By on October 29, 2012

In search of the compact crossover that best impersonates a hot hatch, we first examined the Volkswagen Tiguan. The Tig proved quick and composed, but expensive and softer than the typical Teuton. For a lower price and sharper handling, no brand holds more promise than Mazda. But focusing intently on driving enthusiasts with limited budgets hasn’t proved profitable. So with its latest products Mazda has been putting eggs in a second basket by also making fuel economy a top priority. The Mazda CX-5 is the first all-new product to emerge from Hiroshima’s new “SKYACTIV” dual focus.

My wife was smitten by the looks of the Mazda, but mostly because of its “zeal red” paint. To my eye, the CX-5’s nose-heavy proportions promise more than the powertrain can deliver and the parts don’t quite flow together to form a cohesive whole. Still, I’ll grant that most people see an attractive, sporty crossover.

Inside, CX-5’s designers have been inarguably successful, crafting the cleanest, most upscale cabin from Mazda in some time. The “Plan 9 from Hiroshima” aesthetic that detracts from the Mazda3’s appeal is nowhere in evidence. Piano black trim and red stitching inject enough visual interest to ward off the coal bin blues.

The CX-5’s windshield is more steeply raked than the Tiguan’s, but the view forward isn’t overly compromised. The view rearward fares less well thanks to a rising beltline and thick C-pillars. In the Grand Touring a rearview camera and blind spot warning system compensate. The seats, though the firmest in this group, are well-shaped for comfort if not lateral support. A high console makes for a sportier, more cockpit-like driving position.

Rear seat passengers get a lot of space but, unlike in the VW and Ford, no vents with which to cool it. Partly for this reason the air conditioning sometimes struggles to cool the cabin. At least it doesn’t have a large roof opening to contend with. Unlike those in the other two, the CX-5’s sunroof is a conventionally-sized, single panel unit.

Cargo volume is the largest in the threesome. Even better, on the way home from the grocery store you can take curves at speed without fear of inundating the cargo area carpet. A well on each side of the main floor is perfectly sized for a gallon milk container.

Other reviewers have praised the Mazda’s handling. But while the CX-5 does feel tighter and more precise than the Tiguan and most other compact crossovers, with good manners when hustled, it’s no Mazda3. Owing to heavier, slower, duller steering than in the hatchback and a higher seating position within a larger vehicle, you’ll never forget you’re driving a crossover. Handling is a strength compared to other crossovers, but not compared to a good hatch.

Mazda’s engineers managed to reduce the CX-5’s curb weight to an admirably low 3,426 pounds. The significantly smaller Tiguan weighs about 165 pounds more, and the new Escape weighs over 200 pounds more even with its lightest engine. This aids handling, but they’ll have to somehow cut another quarter ton before the 155-horsepower 2.0-liter SKYACTIV engine feels worthy of the chassis. The turbocharged 2.0-liters in the others feel far stronger. The CX-5’s engine does nearly match the Escape’s lesser engines (a non-turbo 2.5 and a turbo 1.6) in performance, but still trails in sound quality. A wheezy, buzzy soundtrack makes it seem even more strained than it is. This isn’t what the big grille promises! On top of the engine thrash, there’s also more wind and road noise inside the CX-5. Some of the weight savings seems to have been managed through reduced sound deadening. The SKYACTIV six-speed automatic performs well in the Mazda3. In the CX-5 it has too much of a power deficit to make up, and the combined powertrain feels unresponsive.

Ads tout the CX-5’s 26 mpg city, 35 mpg highway EPA ratings. However, these impressive numbers are only earned by the powertrain hardly anyone will buy, a six-speed manual transmission connected to only the front wheels. Add the automatic transmission and all-wheel-drive, and the ratings drop to 25/31. These numbers are still a significant 4 mpg higher than those of the Tiguan. In casual suburban driving the trip computer reported 28. Like the CX-5’s handling, this stat is good compared to other crossovers, but is middling at best compared to a hatchback.

