2017 Mazda CX-5 Review

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6.6
on a scale of 1 to 10
Styling
8.0
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Performance
6.0
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Comfort & Quality
6.0
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Features
6.0
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Fuel Economy
7.0
Expert Rating
2017
The Car Connection
2017
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Aaron Cole Aaron Cole Managing Editor

The 2017 Mazda CX-5 takes a lot of small steps forward, but are any of them big enough changes to sway buyers?

The 2017 Mazda CX-5 is new this year, and improves upon last year's model with a better interior and exterior look, quieter ride, a new-ish standard engine, and a coming turbodiesel that could be among the leaders for small crossovers in highway mileage. It's offered in Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring trims with varying levels of creature comforts.

It earns a 6.6 overall on our scale, although that score is likely to rise once official crash data is figured in. Keep an eye on this space, as those results are due any day now. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Styling and performance

Mazda's ethos of performance and style is in full view here, again. The CX-5 looks better than many of its boxy competitors without overworked lines; and it's a more enjoyable crossover to drive. While we had our gripes with the outgoing model, style and driveability weren't on that list.

The new CX-5 isn't a huge departure from the outgoing model. The shape is instantly recognizable, and its trapezoidal grille is still front and center. Instead, subtle changes to the sheet metal bends along the sides, chrome accents below the window and the grille, and a floating badge on a slightly canted grille are the best indications that you're driving Mazda's latest and greatest.

Inside, the CX-5 borrows heavily from the CX-9 and that's a good thing. It's an upscale interior without commanding luxury money, and little things like the steering wheel have been improved.

Under the hood, Mazda's argument for the new car is more nuanced. A reworked 2.5-liter inline-4 is standard on all models, a turbodiesel will appear in the fall (something we've heard that before). The new engine makes 187 horsepower, a modest 3 hp improvement over the last model, and is mated to a 6-speed automatic only—no more manual.

In general, performance is sharp and the steering is precise. It's the most fun we've had in a compact crossover—not a high bar to begin with, but we appreciate the effort.

Comfort, safety and features

The CX-5 was among the smallest in its class, and the new version doesn't change that much. Five adults will fit within the CX-5, thanks to a little more shoulder room in a slightly wider track. Scalloped seats and enough leg room in the back make it possible for 6-footers to sit behind 6-footers, although cargo capacity is behind others with only 31 cubes fitting in when all the seats are up.

Mazda's attention to detail would make any accountant proud. The automaker's seek-and-destroy mission for nasty sounds resulted in a cabin that's quiet and calm, although not quite a sensory-deprivation chamber like a Lexus or Toyota.

No official safety data is available yet, but Mazda's track record in building five-star, Top Safety Pick cars should be encouraging.

All versions of the CX-5 are outfitted with good standard equipment, including a 7.0-inch touchscreen for infotainment that doesn't have Apple CarPlay or Android Auto yet, but we expect that to change soon.

Grand Touring models can be decked with leather seating, power liftgate, an active safety suite, and heated seats for front and rear passengers. Pricing starts in line with the other guys, at $24,985 for front-drive Sport models and can run up to just over $34,000 for a fully loaded Grand Touring model with all-wheel drive.

The 2017 Mazda CX-5 will arrive in dealers at the end of March.

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October 27, 2016
2016 Mazda CX-5 AWD 4-Door Automatic Grand Touring

Sporty CX5 Feel

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Nice improved CX5, firm ride, not stiff or rugged just firm, sporty-firm! Gas mileage if yur riding smart is 26.5-27, if normal riding with the occasional sport/has pusher than 24 mph. Very little neg info... + More »
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May 21, 2016
2016 Mazda CX-5 2016.5 AWD 4-Door Automatic Sport

The car is horrible, noisy, bumpy-riding, totally uncomfortable, and the radio-sound system isn't as good ad my 1958 chevy truck was.

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The poorest riding car ever made. Over priced horrible car.
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May 2, 2016
2016 Mazda CX-5 FWD 4-Door Automatic Touring

Excellent vehicle - options marginal

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We read about the vehicle before we purchased it and have been very pleased. We were misled by Oxmoor Mazda in Louisville KY about the availability of Sirius radio on the model we chose. That was the only... + More »
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2017 Mazda CX-5 Pricing Insights

  • 2017 CX-5 arriving now; 2016.5 still abundant
  • Rebate increases to $2,000 on 2016.5
  • Lease a 2016.5 from $249 for 36 months
  • 0% APR for 60 months on 2016.5
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