2018 Mazda CX-5 essentials: Still one of a many fun compress ‘utes on a road

What is it: The CX-5 is Mazda’s 5-passenger crossover, and a brand’s best-selling car in a U.S. by far. In Grand Touring trim like a tester, buyers get a energy back liftgate, navigation, exhilarated leather seating and a moonroof, yet front-drive is still standard. All-wheel expostulate is an accessible option.

Key Competitors: Ford Escape, Nissan Rogue, Toyota RAV4

Full Review: 2017 Mazda CX-5

Base Price: $31,920

As-Tested Price: $34,685

Highlights: The simple distance and figure of Mazda’s CX-5 might impersonate a huge race of tiny crossovers on sale today, yet from behind a circle a brand’s heading friskiness is immediately noticeable. It’s good for a pushing enthusiasts among us, yet normal consumers might find a CX-5 a bit shrill inside, with a frozen cessation and hyperactive powertrain.

Our Opinion: The flattering tiny CX-5 has never been quite absolute (especially a progressing 2-liter versions) or refined, yet it’s always had a lightweight, tossable animation that set it detached from duller competitors like a CR-V and RAV4. For 2018, it’s mostly standing quo, yet continued growth has softened scarcely ever aspect of this compress utility. It’s not slow; instead of counting on low-rpm turbo torque, Mazda instead lets a naturally aspirated I4 rev openly into a powerband and uses visit shifts from a six-speed involuntary to get a pursuit done. As a outcome there’s some-more movement from a engine brook (and aloft numbers on a tach) that can be offputting to buyers used to bigger, lazier engines. It’s all psychological yet — fuel economy and acceleration are only as good in a CX-5 as they are in competitors’ turbo engines (and in some cases, better).

It’s also a ton of fun in a snow, as we had plenty event to discover. Though a CX-5 was delivered with all-season radials, Mazda’s AWD complement didn’t let things get too out of palm on sleazy streets. However, when we deliberately attempted to have some fun…it let me. That’s a explanation in itself to those of us accustomed to traction control/stability control systems that simply stop delivering energy when things get bad. The Mazda let things get only a bit squirrely yet kept a torque flowing, permitting me to energy out of ruts and deeper drifts while progressing (relatively) brazen progress.

It’s got personality, in other words, for improved and for worse. The plain physique structure that helps a CX zip by turns also telegraphs a lot of highway noise, and it can be loud on a freeway, generally over enlargement joints. Though easily trimmed, a interior feels rather spartan, and a infotainment complement could use a good user interface refurbish to a menu structure.

For drivers like us, Mazda will continue to rate highly; during a same time, a CX-5 has quirks adequate that we know because it’s still a niche brand. That said, if you’re one of a millions who will buy a tiny application this year, we owe it to yourself to test-drive one and see if you’re partial of a clique.


What we need to know about a 2017 Honda CR-V

Options: Premium package including active pushing arrangement with trade pointer recognition, exhilarated back seats, exhilarated steering wheel, windshield wiper de-icer ($1,395); essence red clear paint ($595); illumated doorway sill trim plates ($400); retractable load cover ($250); back fender ensure ($125)

Andrew Stoy

Andrew Stoy

– Digital editor Andrew Stoy has spent a past 20 years slashing on and essay about cars. He’s worked everywhere from play use bays to a domicile of a world’s largest automakers.

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On Sale: Now

Base Price: $31,920

As Tested Price: $34,685

Powertrain: 2.5-liter I4, AWD six-speed automatic

Output: 187 hp @ 6,000 rpm, 186 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm

Curb Weight: 3,693 lb

Fuel Economy: 24/30/26 mpg(EPA City/Hwy/Combined)

Pros: Good steering/brake feedback with tossable Mazda pushing feel

Cons: Stereo/navigation interface isn’t as discerning as it could be

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