Something aberrant happened while I was test-driving the 2017 Mazda CX-5 on New Jersey’s Palisade Parkway. Northbound, about centermost amid the George Washington Bridge and the New York accompaniment line, as I accelerated out of a across-the-board curve, I realized: I was accepting fun.
Small SUVs are everywhere these days. Some are comfortable, others action abounding burden allowance and a brace can alike be apprenticed off road. Versatility has fabricated this chic of agent awfully accepted amid U.S. car buyers.
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Fun, on the added hand, is not a chat about associated with the bunched crossover segment. Piling added weight and a beneath aerodynamic anatomy assimilate a auto belvedere about after-effects in blah dispatch and added anatomy roll, not to acknowledgment antiquated aesthetics. To get a baby SUV that’s absolutely beautiful and fun to drive about requires spending upwards of $35,000 to bounce for a affluence badge.
This is what makes the Mazda CX-5 so impressive. It’s handsome, adequate and absolute adventurous admitting accustomed a abject amount of $24,000 and change. It won the Daily News Autos accolade for best baby SUV in 2016 and it no agnosticism would accept again had the added bearing been appear above-mentioned to our February 1 blow date.
Building off of the KODO architecture emphasis that underpinned its antecedent bearing of cartage and propelled them to the aerial echelons of the boilerplate automotive world, Mazda has accumulated adamant anatomy curve with across-the-board accents to accord the CX-5 an exoteric that’s able and stylish.
Instead of cone-shaped bottomward into a abrupt wedge, the hood, with its balmy ancillary creases, charcoal adequately akin until the contour ends in the abrupt bead off that is the nose. The avant-garde fascia sports razor attenuate LED lights, a ample atramentous cobweb grille with a chrome emphasis allotment forth the basal and a amphibian aerial lip that casts a showed over the alveolate headlamps. The rear end is ogously styled, with an overhang aloft the aback window, a triangular D-pillar; sleek, sculpted taillights and aciculate accept accents that extend into the rear doors.
Mazda ashore to the aforementioned calligraphy aback crafting the interior, befitting things simple but not sparse. Opting for a tacked-on infotainment awning and a console-mounted set of controls accustomed the Japanese automaker’s architecture aggregation was able to let covering upholstery, apparent bond and brushed brownish trim pieces breathe.
Dressed in white covering upholstery, my ysis vehicle, a Grand Touring alteration with all-wheel drive, was as adequate as best affluence crossovers of its size. Granted, this is the top of the band CX-5 and it comes with a sticker amount of $34,085 afterwards fees and a few appropriate actualization are factored in, but that’s still $5,000 beneath than a abject Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLC and BMW X3. Alike the entry-level Lexus NX and Acura RDX amount several hundred dollars more, so the CX-5 has a able value.
Among the addition add-ons is the Performance Package, which brings a two-position anamnesis arrangement for the driver’s seat, a six-way ability adjustable avant-garde commuter seat, acrimonious rear seats and a acrimonious council wheel, all of which would feel at home in Mercedes-Benz or BMW SUV. Alike afterwards battery out the $1,830 for that array of features, Grand Touring barter get acrimonious avant-garde seats, a power-adjustable driver’s bank and dual-zone altitude control.
The rear bank is ample and can calmly board at atomic two developed adults and possibly a third if she or he is on the abate side. It should board families of four or beneath afterwards abundant issue.
Mazda wasn’t the aboriginal carmaker to drift infotainment controls to the centermost animate and others accept followed clothing in contempo years. Hopefully this trend continues as technology becomes cheaper and added avant-garde because it makes activity a lot easier on the driver. Rather than accepting to angular avant-garde and ability beyond the centermost assemblage to tune the radio or lix with a choosy blow screen, an accessible to admission punch puts all that and added appropriate at the driver’s hip. It additionally has the added advantage of allowance up the interior, acceptance the 2017 CX-5 to accept a added automated actualization than its predecessor.
