San Antonio.- When you hear or see car commercials on television or radio, the phrase “all new” comes up often, but rarely does the vehicle really have enough upgrades to be really all new.
From the chassis architecture on up, this Mazda does not share components with any existing or previous Mazda models. The new design language is called “Kodo” which loosely means “Soul of Motion.” This design theme has been seen on several Mazda sports car concepts, and its aggressive body using sculpted, sleek and aggressive body accents works really well in this compact crossover vehicle.
The CX-5 is also the first to receive the full line of its patented Skyactiv Technology components, incorporating an all-new lightweight body and chassis and drivetrains. The idea is to build lighter, more efficient cars that get better mpg, yet are still fun to drive.
Under the hood the CX-5 has a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine rated at 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. This little engine that could, has an all-aluminum body, it uses direct injection, not single but double overhead cams and uses variable intake and exhaust valve timing to get the most out of this engine.
You have a choice of a standard six-speed manual transmission and a very reactive six-speed automatic that helps you “get up and go” without much effort. It also features a manual shift mode that allows you to rev-match when you downshift, making it that much more fun.
I personally like a vehicle with All Wheel Drive. Front-wheel drive is standard, but you can also get just about any model with all-wheel drive if you are willing to pay for the upgrade. Though it is fun to drive, it is not going to drop your head back when you step on the gas…taking just over nine seconds to hit 60 miles an hour. The trade off in well less than stellar acceleration is that you get some impressive fuel economy. The EPA rates the 2013 Mazda CX-5 at 25 city/31 highway and 28 mpg combined, which is at the top of the class.
On the inside, I have no complaints. If you are looking for variety when it comes to body styles, forget it, you only get the four-door hatchback with two rows of seats. Four decent sized adults or two adults and three kids do fine, even without the standard third row seats offered in most crossovers and SUVs.
The Mazda offers 34.1 cubic feet of cargo space with all seats up, and 65.4 cubic feet with all its seats folded. The CX-5 has a nice fit and finish that make it very attractive on the inside using nice upholstery and high quality trims that bring it up a notch above the standard SUV.
If you are willing to drop the extra coins, you can get some nice flashy aluminum-looking trim on the instrument/dash panels, leather seats, and some nice high-end audio gear, a navigation system and a nice sized moon roof.
Of course you get the usual compliment of safety features like advanced dual front airbags, front side-impact airbags, and front and rear side curtain airbags with rollover protection. Rear child safety seat anchors and tethers and a tire pressure monitoring, antilock brakes, dynamic stability control, daytime running lights a n d traction control systems are all standard on all models as well.
You can spend from a little over $28,000 for the base model to just under $32,000 for the totally rigged out version. Personally I would go for the Grand Touring AWD model, which is what I got for the week. Power, control, fun to drive, plenty of space and a nice sporty look that is going to force your neighbor to take a second look of envy as you drive by.