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2017 Mazda CX-5 test drive: A very sporty utility vehicle

The all-new Mazda CX-5 is a hero Car.

It’s a driving machine in a segment where they’re Not presupposed to exist: compact crossovers. Just Like The model it replaces, it has that distinctive Mazda groove that’s missing from many mainstream autos as of late. Not people are on the lookout for that, however for those struggling to present in to the necessity for a utility car, it’s like discovering a hot bath and a contemporary pizza at the finish of a solo expedition to the South Pole.

The Difference this time round is that it’s wrapped in a warm blanket of refinement that’s matched with the aid of few, if any, of its competitors. The outdated CX-5 was once so enthusiastic about lightness and driver involvement that it was somewhat rough around the edges, with a noisy cabin trimmed in so-so materials. The automaker is now on a “Mazda Top Rate” kick that used to be launched with the larger CX-9 to carve out a distinct segment in a good market. And it’s walking the stroll, the best way it always has with Zoom-Zoom.

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A probably the greatest $30,355 CX-5 Grand Visiting comes furnished as properly as many mid-level luxury autos, together with ones from Lexus, Infiniti, Acura, Buick and one of the vital low-putting fruit from the eu brands. The upholstery on the dashboard, doors and seats appears to be like and feels as high-finish as the sleek and chic exterior styling, and the controls operate with the precision and high quality of a Seiko. The doorways even ship a satisfying “thunk” Whilst You close them. The entry-level CX-5, at a beginning worth of $25,985, is simply as impressive relative to its friends.

It also has all the latest know-how any person expects, short of a robo-chauffeur. That You Would Be Able To get it with everything from automatic emergency brakes and radar cruise regulate to lane departure warning and a head-up show. Mazda’s infotainment system doesn’t have one of the best person interface — and its touchscreen is disabled when the automobile is shifting, forcing you to use a kind of much more distracting knob controls — however it is equipped with the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration systems, which make the whole thing they’re loaded into a lot better.


All CX-5s come with a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that promises 187 hp to the entrance wheels, or to all 4 for an additional $1,300. It’s No Longer as effective or efficient as one of the turbocharged motors available in the market these days, but its 29 mpg (AWD) to 31 mpg (FWD) highway fuel economy rating is suitable and trustworthy.

The engine is also a revvy pleasure and is derived with a simple, unfussy, six-velocity automated transmission that suits the CX-5 neatly. It Usually Is as comfortable as the best of the CUV breed, but it’s happiest Whilst You ask it to play.

The Skinny-rimmed steerage wheel, which feels so much Just Like The one in a Miata, elicits fast responses. In All Probability too fast for some. My domestic complained a few instances about how the CX-5 darted into activates a winding street, but it felt great from the place I was sitting.

The managing is enhanced by means of a characteristic called G-Vectoring, which makes use of the throttle to help get the auto thru curves neutrally. When You begin to flip, it imperceptibly eases off the ability to shift the burden forward and provides the entrance tires extra grip (imagine what it looks like While You slam on the brakes), and then will increase it as you go in the course of the curve to assist stability the automobile. That You May’t flip it off, so a back-to-back comparability of its effectiveness isn’t possible, nevertheless it positive doesn’t seem to harm.

The CX-5’s primary aggressive shortcoming is that it’s No Longer very lengthy. The again seat and cargo space are smaller than the Honda CR-V’s, Chevy Equinox’s and Toyota Rav4’s, to name a couple of, however that’s most likely why it’s so much extra fun to power.

Mazda’s a small firm that realizes it needs to make vehicles that stand out from the gang, and the CX-5 is truly distinguished.


2017 Mazda CX-5

Base value: $25,985

As tested: $34,085

Sort: All-wheel-power 5-passenger SUV

Engine: 2.5-liter 4-cylinder

Power: 187 hp, 185 lb-toes

Transmission: 6-speed computerized

MPG: 23 metropolis, 29 hwy

Gary Gastelu is’s Automobile Editor.

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