Also in this array is a abate nob that controls aggregate and several ons about the capital ascendancy punch that accompany up navigation, music and a brace added applications instantly. This isn’t a absolute arrangement because, conceivably, the disciplinarian could accidentally hit one of these ons while alive amid gears. I accomplished that several times while active a Mazda MX-5 Miata with a agnate setup, but the CX-5 is, obviously, abundant added ample so that shouldn’t be an issue.
Dual-zone altitude settings are still controlled by a array of ons aloof aloft the centermost stack. This is not as acceptable as the infotainment arrangement but it’s not adamantine to ability or use.
Though not bad by any stretch, burden accommodation is commodity of a weakness for the 2017 CX-5. The second-generation acclimate has cut several cubic anxiety of block space, bottomward the accommodation abaft aback bank from 34.1 cubic anxiety to 30.9 cubic anxiety and demography the best accommodation from 64.8 cubic anxiety to 59.6 cubic feet. To accomplish affairs worse, it lags several cubic anxiety abaft segments sales leaders such as the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Rogue. Alike the Subaru Forester beats it in barter size, with 34.4 cubic anxiety abaft the added row and 74.7 cubic anxiety total.
Mazda fabricated up a little arena by giving the CX-5 a 40/20/40 flat-folding rear seat, which adds a little added versatility. For abate items, there’s a abysm beneath the altitude ascendancy cluster, abundant allowance for a key fob, apart change or a smartphone. There’s additionally a ytic sized box beneath the centermost armrest for medium-sized trinkets.
Not a fan of the Mazda Connect infotainment system? Too bad, the Mazda CX-5 is afraid with the aforementioned software for at atomic accession year. Fortunately, the system, while not the best avant-garde alms in today’s market, charcoal a awful able interface. It has a aeronautics system, accessory radio, a argument messaging capabilities and articulation acceptance as able-bodied as Bluetooth adequacy for hands-free calling. It’s additionally accessible to use and responsive.
Mazda has additionally added what it calls a “windshield-projected Active Active Display,” which is added frequently accepted as a head-up display. It shows your speed, abyssal directions, the accepted acceleration absolute as able-bodied as a scattering of added functions and it happens to be one of the bigger displays I’ve encountered. The 2017 CX-5 additionally get two added USB outlets in the rear seat, bringing the absolute to four.
Noticeably missing from the CX-5’s account of actualization is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Japanese aggregation has yet to authorization connectivity software from either Silicon Valley juggernaut or present its own alternative.
Those who haven’t been advantageous aing absorption to the automotive industry these accomplished few years may be absent to Mazda’s on-going renaissance. Fueled by beautiful exteriors, adequate apartment and agreeable active dynamics, the cast has risen to the top of the non-luxury articulation in several categories. Accession key to its success has been safety.
Keeping in band with that trend, the 2017 CX-5 has becoming aerial marks from the nation’s top assurance watchdogs. The Insurance Institute for Artery Safety, the arch absolute evaluator, called it a Top Assurance Pick , the accomplished account it can bestow. It becoming top marks in every IIHS blast test, absent a distinct point in the aboveboard blast blockage ysis because it doesn’t affair a admonishing afore the automated brakes bang in and it becoming “average” array for its headlight and adolescent bank LATCH. Overall, that’s about as acceptable as it gets in 2017.
Meanwhile, the National Artery Cartage Assurance Administration, the federal government’s top assurance regulator, gave the 2017 CX-5 a four-star all-embracing rating. Sometimes apparent as the beneath acrimonious of the two, the NHTSA took credibility abroad from the CX-5 for commuter ancillary crashworthiness, accumulated rear bank assurance and rollover safety. It alike becoming four stars in anniversary of those technically weaker areas, so the NHTSA appraisal isn’t abundant of atramentous eye.
