altered everything if this completely redesigned its compact Sports utility vehicle this past year to ingratiate it more with clients who frequently overlooked it. Particularly, it’s now quieter inside and rides softer than ever before. The price for widening the CX-5’s appeal, though, is it no more handles just like a Miata on stilts. Without individuals superlative driving dynamics, the CX-5’s problems – its smallish cargo area, insufficient power, and middling fuel efficiency – are actually tougher for this critic to forgive.

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Prices 7/10

The CX-5’s base cost of $24,150 is appropriate using the segment’s best-selling compact SUVs. This Grand Touring model, though, may be the SUV’s top trim level, which will come nicely loaded beginning at $30,620. Adding all-wheel drive ($1,300), special Soul Red Very paint ($595), and it is lone option package – that amounted to $1,395 and features a heated controls, heated rear seats, car windows wiper de-icer, and traffic sign recognition technology – enhances the CX-5’s as-tested cost to $34,685. That’s still a minimum of two grand approximately below exactly what a fully loaded Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4 costs.

Design Exterior 6/10

Mazda completely redesigned the CX-5 this past year, so no changes were created for 2018. That’s fine, because the brand’s new less-is-more aesthetic suits this small Sports utility vehicle perfectly. When compared with many SUVs today that more than-decorate themselves with cladding, chrome, and complex grilles, the CX-5 seems pleasingly elegant and premium.

Interior Comfort 5/10

The CX-5’s interior provides a great first impression rich in-finish ergonomics and convincingly premium materials. The rotary control and volume knob around the center console, for example, come straight from Audi’s playbook, as the wood-grain accent piece that bisects the dashboard doesn’t give it is true nature up too rapidly. That stated, the middle armrest and cup holders sit too much back between your front seats, that is a constant annoyance.

From the comfort and cargo perspective, the CX-5 lags behind other compact SUVs which are, frankly, just bigger. The CX-5’s front seats, for example, felt oddly narrow, like my legs were smothering the seat cushion’s side bolsters. Even though the spec sheet states there’s more mind and legroom for rear passengers than some competitors, my eyes and the body experienced the alternative back there. Lastly, the cargo area is way lower on cubic ft when compared to segment’s biggest sellers the CX-5’s max cargo capacity of 59.6 cubic ft is nowhere close to the Nissan Rogue’s 70., the Toyota RAV4’s 73.4, or even the Honda CR-V’s 75.8.

One big positive is the fact that wind and road noise penetrating the cabin has become curbed, a minimum of much better than before. Being among the last CX-5’s most pointed out flaws, the decibel level issue was essential for Mazda to repair, although it comes at a price, as you’ll read below.

Technology Connectivity 5/10

While Mazda will get points for developing its very own infotainment system by having an easy-to-use rotary controller and sharp graphics that respond rapidly to inputs, we’ll try taking some of individuals points away for still, in 2018, not offering Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. If you’re able to do without that, though, you’ll such as the infotainment experience here.

There’s also many innovative technologies obtainable in the CX-5 which are difficult to get in non-luxury SUVs. For example, my tester came outfitted by having an optional traffic sign recognition system that reads approaching traffic signs and displays them within the high-res, multi-color mind-up display. All the exterior lighting, too, is Brought-powered, and also the headlights auto-level and switch their gaze together with your steering. There’s a power liftgate with adjustable height settings, that is very helpful in tight garages, and appreciated through the vertically challenged.

Performance Handling 5/10

In which the last-generation CX-5 might’ve scored much greater within this category, the present model has lost a few of the edge that managed to get this type of great driver’s Sports utility vehicle. For just one, Mazda added countless pounds of weight (some which was because of new seem deadening) towards the CX-5 if this was redesigned this past year. And 2, answering many owners’ demands, its engineers retuned the suspension for any softer ride. The cumulative effect is handling that’s gone from class-resulting in just better-than-average.

It’s unfortunate, because being fun they are driving was the CX-5’s phone card, and it is superb handling composed because of its lone engine’s insufficient power. The naturally aspirated (sorry, no optional turbocharging here) 2.5-liter four-cylinder produces 187 horsepower and 186 pound-ft of torque. Route everything via a six-speed automatic and also the CX-5’s available all-wheel-drive system, and there’s very little oomph left to maneuver this Sports utility vehicle in serious.

Surprisingly, though, the CX-5 can tow. It features a maximum towing capacity of two,000 pounds, which while about 1,500 pounds less compared to segment’s V6-powered tow champs, is respectable for any four-cylinder.

Security Features 7/10

Mazda takes safety seriously by providing a complete suite of both passive and active safety systems around the CX-5. What’s more, the organization doesn’t cause you to pay a great deal extra or restrict these to more costly trim levels. The technologies available include blind place monitoring along with a rear mix traffic alert system, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, automatic emergency braking at everywhere speeds, radar-based cruise control that actually works in stop-and-go traffic, and automatic high beams. This complete suite is standard on the Touring and Grand Touring trim levels, and just $625 extra around the base Sport. That’s a good deal, only surpassed by the likes of Toyota, including these technologies as standard equipment on every vehicle they offer.

Running Costs Gas Mileage 5/10

The fully loaded Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring with all of-wheel drive achieves a rather disappointing 24 mpg within the city, 30 on the road, and 26 combined. This despite benefitting from cylinder-deactivation technology that lets the engine manage on just two cylinders while cruising (Mazda’s the only real automaker to provide this tech on the four-cylinder engine). Shedding all-wheel drive, meanwhile, nets two more MPGs for that combined rating.

Most competition is more fuel efficient compared to CX-5, even though the popular RAV4 is less so, Toyota provides a hybrid version that blows the remainder of these straight gas-burners, CX-5 incorporated, from the water. A minimum of premium fuel is neither needed nor suggested.

Photos:John Neff /

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