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FEATURES | 7 out of 10
Mazda has brought “class-above” features down a level
A 5.8-inch touchscreen is standard fare and can be commanded by a round multifunction controller located on the console. Bluetooth and the essential USB and auxiliary connections are provided.
Car and Driver
we think the base vehicle is actually the sweet deal of the bunch
an attractive array of standards and options
The 2013 Mazda CX-5 comes in three trim levels: the base Sport, the mid-level Touring (which is expected to make up the bulk of sales), and the luxurious Grand Touring. To Mazda’s credit, it offers all-wheel drive on all three models. CX-5 Sport models all come with the 2.0-liter engine, while Touring and Grand Touring models step up to the 2.5-liter engine.
The Sport includes a tilting and telescoping steering wheel with audio controls, remote keyless entry, a Start button, power windows and doors, and 17-inch alloy wheels (on the automatic model). An optional Bluetooth package for the Sport only adds Bluetooth pairing, an in-dash color monitor, HD radio, and Bluetooth controls on the steering wheel. Step up to the Touring, and in addition to the 2.5-liter engine you get a six-way power driver’s seat, blind-spot monitoring, a 5.8-inch in-dash touch screen with a reversing camera, HD radio, Bluetooth phone and audio pairing, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. Then at the top of the lineup, the Grand Touring offers larger 19-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, an eight-way power driver’s seat with lumbar support, heated front seats, the nine-speaker Bose audio system and power moonroof as standard, rain-sensing wipers, and auto-on/off headlights.
Options are limited to a Bluetooth Audio Package on the Sport; a Bose sound and moonroof package on the Touring, and Technology packages on the Touring and Grand Touring—as well as a few other a la carte options such as remote start and rear parking sensors.
The new touch screen system that you get throughout most of the lineup includes Bluetooth, HD Radio, voice command, text-message audio delivery, and Pandora compatibility. Essentially it's the same as the system in the 2014 Mazda 6—minus the Command Controller—and it's adequate but far from ideal. As we noted in that model it can be surprisingly sluggish, and the menu structure is odd. Voice commands are included, too; but don't expect to have a conversation with it, Siri-style.
The base 2014 Mazda CX-5 Sport is a great deal if you get the manual transmission, but the infotainment interface leaves lots to be desired.