The EPA rates the front-wheel drive versions of the 2013 CX-5 at a combined 29 mpg, which is remarkably good for this class of compact crossover. If you order it with the six-speed manual, you'll get a slightly higher highway rating (35 mpg vs 32 mpg) than with the six-speed automatic, but both versions get the same 26-mpg city rating.
Adding all-wheel drive (available only with the automatic) imposes a slight penalty: It's rated at 25 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, for a combined rating of 28 mpg--perhaps even better comparatively for compact crossovers with all-wheel drive.
Our test drive covered 140 miles in total, split between freeway travel and winding two-lane hilly roads. Our automatic CX-5 returned 24.6 for the first leg, up into the mountains around Los Angeles, and a more rewarding 30.3 mpg descending back into the L.A. basin.
Mazda also plans to introduce a 2.2-liter diesel engine for 2014, and while the company was coy about which vehicle it would power, odds are it’s the CX-5. It will be the first diesel-powered Mazda in three decades (the company sold a handful of diesel pickups in the early Eighties), and it should return fuel economy figures considerably higher than the gasoline model.