Ah, but the price. The CX-5 Grand Touring looks more expensive than the Tiguan SE, especially inside, and is packed with far more features, but actually costs much less. Even with the Tech Package (nav, proximity key, xenon headlights) the sticker isn’t much over $30,000. Compared to the VW, this is a $3,300 savings before adjusting for feature differences using TrueDelta’s car price comparison tool, and $5,800 less afterwards.

Add this relatively low price to the Mazda CX-5’s roomy, attractive interior, best-in-segment fuel economy, and sporty (for a crossover) handling, and the total more than compensates for the weak engine for many people. The CX-5 has been selling very well–the parent company might yet be saved. Those who must have more thrust might not have long to wait. While a MazdaSpeed-worthy boosted mill isn’t even rumored, allegedly a 2.5-liter SKYACTIV engine will join the roster next spring for the 2014 model year.

Mazda provided an insured vehicle with a tank of gas.

Michael Karesh operates TrueDelta.com, an online source of car reliability and pricing information.

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56 Comments on “Review: 2013 Mazda CX-5...”


  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    Love the review.
    And I agree…so we are settled here on the Mazda3 skyactiv as our next purchase.

    I did, however, wonder what you thought of this car with the stick?
    It has hill assist/stop…so many afraid of stick should like it.

    Would standard trans make this car feel better around town and pulling out of a side street into traffic?

    • 0 avatar

      I haven’t driven one with a stick.

      • 0 avatar
        KixStart

        I have. It’s a good transmission and clutch, no question about it.

        However, the modest power available means that you must shift and it seemed like you would often be jumping down 2 gears to get a serious move on. I also drove the automtatic and it was ready to drop a couple of gears with fairly little provocation.

        For $21-something, FWD with stickshift and all that room, it’s a damned good deal and the interior in the base car is actually quite nice. It’s also pretty quiet; I didn’t detect any “wheezy and buzzy” even in the base car. The one downside to the base car is that, as noted, rear visibility is limited; the backup camera is a good thing to have (can’t remember if you can get one in the base vehicle). Also, it’s rated to tow a ton, which is a little unusual in 4 cylinder CUVs (I suppose you can expect to tow s-lo-w-l-y).

        From reports on Fuelly, some owners with the stick get amazingly good fuel economy, especially when you consider the amount of room in the vehicle. Overall, the CX-5 gets about 1mpg better than the CR-V and about 4mpg better than the new Escape.

      • 0 avatar
        caldwa

        I was able to drive a manual transmission version of the CX-5, and while the clutch had a nice linearity to it, I was surprised to find that the shifter was not as direct and crisp-feeling as I had anticipated. It’s definitely below the Mazda 3 in that area (and the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, I might add), although I found in better than the rubbery truck-like shifter in the Subaru Impreza/XV Crosstrek.

  • avatar
    niky

    The gearshift is pretty darn fantastic. As is the steering.

    Alas, I have to agree with Karesh, not quite hot hatch territory. At least, not as close to it as the Subaru XV is, even though it does have better steering and a lighter chassis.

    That chassis is an amazing achievement. That it’s so much lighter than the CX7 (and everything else) while still giving such a spacious cabin is amazing. The CX5 makes the CX7 completely redundant.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      Lighter than pigs like the CX7 and Escape isn’t much of an achievement.

      The CX5 is within a few pounds of the Rav4. It has more than 100 lbs on the Forester.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        There’s also the Mazda5, which also matches the CX-5 in about every dimension externally (save for width and ground clearance), but smacks it six says from Sunday on the inside and is cheaper, too.

        But yeah, the RAV/4 is a tough competitor: not much worse fuel economy (with the V6), just dusts the Mazda and also has a third row.

