|Reviewed By||Tony Piff|
|Price as Tested||$33,855: Skyactiv 2.5-L 184-hp I4, Skyactiv-Drive 6-sp Sport Mode automatic transmission, GT I-Activsense Package, Grand Touring Tech Package|
Smart, sporty, understated styling makes it look smaller than it is, which I like. Interior is spacious with great visibility and abundant cargo room in back. Cabin styling touches are upscale but not gaudy. Sporty-ish driving dynamics are engaging without being punishing. The lively 2.5-L I4 with 6-speed automatic is great for zipping around town and decisive freeway driving. Impressive standard features: rain-sensing wipers, push-button start, dual-zone climate control, seat-heaters, hands-free Bluetooth phone/audio, moon roof, AWD, dual USB jacks. $1,500 is money well spent for the GT I-Activsense package, which includes Mazda Radar Cruise Control, lane-departure warning and blind-spot monitoring. The deep lip in front of the touch screen is the perfect shelf for your smart phone. I like the stereo controls on the lower console. 24/30 mpg is decent for a vehicle of this size with such a sporty demeanor. Fair price point.
Other, big-block-minded staffers called it “gutless.” I mistook the perforated leather seats for vinyl. Sport Mode with sky-high shift points is almost too sporty. I was not impressed with the AWD in snow.
I like tiny cars with tiny engines and manual transmissions, and I expected the medium-sized CX-5 to feel sluggish. I was completely wrong. For a sensible around-town family hauler, the car still manages to deliver satisfying driving dynamics and a connected road feel. The size makes sense for a family of four carrying lots of gear. Add in all the nice finishes and features, and I’d expect a price tag nearer $40k. Great car, great value. My favorite ride of the last twelve months.
|Fun to Drive|
|Fun to Look at|
For more about this car, please visit the manufacturer's website.