Mazda’s mid-size CX-5 crossover has been a top contender since it’s launch in 2012. It’s been so popular, in fact, that it spurred Mazda’s development of the smaller CX-3. For 2017, the company has developed an all-new second generation CX-5 to stay competitive in the most popular crossover segment. Taking many design cues from the recently redesigned CX-9, the many improvements sound promising. We enjoyed the last CX-5 immensely and have been eager to get behind the wheel of this new model.
The looks of the CX-5 before were good, but this new generation exaggerates some its best features. For 2017, the CX-5 sports a more aggressive grille with sleeker headlights and shapely fenders. It’s now equipped with LED headlights, fog lights and taillights. These additions are not only what consumers are looking for but what keep the CX-5 relevant amongst its competitors.
Mazda knows their stuff when it comes to interior design. It doesn’t matter if it’s one of their entry-level trims or a Grand Touring like our tester, the interior is clean, comfortable and well-appointed. It’s driver focused, tying in nicely with their “Driving Matters” slogan. Controls are easy to reach have a quality feel. Although the rear seat area seems slightly claustrophobic, the seats do recline. For those parents out there, the rear doors open at an extra-wide angle making for easy loading and unloading of car seats. Some improvements have been made to the infotainment system as well. The Mazda CONNECT screen has improved resolution and contrast; it has been re-positioned too. Overall functionality remained the same though. It’s not the most intuitive system which can be frustrating at first, but over time you get used to it.
The CX-5 remains at the top of the handling leader board. None of its rivals can handle the road quite like this CUV. The chassis is 15% stiffer with a focus on the suspension and sound insulation. If your motivation is to get to your destination quickly, you’re going to be disappointed. The 2.5 liter delivers weak acceleration with its 187hp and 185lb-ft torque. It does OK in traffic but an optional engine upgrade would be attractive for some. With Mazda soon to be sharing the CX-9’s turbocharged engine with the 6, we may eventually see a more powerful CX-5.
The CX-5 is the epitome of a sophisticated and grown up compact crossover. It’s quite adept at what we millennials call #adulting. With room for four, optional all-wheel-drive, and an EPA estimated 25 city, 31 highway, there isn’t much the CX-5 won’t be able to do. It has the convenience CUV owners are looking for with a much more satisfying driving experience.
|2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD
|Retractable Cargo Cover||$250|
|Machine Gray Paint||$300|
|As Tested MSRP||$34,085|
Spunk: 2016 Mazda CX-5