      • 0 avatar
        tatracitroensaab

        The Mazda5 will never sell though because its a tiny minivan and Americans are afraid to be perceived as tiny minivan drivers…

        Good car though, so it’s kind of a shame

      • 0 avatar
        tatracitroensaab

        The Mazda5 will never sell though because its a tiny minivan and Americans are afraid to be perceived as tiny minivan drivers…

        Good car though, so it’s kind of a shame

      • 0 avatar
        Thinkin...

        The problem with the Mazda5 trying to compete is fuel economy. For some bizarre reason, Mazda hasn’t seen fit to give the 5 the magic of SkyActiv, so its fuel economy is considerably worse than both the Mazda3 and CX5. It’s only rated at 21mpg city and 28mpg highway. Considering the size and shape, that’s a crime. Dropping in the SkyActiv engine would make it about 27/38, perhaps even more if they can fit the SkyActiv header in the next generation. So the Mazda5 with 40mpg on the window… that’s a car that will sell.

        I agree the mini-minivan thing might not be helping sales, but the stalemate on the drivetrain is what will be the final nail in the Mazda5 coffin. Frankly, the 5 is incredibly versatile, and I damn near bought one last year. However it was a non-starter with the old 2.5 mill. (Plus, I wouldn’t wanted a manual transmission + options, which Mazda also won’t offer at any price.)

      • 0 avatar
        niky

        Toyota, indeed,has a good handle on fuel economy. But as with cars like the Fit, EPA doesn’t tell the full story. Given the right driver, at lower speeds, the CX5 is capable of exceptional economy.

      • 0 avatar
        enzl

        Agreed about 5. We own one, but other than mileage, it performs as advertised, making it infinitely less painful as a sole family car.
        My wife thought the Cx5 was fantastic in the showroom, but couldn’t fathom the 8k OTD difference for comparable equipment. Bonus of a 6 th useful seat and great comfort for fam of 4 w 2 dogs.

  • avatar
    mike978

    Michael, a good review. I have heard a diesel version is due out next year as well, so performance will be improved.
    You state ” The CX-5’s engine does nearly match the Escape’s lesser engines (a non-turbo 2.5 and a turbo 1.6) in performance,” I would argue that those two engines in the Escape will be the volume sellers, so if the CX5 performance is comparable then why the complaints?

    I would also like to know why the highway fuel economy figure drops from 35 to 32 when you go from manual to auto. I would have thought the engine would be running at a comparable rpm.

    • 0 avatar

      Objectively, the CX-5 isn’t much slower than the Escape with the 2.5 or 1.6T. Looking at a MT comparison test, it was a half-second slower to 60, 9.4 vs. 8.9. But, as noted in the review, the CX-5′s engine SOUNDS much more strained. Objectively, the difference is a half-second. Subjectively, MT (and others) found the CX-5 “slow” and the Escape “strong.” Better NVH would help.

    • 0 avatar
      Dan

      The manual has a 3.2 final drive. The auto is 2.77. At 70 mph that would be 2300 vs 2650 rpm.

      That aside, what the EPA calls highway fuel economy isn’t driving on the highway. It’s a series of acceleration runs on a treadmill that doesn’t resemble sustained highway cruise whatsoever. The short answer is that their number isn’t worth reading.

  • avatar
    FJ60LandCruiser

    Looks good, but I test drove the more affordable base model since 30k for a car with a wheezy 150hp engine is close to robbery–and who really would pay that when a very similar vehicle can be had for 7k less.

    The “base” model trim is plasticky and the whole car buzzes down the road, like my old GMC work truck. None of the surfaces feels solid, and it has the cheap Japanese feel to it that seems to be expected with every car coming from their shores.

    Being a CUV, there isn’t that much more space up front. Legroom and hiproom is not much different from a small car, but there is a tremendous amount of headroom–one wonders if this car was meant for chefs, so they wouldn’t have to take off their hats prior to coming to work. Storage space is adequate with the seats down and up.

    Handling is spry, but without sacrificing ride comfort. It’s probably one of the more redeeming graces of this trucklet, that and the styling. It’s the lest ugly in a field of Japanese bland, one might even say it’s pretty.