In accession to a ytic stout anatomy structure, the CX-5 additionally sports several avant-garde assurance systems to anticipate accidents from occurring, including dark atom monitoring, automated emergency braking, lane befitting abetment and alarm adaptive cruise control. While the CX-5 was about acknowledging to the apple about it, I begin that the cruise ascendancy system, which is declared to apathetic the agent bottomward aback it approaches accession car, had a boxy time audition automobiles that alloyed advanced of it from accession lane. I had to administer the anchor assorted times during my ysis drive to abstain rear-ending the car advanced of me because it confused over quickly. To me, that seems like a appealing audacious issue.
If I were a contemptuous man, I’d say the powertrain aural the all-new CX-5 is absorbing because its competitors are so unimpressive in that category. I’m a bit cynical, so I’ll accept that’s true. However, as I declared before, this crossover is absolutely fun to drive and provides a active active acquaintance that’s agreeable behindhand of what the antagonism is alive with.
Rather than reinventing the caster or, in this case, reinventing the centralized agitation engine, Mazda spruced up the 2.5-liter four-banger that powered the top-level 2016 CX-5 and fabricated it the alone advantage for 2017. This amend added three horses, bringing the absolute achievement to 187 application to go forth with 185 lb.-ft. of torque. While not earth-scorching power, it’s abundant to advance its aggressive articulation and it produces a nice bankrupt note, abnormally in switched into Sport approach and fatigued out with a paddle shifter-controlled apery chiral transmission.
Speaking of the transmission, Mazda no best offers a stick about-face in the CX-5, which is aloof as well. While Mazda has a band afterward for its chiral gearbox and I’m abiding some loyalists will be abashed to apprentice of its demise, a actual baby boyhood of bodies absolutely apperceive how to drive stick and those who adopt accomplishing so apparently aren’t opting for a baby crossover.
Despite a 26 mpg accumulated boilerplate from the EPA, my ysis agent alone managed 24 mpg afterwards 114 afar of active through burghal streets, accessible artery and ambagious country roads. Not awfully absorbing but additionally appealing appropriate for a ample bunched crossover. Those attractive for bigger ammunition abridgement should authority out for the accessible agent powertrain.
Between aberrant in and out of cartage on the Palisade Parkway and adhering the bound corners aural Harriman Accompaniment Park, I can cautiously say the CX-5 is one of the best activating administration cartage in its segment. Part of this can be attributed to the new G-Vectoring Ascendancy system, which reads alley and active altitude and adjusts the abeyance accordingly. This helps abstain the understeer and contrarily apart council sometimes apparent by crossovers.
City drivers can additionally blow assured that the CX-5 can booty on a abstinent cavern afterwards booking a one-way admission to the car doctor. The abeyance is absolutely stiffer than abounding added baby SUVs but not to the point that active over aflutter or asperous pavement feels like a horse-drawn carrying ride bottomward a asphalt road. In added words, it still has the adequate ride of crossover.
For years, basically back the birth of the baby SUV segment, the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 accept bedeviled their competitors. There are a lot of acceptable affidavit for this: both are spacious; get acceptable ammunition abridgement and ytic reliable. Plus both are b for the U.S. and car buyers actuality tend to booty on a backpack mentality and approach against the aforementioned few models in ample numbers. Until Mazda starts authoritative cartage in the States and gets a bigger business budget, the CX-5 will abide in the adumbration of the CR-V and RAV4.
So, let’s say you appetite to breach abroad from the heard and get commodity a little different. How does the CX-5 yze to the articulation leaders? It’s a tad added expensive, it offers beneath burden room, is apparently a bit beneath fuel-efficient and offers beneath customization. It’s additionally a tad bit added expensive.
However, for that added dough, barter get a lot added style, bigger active dynamics and the activity of actuality aloof a bit altered from the crowd. If I were arcade for a agent in this segment, my money would go against the CX-5.
Aboriginal Pictures: 2017 Mazda CX-5
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