2017 MAZDA CX-5 GRAND TOURING AWD
If you can’t tell a compact Mazda CX-5 crossover apart from a subcompact CX-3 or a three-row CX-9, you’re not alone. The CX-5 is a superb crossover and a bona fide All-Star candidate despite Mazda’s Russian-doll design strategy with its small, medium, and large variants.
“There’s something new about the Mazda CX-5? Oh, right! It got a refresh!” Nelson observed. “It feels exactly the same as it used to, which is totally fine—a pleasurable, middle-of-the-road crossover with plenty of space and style.”
The stylish CX-5 scored big points with the judges for its spunky performance, agile handling, and affordable price tag, starting at only $31,635.
The dash is a touch somber, but it’s also impressive with logical controls and buttons in all the right places—we just wish the sunroof were more than an afterthought.
Especially with Sport mode engaged, we found Mazda’s middle-child crossover behaved exceedingly well, thanks in part to the capable AWD system—on twisty mountain roads it resembles a big hot hatch or a stealthy station wagon. “Mazda continues to impress with its dynamic packaging,” Floyd said. “This is one fine-driving crossover. I just wish it had a little more, you know, zoom. (Sorry, couldn’t help it.)”
The optional heated steering wheel and rear seats of the Premium package add $1,830 to the sticker but were an enormous plus up on Mount Charleston when temperatures hovered around freezing. In the end, the CX-5 is perfectly capable and eminently agreeable, but in the midst of this year’s outstanding All-Stars field, it unfortunately got a bit lost in the mix, like a sweet-natured soul adrift at an overachievers convention. On the bright side, we have one in our Four Season’s fleet to remind us how good the CX-5 is. — Ed Tahaney
A Fully Capable, Dynamically Fun Crossover
PRICE: $31,635/$33,785 (base/as tested) ENGINE: 2.5L DOHC 16-valve I-4/187 hp @ 6,000 rpm, 185 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic LAYOUT: 4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, AWD SUV EPA MILEAGE: 23/29 mpg (city/hwy) L x W x H: 179.1...