    But the engine with the AT is just a pure dog. This car always feels underpowered. I’m wondering if real world driving conditions will sap even more of the fuel economy, as trying to keep up in traffic will force you to hammer the little 4 below the 25mpg range.

    The wife liked it, but not enough to get her out of an Outback.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      “The wife liked it, but not enough to get her out of an Outback.”

      Actually the Outback with the 2.5 engine feels even slower than the CX5 because the CVT transmission is very much oriented towards fuel economy, and the gas pedal pretty much does nothing for the first 50% of the travel (or so it seems).

      • 0 avatar
        FJ60LandCruiser

        I got her the “older” model 3.6R before they refreshed it for this year at about 5 grand off. It’s a spaceship, and will outrun just about everything in the segment.

        It’s also very thirsty,

  • avatar
    threeer

    It’s a little disingenuous to compare the CX-5 to the Mazda3, especially when it comes to handling. The intention isn’t to make it another “hot hatch” but to make it comparibly a better handler than other CUVs. When cast in that light, how does it compare to things like the new Escape, or the Tucson? Apples to apples, please. You wonder what 25-30 more HP with the six-speed would do for driving enjoyment…

    • 0 avatar
      tjh8402

      I don’t think it’s disingenuous at all. the Mazda 3 hatch is the man behind the curtain…it costs less, is more fun to drive, gets better fuel economy, and is siting on the lot right next to this vehicle. He said it’s handling is competitive with the other CUVs out there, but if your priority is a thrifty fun to drive vehicle that still has room for a trip to Costco, it’s sibling is a better choice.

    • 0 avatar
      gregx-5

      25-30 hp would be amazing. Right now the six speed is quote good, my only complaint is that, being as I drive urban often, first gear can be slightly annoying. It is geared so high because of the motor. First is very sensitive to throttle inputs and it winds up into the higher rpms quicker than I like.

      In all gears above 3000rpms this thing tears around well. You will find yourself moving faster than traffic. Lower than 3000 it just doesnt mate well with first or the higher gears – definitely 6th and 5th can also be lacking.

      If someone can figure out a ECU reflash to work with higher octane gas to get me a 10 to 15 ft-lb torque down low, I’d be supremely happy.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      That’s exactly what I was thinking. It’s like comparing a “sporty family sedan” to a “sports car.”

      Things sure sound like the next model year will have the 2.5L as an option, which would provide an extra 30 hp. IMO, that (or the diesel) is a must-have for people who live in hilly terrain or haul/tow a lot. But for 90% of what these small CUVs do, the 155 hp is just fine.

    • 0 avatar

      A “sports car” is far less practical than a “sporty family sedan.” It can’t carry as many people, it can’t carry nearly as much stuff, and its ride could well beat you up. In contrast, the Mazda3 nearly matches the functionality of the CX-5. There’s more cargo space in the crossover, but most people rarely use more than the Mazda3 offers.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        *Considerably* more cargo volume, higher seat position, more ground clearance …

        They aren’t the same at all regardless of what people use them for, especially considering most people who buy sports cars rarely use them more than a sporty family sedan offers.

      • 0 avatar
        tjh8402

        higher seating position and more ground clearance are of debateable value. Some people like them, some people (such as myself) don’t. The way I read the review, if those are two things you must have, then the CX-5 is worth considering. If not, the 3 is probably the better choice.

  • avatar
    tjh8402

    MK how did you find the NVH to be more objectionable in this than in a 3? i’ve ridden in several skyactive 3′s and while the engine wasnt as sweet as a Focus, it still sounded fun, with a sporty snarl, no harshness, and the car.

    On a different subject, how much can good sales of cars like this and the 3 help Mazda financially considering its issues with a strong yen? I have 3 people I know/knew well that have bought a 3 skyactive in the last year (my ex and 2 good friends), and all are in the coveted under 30 age bracket. I’ve also seen a lot of them on the road so the car seems to be a pretty big hit for Mazda, but how much $ are they actually making on each one they sell?

