Interior / Exterior » 8
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STYLING | 8 out of 10
tastefully restrained sheetmetal
The previous Nagare (“wind-driven flow”) theme [is] supplanted by Kodo—a less flamboyant, more tasteful “soul of motion” appearance.
Car and Driver
significantly raises the benchmark with respect to its appearance
As the first design executed under Mazda's ‘Kodo: Soul of Motion’ design philosophy, the CX-5 sets a promising direction for future products. Less overwrought than previous smile-faced Mazdas, the CX-5 has a strong but not aggressive front end with a long hood and windshield pillars set further back than other crossovers—giving it more of a sports-car profile.
The upright five-point Mazda grille and swept-back headlights are distinctive, and the side profile stands out as well. Despite its raked tailgate and deep trailing roof spoiler, the CX-5 still tends to vanish in a row of similarly proportioned crossovers.
Calm and business-like is the way of this functional and attractive interior—which isn't nearly as overdesigned as some competitors’ dashboards, and that's both a pro and a con. The only down side of this design is at the center stack, where a lens over the climate controls can gather reflections during daytime driving--although it works better with the more upright look here than in the 2014 Mazda 6 sedan, which has a similar layout.
Mazda’s color palette remains stunningly basic: two reds, two blues, two whites, silver, gray, and black. The dash and center stack are black, surfaced in soft-touch plastics, with either black or “sand” beige upholstery (in cloth or leather), the latter providing a nice two-tone interior.
Instrument faces are some of the simplest we’ve seen, with black needles, black backgrounds, and white numbers. The ridiculous 160-mph speedometer aside, they work well.
The interior of the 2014 Mazda CX-5 is business-like rather than luxurious, but its svelte, modern exterior looks great from all angles.