A new approach to building crossovers.
It may be an efficiency-minded crossover, but the Mazda CX-5 still demonstrates the dedication to driving enjoyment that pervades the entire Mazda lineup. The new model replaces the Ford Escape–based Tribute and the fuel-guzzling CX-7 as the company’s only five-seat crossover. Interior room is plentiful, and the elevated driving position provides excellent visibility. The swoopy exterior styling is backed up by great chassis dynamics that make the CX-5 genuinely fun to drive. The steering is accurate, the controls are all in the right places, and a relatively firm suspension helps the driver feel in control. The Skyactiv four-cylinder engine provides class-leading fuel economy, but the focus on efficiency and the modest power output of 155 hp from the only engine, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, mean the CX-5’s acceleration is merely adequate. A six-speed manual is offered on the base model, so most CX-5s will be equipped with a six-speed automatic transmission that prioritizes saving fuel over going quickly. There’s a long list of options for the Mazda crossover, including safety gear like blind-spot monitoring and a backup camera, push-button start, touch-screen navigation, and Bluetooth connectivity. The Mazda CX-5 is not only better than the Tribute and the CX-7 it replaces but has also become one of our favorite entries in the crossover segment.
Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
new for 2013
The Mazda CX-5 is an all-new model for 2013 that launched in spring 2012.
Front, side, and side curtain air bags; ABS with brake assist; traction and stability control; hill-start assist; and a tire-pressure monitoring system are standard. A blind-spot monitoring system is optional.
Fun to drive
Great fuel economy
Not very fast
Base Price Range: $21,490–$27,840
DRIVE: Front or 4-wheel
TRIM LEVELS: Sport, Touring, Grand Touring
BODY STYLE: Crossover, 5-passenger
ENGINE: 2.0L I-4, 155 hp, 150 lb-ft
TRANSMISSIONS: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic
PASSENGER VOLUME: 102.3–103.8 cu ft
CARGO SPACE: (behind rear/front seats) 34.1/64.8–65.4 cu ft