    • 0 avatar

      The engines aren’t the same. For the CX-5 they’ve fitted a different exhaust and bumped the compression from 12:1 to 13:1. There are probably other differences, such as the engine mounts. Add a few hundred pounds, which make the engine work harder, and you end up with a different sound.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Maybe I missed it. Does it have “stadium seating” or whatever the marketing department calls raised rear seats?

  • avatar
    Mev

    Waiting for the reviews of the X1 28i. If there is a 2.5 liter CX-5, I wonder how it would compare to a stripper x1 28i. Pricing as is is around $7,000 difference similarly equipped, but a larger engine in the CX-5 would make it a fairer comparison.

  • avatar
    probert

    The Kia Sportage is lighter, cheaper , faster, handles on rails, and is quite beautiful. What am I missing here?

    • 0 avatar

      The Sportage might be a little lighter, but it feels heavier, and doesn’t handle as well.

      • 0 avatar
        probert

        I haven’t driven the Mazda cx5 but I did drive the Mazda 3 and it felt heavy . I was disappointed – no zoom zoom.

        The last car I owned was an mr2 so I really like agile and use it as a reference point. While the Kia wasn’t like a whippet it surely wasn’t a slug and didn’t feel heavy- it had quick neutral handling, little lean, and good road feel. I recently drove one through the Rockies and the deserts of the west and it was very stable straight ahead, but in the turns it was quick and agile. It was, in a word, fun .

        I also tested the locking differential and hill holding features on sandy and steep dirt roads and they worked flawlessly.Kind of a surprise in a car in this class. In fact I disabled the traction control a couple of time to get a little donut action – just for kicks.

        The only downside was the small rear window and the large A pillars – the A pillars only came into play on left hairpins, but the car should come standard with a backup camera. No problem in the wilderness but I could see it as a problem in the city. I find it beautiful so I give it a mulligan.

        A lovely car overall. And about $5000.00 cheaper.

    • 0 avatar
      joeveto3

      I had a Sportage for a day in Florida. I put 300 miles on it and was utterly and completely disappointed with it. Even if I dismiss the way function follows form (visibility was crap), the handling was inexcuseable.

      The utter lack of feel, the wander, the unpredictable reactions. I dont think I could ever get used to it. Nor should anyone have to get used to it. I’ve said it before: proper chassis engineering doesn’t cost that much more. Feel, response, reflexes should not be an afterthought.

    • 0 avatar
      niky

      Thw Sportage has better roll stiffness. And that’s e long and short of it. This makes it feel sportier, but it has slushier turn-in, woefully numb steering and very inert responses. The CX5, on e other hand, is a car you can drive with your fingertips.

      The Sportage interior felt better when I had one,but I found the eye-poking rear door shape ridiculous. I personally know three people who’ve been injured by that portal of doom

      Okay, so they were short people, but it’s still an issue.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        “Thw Sportage has better roll stiffness. And that’s e long and short of it. This makes it feel sportier . . .”

        Yeah, that could make the handling feel pretty “neutral” if you don’t actually drive it hard enough to ever break the tires loose.

      • 0 avatar
        probert

        @rpn 453

        I drove a 2012 through the rockies during a storm and it never missed a beat – secure, good road feel It handled the twists up to 9000ft and back down with agility. I drove it on dirt canyon roads following snaking rivers and it was great. I drove it down rocky dirt slopes and about 5mph and the hill hold kept it well under control.

        I found myself having to slow down for others because it kind of asks you to push it just a little more.

        The chassis is not dumbed down so to some it may feel “bumpy” or ill at ease- but what it really is is a solid responsive machine. It’s not a trick like some air shocks and a set of leaf springs; it’s a great handling car.

