The Mazda CX-5 stormed into the compact crossover arena in the 2013-MY, adding a dynamic presence to an otherwise staid segment. The CX-5 gets a complete redesign for 2017. Nimble handling, new safety features, and a smooth, quiet ride in a luxurious cabin give the new car a competitive edge in a class that also includes the Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester, and Toyota RAV4.
The exterior styling maintains the dimensions of the outgoing model and refines its athletic appeal. Bulkier rear fenders flank a new, remote-operated power liftgate. To reduce road noise, Mazda’s engineers installed new door seals, underbody paneling, carpeted interior surfaces, and an extra-thick windshield. The introduction of fold-flat rear seats reduced the CX-5’s maximum cargo capacity from 64.8 cubic feet to 59.6 cubic feet.
The first generation’s base 2.0-liter engine (and its manual transmission) has been discontinued. The now-standard 2.5-liter four-banger delivers a slightly upgraded 187 horsepower (hp) and 185 pound-feet (lb.-ft.) of torque. The factory plans to add a 2.2-liter diesel option before the end of the calendar year. That would be a first for Mazda cars in North America, and it would come at a moment when diesel’s non-truck fortunes appear to be fading.
The 2.5’s combined fuel efficiency of 27 miles per gallon (mpg) with standard front-wheel drive is above average for the class. Opting for all-wheel drive at any trim level adds $1,300 to the sticker and drops the combo score to 26 mpg.
Fleet buyers can choose among Sport, Touring, Grand Select, and Grand Touring trims. Every CX-5 comes with a 7-inch, dash-mounted touchscreen, low-speed (up to 18 miles per hour) automatic braking, Bluetooth, and HD radio; Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration are conspicuously absent.
Upgrading to the Touring and Grand Select editions brings such amenities as synthetic leather upholstery, heated front seats, 19-inch wheels, adaptive headlights, dual-zone climate control, LED lights, power sunroof, and blind-spot and rear-cross-traffic alerts. The mid-level trims also offer two available option packages that feature a list of upgraded convenience and safety features.
Opting for the top-of-the-line Grand Touring trim brings all of the above plus a safety suite that includes adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and lane-keep assist, adaptive high beams, and assistive braking.
The gasoline-powered Mazda CX-5 is in showrooms now with a starting MSRP of $24,045. Stay tuned to BusinessFleet.com for updates on the diesel variant.