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Mazda CX-5

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.

COMPETITORS

Ford Escape

Honda CR-V

Hyundai Santa Fe Sport

Kia Sportage

new for 2013

The Mazda CX-5 is an all-new model for 2013 that launched in spring 2012.

SAFETY EQUIPMENT

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.

High Mileage

MPG

CITY 25–26

HWY 31–35

PRO

Fun to drive

Great fuel economy

Attractive styling

CON

Not very fast

Reluctant transmission

Base Price Range: $21,490–$27,840

SPECIFICATIONS

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

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