  • avatar
    carve

    SO close to what I want. It’s just too damn gutless. I live at 5500′. Ambient air pressure is about 12 psi, so this would make 122 hp where I live. I want it for an efficient ski and mountain bike trip car, but this thing would seriously struggle to my local ski area- uphill with all of 107 hp by the time I reach the parking lot. Meanwhile, my chipped 335i is STILL making almost 300hp up there. Nice for passing slow-pokes in the mountains.

    Mazda “zoom zoom” SERIOUSLY needs a turbo in this thing.

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      Wjile being stationed and going to school in Colorado, I bought a ’91 Jeep Wrangler YJ with the anemic 100 HP four. It barely got up to puff on I-25 when the wind would howl down from the freezer door Canada forgets to close in January. As I understood the formula, cars lose 2.5% of their horsepower at 1000 ft. of altitude; thereby at 6000 ft. my Jeep was thumpin’ out about a face-melting 85 HP. Given that it was aerodynamic as a brick and the soft-top had hundred-mile-an-hour tape holding most of it together, I could barely do 55 mph.

      However, it never let me down getting through Monarch Pass to get to Crested Butte. The CX-5 should be able to more than adequately and in much, much better comfort (and MPGs) to my fav ski area.

  • avatar
    dolorean

    “Rear seat passengers get a lot of space but, unlike in the VW and Ford, no vents with which to cool it. Partly for this reason the air conditioning sometimes struggles to cool the cabin. At least it doesn’t have a large roof opening to contend with.”

    My ’08 Saturn Astra XR 5 door with panoramic sunroof had this problem as did my ’10 Mazda 5 Grand-Touring with mail-slot sunroof. The solution was window tinting, which I got both done in February and got 30% installation due to lack of demand. Makes a HUGE difference.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Michael – any plans to review the Santa Fe anytime soon?

  • avatar
    buck-50

    Test drove the CX-5. Test drove it a lot. Wanted to love it. But the review is spot-on- while it handles well compared to a CR-V, it still felt numb and disconnected compared to my impreza.

    I ended up getting a 2013 VW jetta sportwagen S- cheaper (21k) better handling, comfortable, faster, and despite only having an antiquated 5 speed manual and the 2.5 liter engine, I’m averaging 28 in town and 35 on the freeway (well above the epa MPG). And I’ve got about the same amount of cargo space.

    Test driving the VW after driving the CX-5 was a revelation. And one of the biggest revelations was “If you need a back up camera, you’ve probably designed your vehicle very badly.”

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      Actually pretty much all SUVs and CUVs need a backup camera. Your Jetta wagon needs one too. Too bad VW is one geenration behind everyone else and don’t offer one. Did the VW salesman convince you that backup cameras are for sissies?

      • 0 avatar
        buck-50

        Nah, just realized I could see out the back of the VW as well as I could out the back of any regular car.

        The thing that I really didn’t like with the cx-5 was that as big as the interior space is (and it’s definitely a nice, comfortable space) the windows are tiny and looking out the back window is like looking through a paper towel tube. I really don’t get the current design trend of tiny windows and really thick pillars. My daughter is 5. she’s tall for her age. She had a hard time seeing out the windows in the back, with a booster seat. And I gotta tell you, if kids can’t see out the windows, you are gonna have really unhappy kids and you are gonna be cleaning a lot of puke off that well-designed interior.

        As I said, I wanted to like the CX-5, I really did. I went to Mazda with every intention of trading in my subaru and coming out with a bright blue CX-5. VW wasn’t even on my list. But the fact that my VW, with it’s antiquated platform, transmission and engine outperforms the CX-5 in every way says a lot. Well, it doesn’t have a back up camera. so I guess the CX-5 wins there.

      • 0 avatar
        icemilkcoffee

        I think your car testing experience is an exact parallel to mine. We also test drove the Jetta TDI wagon and the CX-5. I also wanted to like the CX-5, but the whole driving experience somehow just seemed cold and uninviting. The Jetta was instantly likeable (for me anyways- wife had a different idea) and there is a sense of solidity that was missing in the CX-5. The problem is that the Nav had to be ordered with the panaramic roof- which is not suitable for a sunny climate like California (and that it didn’t come with a back-up camera).

