IT’S A BEST BUY BECAUSE:

The CX-5 boasts nimble handling, excellent steering feel, a classy interior, and a fine selection of available features in a cohesive, well-put-together package.

BUT…

Cargo space doesn’t rank with the best in the class, and some testers dislike the console-mounted infotainment-system controls.

WORTH NOTING:

The CX-5 utilizes Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control Plus system, which varies engine torque in response to steering inputs for better cornering performance and ride stability.

WHAT IS IT?

The CX-5 is Mazda’s 5-passenger compact crossover SUV. The base powertrain, which is standard in Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring models, is a 187-hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder. The Grand Touring Reserve and top-line Signature models come with a 250-hp turbocharged 2.5 four. A 168-hp 2.2-liter turbodiesel 4-cylinder was added late in the 2019 model year and is offered only on the Signature trim level. All engines are paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission. All CX-5s are available with all-wheel drive; the Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring offer the choice of front-wheel drive as well. Available safety features include forward collision warning and mitigation, lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and traffic-sign recognition. Other available features include a heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, head-up instrument display, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto functionality, auto-dimming rearview mirrors, two-position reclining rear seat backs, a power liftgate, and adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go functionality.

WHAT’S NEW?

The CX-5 lineup saw the addition of the Signature trim level and the turbo 2.5-liter and turbodiesel 2.2-liter engines last year. For 2020, there are a number of incremental updates, such as an off-road traction assist feature, a new touchscreen display on Grand Touring Reserve and Signature models, an increase of 10 lb-ft of torque on the turbo 2.5 engine, and higher level of standard equipment on the base model. We wouldn’t be surprised to see Mazda discontinue the CX-5’s diesel-engine option.

FUEL ECONOMY

With the base engine, the CX-5 is EPA-rated at 25 mpg city/31 highway with front-wheel drive and 24/30 with all-wheel drive. The turbo engine, which comes only with AWD, is rated at 22/27. The diesel engine also comes solely with AWD and is rated at 27/30. In Consumer Guide® testing, an all-wheel-drive Grand Touring with the base engine returned 24.5 mpg in 55-percent highway driving, a Signature averaged 22.8 in 55-percent city driving, and a diesel-engine Signature averaged 31.1 mpg in 90-percent highway driving.

VALUE IN CLASS

The Mazda CX-5 doesn’t offer quite as much cargo space as many class competitors, but it has long been a Consumer Guide® favorite for its impressive fuel economy, fun-to-drive character, competitive pricing, and upscale cabin trim in top-line models. You’ll have to step up to the pricey trim levels to get it, but the gutsy turbocharged 2.5 engine supplies satisfying acceleration.

BASE PRICE RANGE $25,090 – $37,055
BODY STYLES 4-Door Wagon
AVAILABLE ENGINES 187-HP, 2.5-Liter 4-Cyl.; Turbocharged 250-HP, 2.5-Liter 4-Cyl.; 168-HP, 2.2-Liter Turbodiesel 4-Cyl.
DRIVE WHEELS Front or All-Wheel Drive
BUILT IN Japan
EPA FUEL-ECONOMY RANGE 22-31 MPG

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