The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

HEELS ON WHEELS: 2017 MAZDA CX-5 REVIEW


PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

HEELS ON WHEELS
By Katrina Ramser
Senior Editor
The Auto Channel

INTRO TO THE CX-5 VEHICLE
Mazda continues to surprise shoppers by crafting vehicles worth talking about, and the redesigned compact crossover CX-5 is one of their best. Expertly executed both inside and out, more space than expected and sound performance – these compliments should speak loudly in this very competitive vehicle segment.

I drove a 2017 Mazda CX-5 with the upgraded 187-horsepower SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine coupled with a six-speed automatic transmission and all-wheel drive. Four trims are available – the base Sport, Touring, all-new Grand Select and Grand Touring – with my fully loaded Grand Touring trim featuring the following standard equipment: leather-trimmed sport seats; heated front seats; leather-wrapped steering wheel with mounted controls; eight-way power driver’s seat; dual zone climate control; navigation with a 7-inch touchscreen and rearview camera; Mazda Connect infotainment system; push-button start; upgraded 10-speaker Bose audio system; auxiliary input jack and USB port; Bluetooth connectivity; nineteen-inch alloy wheels; power liftgate; a moonroof; fog lamps; and a suite of safety technology (Lane Keep Assist, Lane Departure Warning, Smart Brake Support, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Blind Sport Monitoring). Vehicle price as described without options came to $29,395.

For 2017, the CX-5 has been redesigned with key features being a new 4.6-inch instrument cluster display, higher quality interior materials, a repositioned touchscreen, reduction of blind spots in the exterior design, and a Soul Red Crystal paint job. Comparable vehicles in this segment include the Honda HR-V, Subaru Impreza and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport (as well as steady favorites like the Toyota RAV4 and Kia Sportage).

HEELS ON WHEELS REVIEW CRITERIA

Stylish But Comfortable Results: Ever perfecting their creations, the CX-5’s touchscreen has been repositioned and the interior now features higher quality materials that can be dubbed premium. The infotainment system is a breeze to use with high-quality graphics and low response time between commands. What’s appealing about my Grand Touring test drive is the load of safety technology and the Bose audio system, plus the $1,830 Premium Package (driver’s seat memory, 6-way power passenger seat, heated rear seats). It’s quite comfortable for driver and passenger, and accommodating enough for the rear passengers (a little firm back there, but the rear seats now recline and you get charging ports).

Reliability & Safety Factor: The 2017 Mazda CX-5 earned scores of “Good” in all crash test areas with the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and is a Top Safety Pick. Standard safety equipment includes anti-lock brakes, five-passenger three-point safety belts, dynamic stability control, traction control, hill launch assist, and an advanced airbag system that includes side-impact bags. An interesting addition, the Smart City Brake Support uses a laser sensor mounted high on the inside of the front windshield that detects an obstruction, and will reduce the brake rotor travel to allow for more immediate braking should the system calculate there is a risk of a collision.

Cost Issues: The base 2017 Mazda CX-5 Sport trim begins at $24,045; a Touring at $25,915; a Grand Select at $28,895; and finally my Grand Touring at $29,395. A base 2017 Honda HR-V starts at $19,465 and a 2017 Subaru Impreza at $18,495.

Activity & Performance Ability: Mazda puts a lot of effort into their powertrain technology, and the CX-5 stands out for being quick to accelerate and tackling turning demands for vehicle and engine of its smaller size. You might just find it sportier than the competition, and the interior is surprisingly quite The fuel economy on the Honda HR-V might turn your head, as a 1.8-liter engine option gets 28-city and 35-highway for a combined 29 miles-per-gallon with all-wheel drive, but understand performance does suffer under this smaller powertrain configuration.

The Green Concern: Fuel economy estimates for the 2.5-liter with all-wheel drive are 23-city and 29-highway for a combined 26 miles-per-gallon, which is competitive enough for this class.

FINAL PARTING WORDS
The 2017 Mazda CX-5 stands out from the compact crossover market for offering a premium interior feel and quick performance, along with fuel economy and a price you can get behind -- the Grand Touring trim gives you safety tech, a wild new color, and extra bonuses that will help you love your purchase even more.

©2017 Katrina Ramser

LEARN MORE: The Most In-Depth Independent Mazda Consumer Research - Anywhere!


PHOTO


PHOTO


PHOTO


PHOTO


PHOTO


PHOTO


PHOTO


PHOTO