2018 Mazda CX-5 Review: All the Luxury You Will Ever Need

By -

Mazda CX-5 offers luxurious interior, charming driving experience and sub $35,000 price tag, fully-loaded.

The compact SUV segment is experiencing a level of popularity that no other type of vehicle has ever experienced. The family sedan is dead. Instead, everyone wants large hatchbacks with plastic cladding and two-inch lift kits masquerading as utility vehicles. If this statement comes across as cynical, that’s because it is. However, fortunately, manufacturers are quelling my cynicism by offering compact SUVs that are actually rather nice to live with and drive.

The Mazda CX-5 is one of those SUVs. Mazda has made large strides in refinement and adding a distinctly modern and luxurious feeling to their product line-up, and CX-5 is no exception. The proportions overall are tidy, with several key exterior details tightening up the look. Check out the integration of the grille into the headlight elements, for example. Then there is the airy, well-executed interior, but, more on that in a moment.

2018 Mazda CX-5 Review Jake Stumph

It’s modestly priced, too, with base models starting at just $24,350 and this fully-loaded Grand Touring all-wheel drive tester ringing in at a still very reasonable $34,685. Of course, you can hop into a Grand Touring AWD CX-5 for just $30,945, so this one has some extra goodies, but that GT trim already affords CX-5 a lavishly-appointed cabin, brimming with tech, so let’s jump right in and talk about it.

For that $30,945 figure, the Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD has a massive laundry list of features and equipment. The key items inside the CX-5 are the leather-bound interior, power seats which are heated, keyless entry with push button start, dual-zone climate control, and Mazda’s 7-inch center display, which has navigation, standard back-up camera and is paired to a 10-speaker Bose audio system.

Additionally, as previously mentioned, it’s jam-packed with safety tech. This includes radar-guided cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, lane departure warning and lane-keep assist, as well as a collision mitigation smart braking system. It also has eight airbags, as well as ABS and traction and stability control. Got all that? Good, because we’re not done, just yet.

This particular CX-5 has $3,740 worth of optional equipment. Some of it is fluff, dealer add-ons, like illuminated door sill trim plates for $400, and the rear bumper guard and cargo cover ($125, and $250, respectively), but some of it is well worth paying attention to. Like the color? Of course you do. That Soul Red Crystal Metallic paint job is an extra $595, and easily worth the expense. Last but not least is the “1GT” order code, which equips this CX-5 with the Premium Package. For an extra $1,395, this adds an upgraded head-up display unit with active driving condition an traffic updates, as well as heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel and a windshield wiper de-icer. This option is likely to be ticked on every single CX-5 on sale anywhere that even sees a few annual snow flurries.

2018 Mazda CX-5 Review Jake Stumph

There is just one powertrain combination for the 2018 CX-5, and that is the brand’s 2.5-liter, naturally-aspirated SkyActiv inline-four. It produces 187 horsepower and 186 lb-ft of torque, and is paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission.

Continue reading about the Mazda CX-5 on the next page.

Jake Stumph is a lifelong car enthusiast and racer, who has operated as the content editor for Internet Brands Automotive since 2015. He runs Corvette Forum, 6SpeedOnline, Honda-tech, and LS1tech, among other Internet Brands Automotive websites. His work has been featured by several other prominent automotive outlets, including Jalopnik and Autobytel.

He obtained a bachelor's degree in Political Science at the Ohio State University in 2013, then pivoted from covering politics and policy to writing about his automotive adventures, something that, he says, is a lot more fun. Since that time, he has established connections with most of the world's major automakers, as well as other key brands in the automotive industry.

He enjoys track days, drifting, and autocross, at least, when his cars are running right, which is uncommon. You can check out what he's up to on his YouTube channel, as well as his Jake Stumph Racing Instagram account. He can be reached via email at [email protected]

Comments ()