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2013 Mazda CX-5: Compact Crossover Makes North American Debut At 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show


2013 Mazda CX-5 compact crossover revealed at Los Angeles Auto Show, Nov 2011

2013 Mazda CX-5 compact crossover revealed at Los Angeles Auto Show, Nov 2011

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With its North American debut at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show, the stylish new 2013 Mazda CX-5 compact crossover may just be what Mazda needs to compete against the all-new 2013 Ford Escape. The CX-5 is the long-overdue replacement for the Mazda Tribute.

While our sister publication TheCarConnection has all the specs and more details straight from the auto show floor, it is worth taking a look here at what the 2013 Mazda CX-5 offers family car buyers that makes it a value proposition.

2013 Mazda CX-5 compact crossover revealed at Los Angeles Auto Show, Nov 2011

2013 Mazda CX-5 compact crossover revealed at Los Angeles Auto Show, Nov 2011

Enlarge Photo

First, there’s the look itself. The 2013 Mazda CX-5, first previewed before the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show, is attractive and inviting.

Next, there’s the performance factor, not an insignificant one, indeed.  The small crossover appears to be the kind of fun-to-drive vehicle Mazda is known for, that “Zoom-zoom” driving characteristic that Mazda buyers go for.  But does it deliver? Looking at the specifics, the new CX-5 achieves 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque from its new 2.0-liter SkyActiv-G engine, while also delivering up to 33 mpg highway fuel economy.

2013 Mazda CX-5 compact crossover on test drive, Southern California, Nov 2011

2013 Mazda CX-5 compact crossover on test drive, Southern California, Nov 2011

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In fact, in a first-drive report of the all-new compact crossover, TheCarConnection’s John Voelcker calls the 2013 Mazda CX-5 “a handsome, spacious entry in the heart of the compact crossover field, and it provides handling that’s second to none and fuel economy that promises to be at or near the top of the class.”

Much of this is due to the CX-5 being a lighter vehicle, coming in at 3,200 pounds for a front-wheel drive (FWD) model with a six-speed manual transmission. In all-wheel-drive configuration with a six-speed automatic, the CX-5 is still quite lean at 3,426 pounds.

One of the drawbacks noted in the first drive, however, is that the CX-5 feels “underpowered at the points where you need lots of torque: entering or merging with traffic safely, passing on a two-lane road, and so forth.”

But as for fuel economy, GreenCarReports is impressed with real-world numbers achieved during testing of an all-wheel-drive model. Read all about it here.

2013 Mazda CX-5 compact crossover revealed at Los Angeles Auto Show, Nov 2011

2013 Mazda CX-5 compact crossover revealed at Los Angeles Auto Show, Nov 2011

Enlarge Photo

As for interior room, let’s just say that it’s more than generous. Mazda says the CX-5 is one of the roomiest small crossovers in the segment, providing 40.1 inches of headroom for driver and front passenger and 39.0 inches in the rear in models equipped without a moonroof. Front legroom is 41.1 inches. Second-row occupants have 39.3 inches of legroom and 2.6 inches of knee clearance.  

Six- and eight-way power-adjustable seats are standard in all but the entry-level models.

In his first-drive report, Voelcker comments that the doors open wide, seats are spacious and comfortable enough for four six-foot adults, and the seating height is lower than the tallest SUVs. In fact, it was “the perfect height,” and adds to the CX-5’s sporty feel.

2013 Mazda CX-5 compact crossover on test drive, Southern California, Nov 2011

2013 Mazda CX-5 compact crossover on test drive, Southern California, Nov 2011

Enlarge Photo

Rear cargo room is “cavernous” and “clever,” in Mazda’s words, thanks to a three-piece independent 40/20/40-split fold-flat second row. The left and right seats fold down via a single-action topside button, while the middle seat is feed by a looped handle to also fold flat, a segment first.


 
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