  • avatar

    I really REALLY like the Mazda CX-5. Too many of the crossovers in this category are full of expensive and failure-prone gimmicks or swoopy, space-robbing styling. The CX-5, then, seems like a vehicle that’ll win you over by being honest and doing things right, without all of the tricks everyone else uses (I can say the same about the 2013 Accord). I did take a look at a CX-5 in person and the cabin in particular just has this upscale, ergonomic richness that none of the other competitors can touch.

    On the other hand, I cannot stand the Volkswagen Tiguan. It’s an impractically-small penalty box if you don’t load it up with nonsense options, and it’s no looker either…

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    I wonder how many sales this will take from the already slow selling Mazda 5? As an 08 Mazda 5 owner, I was hoping the Skyactiv would make its to that vehicle sooner than later, but apparently not. I don’t see the 5 living long since the CX-5 offers much of the same, without the minivan “stigma”

    We like the 5 for its low height (a plus for putting kids in car seats) and the sliding doors are much better to deal with period. No, it’s not a rocket by any means, but I have done 75 mph steady highway and gotten 30mpg out of it, higher than it’s rated for. 32 has been the max, got that a few times.

    Around town, with all the hills making the 2.3/5 auto in our 5 work really hard, only about 18-19 mpg. I find it fairly responsive in most driving for what it is, the chassis feeling good if a bit light in the steering. No, it’s not as solid as a Honda, but we didn’t pay Honda prices either. Low miles (28k approx) and it’s doing fine, only one or two trips to the dealer under warranty.

    A heart transplant in form of the Skyactiv or Diesel would be the only way to go. Not much in the way of performance stuff, not all 3 stuff is compatible with the 5 due to difference in packaging.

    • 0 avatar

      MPVs like the Mazda5 do brilliantly in Europe and South America, but here in the States, vehicles with sliding doors are already seen as unfashionable by quite a few, and if they have to drive them, they at least want something large enough to make it worthwhile, like the Chrysler Town & Country or the Honda Odyssey. This is why Ford’s C-MAX went from an MPV with sliding doors to a bloated Focus (which in my opinion was a downgrade, both practically and stylistically). Americans really are a law unto themselves.

      All of this is to say that vehicles like the Mazda5 are niche vehicles. However, for Mazda’s sake, I hope that CX-5 sales don’t cannibalize those of the already-unpopular Mazda5, but rather those of other crossovers. Mazda’s high-reliability ranking is good incentive for anyone considering, say a 2013 Ford Escape.

      • 0 avatar
        gearhead77

        I agree 100% about the C-Max, especially after seeing one in person. Guess I hadn’t been paying attention, but I was like “What happened to the car I saw at the Cleveland Auto Show?” when I saw it close up. Talk about niche vehicles!

        Our Mazda 5 is really just a bit too small for our American tastes and all the crap with we bring with out American kids. Our double stroller ( we have twins) takes up the whole back end. leaving room for little else. We will be shopping T&C and Odyssey in a few years when the lease on my Altima runs out, but the Mazda, barring anything unusual, will hang around. Too versatile,unique and by then, paid for, to get rid of it!

  • avatar
    flatout05

    What is it with tall Mazdas these days? The company’s entire product like, including the MX-5 – nay, ESPECIALLY the MX-5 – looks ugly at its stock ride height, but then looks terrific with a 1- to 1.5-inch drop. The CX-5 has been right at the top of my next-vehicle list ever since Baruth raved about it, but Job One would be a set of lowering springs.

  • avatar
    Ashy Larry

    For the diesel nuts, there is a strong rumor out there that the Mazda Skyactiv-D engine will come to the US in the CX5. That would be a game changer for me, vaulting this car pretty high on the “do wnat” list.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    I like this too, I just wish manual trans and AWD were available across all trim levels. That would actually make my wife (who is CUV obsessesed) want one.


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