Mazda got serious about its compact crossover game in 2013 with the CX-5, which replaced the Ford Escape-based Tribute. A second-generation CX-5 arrived in 2017.
What's New / Key Changes from Last Year
For 2018, Mazda has reworked the CX-5's engines to reduce friction and improve torque output. In addition, the uplevel 2.5L engine gets the option of fuel-saving cylinder deactivation.
The entry-level GX gains new standard features, mostly in the safety arena, which we'll detail below in the standard features section.
The most notable new option is the i-Activesense package, bundling more advanced driver assists with pedestrian detection.
Mazda offers the CX-5 in GX, GS and GT trims. GX starts with a 2.0L four-cylinder with a six-speed manual transmission. Option a GX to the six-speed automatic and it comes with a 2.5L engine; that combination is standard elsewhere across the range. GX and GS start with front-wheel drive; AWD is optional both and standard in the GT.
The Mazda CX-5's new standard features come in the form of safety kit, including city-speed collision detection and automatic braking, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, automatic on/off headlights and rain-sensing wipers, all of which migrate down from the GS trim.
On the outside, the Mazda CX-5 wears 17-inch alloy wheels and tires, keyless entry, LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, and heated/power-adjustable side mirrors.
Inside, you get push-button engine start, tilt-and-telescopic steering, cruise control, a four-speaker stereo, a 7.0-inch infotainment display, Bluetooth, and air conditioning.
GS trim adds a power tailgate, leatherette upholstery, heated front seats, a power driver's seat, a leather-trimmed and heated steering wheel, a leather-trimmed shifter, a front wiper de-icer, a 6-speaker stereo, auto-leveling headlights, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, garage door opener, a rear centre armrest with cupholders, and remote-folding rear seats.
GT builds on GS with the comfort package (detailed below, under key options), and adds 19-inch wheels and tires, leather upholstery, a 10-way power driver's seat with memory, a 6-way power front passenger seat, a 10-speaker stereo, navigation, gloss black exterior trim, adaptive headlights, LED taillights and fog lights, a stitched front centre console, and a lined glove box.
The new i-Activesense package is offered in GX and GS trims, comprising radar cruise control with stop-and-go, all-speed collision avoidance, lane departure warning with lane keep assist, automatic high beams, and a colour multi-info display.
In the GT, those features come as part of the tech package, which also brings traffic sign recognition, a head-up display, and satellite radio.
GS buyers can also add a comfort package of a sunroof, dual-zone climate controls, rear passenger vents, and passive keyless entry.
Mazda's fuel consumption estimates are 9.7/7.7 L/100 km (city/highway) with the 2.0L engine and six-speed stickshift. The 2.5L/automatic/FWD combo is rated 9.7/7.8. Estimates for a 2.5L/AWD model are 10.2/8.2, or 9.8/7.9 L/100 km with an optional cylinder deactivation system.
The Mazda CX-5 competes in a wide field of compact crossovers, including the Honda CR-V, Toyota's RAV4, the Nissan Rogue, GM's Chevrolet Equinox and GMC Terrain twins, the Hyundai Tucson, Kia's Sportage, Ford's Escape, and the Subaru Forester.