We Like: Gorgeous styling, sports car handling
We Don’t Like: Disappointing mpg, missing tech, lack of room
Mazda gets us. This is, after all, an enthusiast brand that also speaks to consumers, so when an SUV turns up that handles like a sporty sedan, we get excited.
“Mazda brings the fun, even to SUVs,” Alisa Priddle said. “The CX-5 is sized to appeal to a wide band of consumers. It accelerates nicely, tackled the winding course with vigor, and sounds and feels good while doing it. The back end wants to step out for an extra little dose of fun.”
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A touch too much fun for some consumers, we suspect. The CX-5, particularly the up-spec Grand Touring trim, is eager to rotate when cornering aggressively. Although stability control prevents things from getting out of hand, it’ll catch some buyers off guard. This is an enthusiast’s crossover through and through. And even though it lacks an off-road mode, the Mazda still did pretty well in the dirt.
Enthusiasts also appreciate creature comforts, but the CX-5 is missing a few. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are coming to Mazda products at some point, but they’re not here yet. The rear seats get no USB or power ports, and they only get A/C vents on the expensive models. The real-world fuel economy is also disappointing.
The CX-5’s biggest problem, though, is that there’s a better vehicle all around. From interior roominess to fuel economy to technology, the Honda CR-V outshines the CX-5—though the Mazda is prettier and more fun to drive. But when two or more vehicles in the same class show up to this competition, only the best moves on.
Read about other 2018 SUV of the Year contenders:
- Audi Q5
- BMW X4
- Buick Encore
- Buick Envision
- Chevrolet Equinox
- Jeep Compass
- Maserati Levante
- Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe
- Nissan Rogue Sport
- Volkswagen Tiguan
- Volvo V90 Cross Country
|2017 Mazda CX-5 AWD (Sport)||2017 Mazda CX-5 AWD (Grand Touring)|
|BASE PRICE||$ 26,485||$ 31,635|
|PRICE AS TESTED||$ 27,405||$ 34,465|
|VEHICLE LAYOUT||Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV||Front-engine, AWD, 5-pass, 4-door SUV|
|ENGINE||2.5L/187-hp/185-lb-ft DOHC 16-valve I-4||2.5L/187-hp/185-lb-ft DOHC 16-valve I-4|
|TRANSMISSION||6-speed automatic||6-speed automatic|
|CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST)||3,510 lb (58/42%)||3,699 lb (56/44%)|
|WHEELBASE||106.2 in||106.2 in|
|LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT||179.1 x 72.5 x 65.3 in||179.1 x 72.5 x 65.3 in|
|0-60 MPH||8.3 sec||8.7 sec|
|QUARTER MILE||16.3 sec @ 80.4 mph||16.7 sec @ 78.3 mph|
|BRAKING, 60-0 MPH||136 ft||135 ft|
|LATERAL ACCELERATION||0.79 g (avg)||0.77 g (avg)|
|MT FIGURE EIGHT||28.1 sec @ 0.60 g (avg)||28.4 sec @ 0.58 g (avg)|
|EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON||23/29/26 mpg||23/29/26 mpg|
|ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY||147/116 kW-hrs/100 miles||147/116 kW-hrs/100 miles|
|CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB||0.76 lb/mile||0.76 lb/mile|
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