A replacement for the Tribute, the CX-5 slots at the bottom of Mazda's SUV lineup. With five seats and front- or all-wheel drive, it's one of the few small SUVs to offer a manual transmission. Mazda's SkyActiv four-cylinder delivers better gas mileage than competitors such as the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Chevrolet Equinox.
Trim levels for the CX-5 are the Sport, Touring and Grand Touring.
The first vehicle to adopt Mazda's "Kodo" design language from 2010's Shinari concept, the CX-5 takes the brand's now-signature smiling grille and shapes it into a five-point scowl. Dual tailpipes, a steeply raked rear window and a prominent roof spoiler distinguish the rear.
Seventeen-inch wheels are standard. Fog lights, adaptive xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights and 19-inch wheels are optional.
The CX-5's simple dashboard has white backlit gauges and a vertical panel housing the center controls. The steering wheel has tilt and telescoping adjustments, as well as redundant audio controls. Heated leather seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power driver's seat and three-stage heated seats are optional.
The backseat folds with releases in the seatbacks and cargo area. An optional 40/20/40-split folding seat allows the center section to fold for narrow cargo with child-safety seats in the outboard seats. Cargo room behind the second row totals 34.1 cubic feet, with roughly 65 cubic feet of maximum space with the seats folded. Those are competitive figures, albeit short of the roomy CR-V and RAV4.
Under the Hood
The CX-5 is the second car to get Mazda's SkyActiv 2.0-liter four-cylinder, which also powers the Mazda3. In the CX-5 it makes 155 horsepower and 150 pounds-feet of torque, working through a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission in front-drive models. The all-wheel-drive CX-5 gets the automatic. EPA fuel-economy estimates range from 26/33 mpg city/highway with the stick shift to 25/30 mpg for the all-wheel-drive automatic.
Standard safety features include six airbags, antilock brakes and an electronic stability system. Adaptive xenon high-intensity-discharge headlights and a blind spot warning system are optional.
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