The 2018 Mazda CX-5 is offered with front-wheel or all-wheel drive in three trim levels, the Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. Loaded with a 2.5L inline 4-cylinder engine, a 6-speed automatic transmission and with 187 horsepower and 185 lb-ft of torque, it has the power to get the job done.
The CX-5 otherwise manages to feel balanced, responsive and sprightly, even with its somewhat taller seating position. A responsive electric-boost rack-and-pinion power steering and sporty yet absorbent suspension, it's one of the best-handling compact utility vehicles.
The CX-5 is also very versatile. In all versions of the CX-5, the back seats are split 20/40/40 and fold nearly flat. Liftover height is low, and the resulting cargo floor is continuous, which should make it easy to pack in larger pieces of weekend cargo.
Sport models include a long list of standard features such as LED headlights, a 7.0-inch color dashboard display with Mazda's fancy Commander knob, a second USB port, G-Vectoring Control, and Smart City Brake Support, Mazda's low-speed automated-emergency-braking system. Also standard on Sport models are items such as Bluetooth, cruise control, keyless entry, push-button ignition, 17-inch aluminum wheels, and power windows and door locks, factors to keep in mind when comparing the CX-5 against less expensive competitors that lack some of that equipment.
The Touring model adds much more popular equipment, such as 19-inch wheels, a rear-seat armrest, a rearview camera, steering-wheel audio controls, upgraded upholstery and a 6-speaker sound system with 5.8-inch touch-screen interface, Bluetooth hands-free calling and audio, HD Radio, SMS text-messaging capability and Pandora compatibility. The system also gives rear-seat passengers a pair of USB ports, a fold-down center armrest, and A/C vents between the front seats. Safety-wise, the trim adds blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
Grand Touring models add a lot of equipment that is optional on the Touring, including automatic and adaptive headlights, LED fog lights, heated side mirrors, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a power liftgate and a sunroof. Inside, the Grand Touring has an 8-way power driver's seat, auto-dimming mirrors, a Bose 10-speaker audio system, navigation, leather seat surfaces, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, higher-speed automatic braking and automatic high-beam control.
Major factory options are grouped into just a few packages, for the Touring model these include a preferred equipment package that features: an auto-dimming mirror, automatic on/off headlights, rain sensing front wipers, a Bose 10 Speaker audio system, navigation, power moonroof and power rear liftgate. The i-Activsense package, which includes: automatic high-beam control, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, radar-based adaptive cruise control, automated emergency braking with a higher speed range, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, automatic headlights and rain-sensing windshield wipers.
A premium package can be added to the Grand Touring and has: a windshield de-icer, a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, a 6-way power passenger seat, 2-position driver's memory and a full-color head-up display. There are just a few other port- or dealer-installed options, such as remote engine start, fog lamps, rear parking sensors and roof-rack accessories for kayaks, snowboards and other cargo.
What matters most in a utility vehicle? Do you care only about interior versatility and passenger comfort, or do you lust after things like evocative design, luxurious materials and stirring performance? If those latter items are at the top of your shopping list, the 2020 Mazda CX-5 is probably the best small SUV for you. Rival offerings in this segment may check some of those boxes, but more often than not they still have more in common with a toaster oven than something that truly rouses a driver's spirit.
The Mazda CX-5 is far from the newest small crossover around, but it sure is pretty. Like the larger, three-row this utility vehicle is swaddled in elegant styling including a broad, smiling grille, clean flanks and a perky rear. It's easily one of the best-looking models in its bustling vehicle segment, which includes rivals like the and
Reinforcing its upscale appearance, my tester rolls on comely 19-inch rims that feature a dark-gray finish. They fill the body's wheel openings quite nicely and don't degrade over-the-road refinement. Unfortunately, lower portions of this CX-5 are trimmed in black plastic cladding, which looks completely out of place on such a tastefully styled machine.
The Good ~ Smooth-shifting transmission ~ Strong acceleration ~ Premium design ~ Upscale interior
The Bad ~ Awful infotainment system ~ Obese A-pillars ~ Tight backseat ~ Buzzy engine
The Bottom Line Is the 2020 CX-5 a perfect product? No, of course not. But it's still an appealing offering in the small-crossover segment.
A new exterior color on top of red leather should make for an eye-catching combination.
Prices for the small crossover stay steady, with just a single trim still offered for the CX-3.
We'll have to drive it to know, but perhaps this is a Mazdaspeed3 without the badge.
On paper, the car sounds like a riot, but hopefully the price tag doesn't push it out of reach for buyers.
Expect 155 hp and 150 lb-ft of torque from this strangely familiar four-cylinder.
Both the Mazda3 sedan and hatchback will be available with turbo power.
According to a Mazda Mexico video, the new turbo 3 should boast 310 pound-feet, making it a torque monster.
The 2020 model-year CX-5 Diesel is still MIA.