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2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD Review By John Heilig

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By John Heilig
Senior Editor
Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel


REVIEWED MODEL: 2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD
ENGINE: 2.5-liter I-4
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 184 hp @ 5,700 rpm/185 lb.-ft. @ 3,250 rpm
WHEELBASE: 106.3 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 178.7 x 72.4 x 65.7 in.
TIRES: P225/55R19
CARGO: 34.1/65.4 cu. ft. (all seats up/2nd row seats lowered)
ECONOMY: 24 mpg city/30 mpg highway/26 mpg combined
FUEL TANK: 15.3 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 3,589 lbs.
STICKER: $34,140 (includes $880 handling, $3,790 options)

BOTTOM LINE: The Mazda CX-5 is classified as a small SUV, but it could also be described as a minivan or even, gasp! A wagon. No matter. The CX-5 is a solid, small, practical vehicle with a bunch of solid features.

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The 2016 Mazda CX-5 is a true small SUV. But, despite social pressure to the contrary, it could easily pass for a station wagon. Ah, remember the days when a practical vehicle with two rows of seats and a lot of cargo area was a wagon? Granted, this “wagon” has AWD, but don’t spoil my reverie.

What skews my reasoning is that the CX-5 has a comfortable ride, while most small SWUVs, or CUVs, tend to have harsher ride qualities. We took the C-5 on a variety of roads and we were comfortable. We felt in complete control all the time.

Front seats are comfortable with some side support. My wife and I liked the light grey seating surfaces set in a darker grey surround. These would probably get soiled easily with a family of small children, but for a couple of old fogies, they were fine. The flat rear seat offers good knee room and a small center hump that won’t force any passenger seated there to become intimate with his or her knees.

Handling is very good for what it is. Because of its size, the CX-5 is very maneuverable. We had to take some tight turns during our test week and handled them easily.

The 2.5-liter inline four delivered good power at 184 horsepower. The engine did tend to complain when you hit the pedal for hard acceleration, but it was quiet most of the time. In fairness, most engines complain when you ask for more power.

One thing that impressed me about the CX-5 was that it comes equipped with a full complement of standard safety features, such as Blind Spot Monitor, Cross Traffic Alert, Dynamic Stability Control and Traction Control. Among the options on our tester were other goodies such as Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning and High Beam Control.

Our tester also had a navigation system, but I found it hard to program. Using the multi-function command control (a knob on the center console) better might have helped. An owner would have more time to advance along the learning curve. We also felt that while the nav system got us to our destination, it was not by the most efficient route.

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The CX-5 has a nice cargo area, a prerequisite for either SUV, CUV or wagon. There’s also a small area on the right side that is ideal for holding bottles of liquid in an upright position. In addition, there is a cubby ahead of the shifter that includes two USB connections and an SID slot. The center console/arm rest is small.

An assist handle is located over each door, but they aren’t totally necessary because entry and exit are easy.

Instruments include a center-mounted speedometer with a small tachometer on the left and a fuel gauge on the right.

For 2016, the Mazda CX-5 has a new grille and new foglight surround design. The center console has also been redesigned. I liked the more fluid look.

Overall, the Mazda CX-5 is a nice, compact package. It has a lot of standard features that make it attractive, as well as a redesign that cleans it up a bit.

2015 The Auto Page Syndicate

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