The new Mazda CX-5 crossover SUV is nimble, but delivers a great ride. The look is modern and sleek. Inside, there is more room than expected. Photos courtesy of Mazda USA.
By Vince Bodiford
Driving still matters to Mazda
While the automotive world is chasing a dream of autonomous self-driving cars, Mazda is sticking to the idea that many buyers want to buy cars that look and drive great. Mazda’s marketing language underscores that, saying “Driving Matters: it always has and always will.”
Mazda delivers on that promise in the new 2018 Mazda CX-5 Crossover. Our week-long test revealed some nice updates from the prior year, and proved that driving really does matter, especially in our cross-state drive and back. The CX-5 looks and drives great – and we got several complements about it, especially its “soul red crystal metallic” paint – which is really candy-apple red. Beautiful paint.
For the 2018 model year, Mazda CX-5 is employing cylinder-deactivation technology, safety and refinement updates at all trim levels and carries features such as an available head-up display and standard LED headlights and tail lights.
Mazda CX-5’s SKYACTIV-G 2.5 engine has received small updates to reduce internal friction and the amount customers will spend on fuel, but no feature stands out more than its cylinder-deactivation technology. The engine has the ability to shut down the two outside cylinders at cruising speeds to maximize efficiency. Mazda is the only automaker to equip a four-cylinder engine with cylinder deactivation in North America.
Additional newly standard equipment includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel and leather-wrapped shift knob. On the safety front, Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert comes standard across all models. All features were previously available on mid-level CX-5 Touring models and above.
The entry-level CX-5 Sport features cloth upholstery, standard LED headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, an electronic parking brake, MAZDA CONNECT infotainment with a 7-inch screen and Bluetooth audio streaming and phone pairing as standard, among a much longer list of features. In its newly available Sport i-ACTIVSENSE Package, CX-5 adds High Beam Control, Lane Departure Warning, Lane-Keep Assist, Mazda Radar Cruise Control, Smart Brake Support, rain-sensing windshield wipers and automatic on/off headlights.
The mid-trim CX-5 Touring adds standard 19-inch allow wheels for 2018 and the full i-ACTIVSENSE suite of safety features. Mazda CX-5 Touring upgrades to leatherette-upholstered seats and Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry. Additional features in CX-5 Touring include heated front seats, 6-way power adjustable driver’s seat, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear air condition vents and two rear USB ports for charging smartphones or tablets.
The available Touring Preferred Package includes auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink, BOSE10-speaker audio sound system with Centerpoint2 and AudioPilot2, navigation, a power glass moonroof and a power liftgate.
Further building on the Touring Preferred Package, the top-trim CX-5 Grand Touring receives new 2-position memory driver’s seat and 6-way power adjustable passenger seat. CX-5 Grand Touring comes standard with leather-trimmed seats, LED fog lights and tail lights, Adaptive Front-lighting System and SiriusXM satellite radio with 4-month trial subscription. The available Grand Touring Premium Package includes windshield-projected Active Driving Display head-up unit with Traffic Sign Recognition, heated steering wheel, heated second-row outboard seats and windshield wiper de-icer.
All CX-5 models come with a standard 2.5-liter SKYACTIV-G engine that delivers 187-bhp and 186 lb-ft of torque, paired to the SKYACTIV-DRIVE 6-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard; Mazda’s predictive i-ACTIV all-wheel drive is available on every trim level.
Mazda likes to say they build vehicles that inspire, excite and—most of all— bring people joy. They say every Mazda is beautiful, functional and has advanced safety technology to help give the driver more confidence behind the wheel – and with this road test, we agree.
for more information, see your local Mazda dealer, or visit MazdaUSA.com