2018 Mazda CX-5 Review: All the Luxury You Will Ever Need
Comfortable and luxurious, where you actually spend your time.
While the CX-5 is decently handsome on the outside, it’s the inside where the action is happening. The two-tone leather interior belies its price point, and, frankly, is more on-par with the quality of the Audi Q3 than BMW’s own X1 or X2, for example.
That blend of color and textures gives the cabin an airy, spacious feeling, even amidst the overcast weather during my drive.
In fact, the only grievances worth noting with the CX-5 is that, despite it’s notable luxury trappings and intentions, certain components, take the steering wheel, for example, appear to be lifted straight from its stablemates, like the Mazda MX-5 Miata.
Is this a bad thing? Well, that depends on you. Strengthening the family ties through perceived similarities is a common trend in the auto industry right now, especially in the luxury market.
Beyond that, CX-5 makes excellent use of available space, offering a comfortable ride for four 6-foot-plus-tall passengers, and a fifth, as well, in a pinch. The trunk space is also commendably commodious.
Combine that spaciousness with features like heated seats, front and rear, and a relatively intuitive infotainment system and the CX-5 makes for an excellent road-tripper.
On the road
CX-5 proved to be a very adept cruiser, returning an overall average of 27 MPG, and freeway stretches regularly saw the trip meter indicating in excess of 32 MPG.
Of course, the trade-off is that the while the naturally-aspirated four-cylinder engine is quite frugal, it’s also rather pokey. Combine that with a 6-speed transmission geared towards refinement and fuel efficiency and the CX-5 is, frankly, a bit underwhelming off the mark.
For 2019, Mazda is offering an all-new, turbocharged version of that 2.5-liter mill, good for 250 horses, and, crucially, a juicy 310 lb-ft of torque, for ample passing prowess.
This trade-off in the fuel economy vs. performance department is going to depend on you, the buyer. This is a common debate as vehicles are going turbocharged, en masse. Acceleration and performance increased, but real world fuel economy, especially around town tends to suffer. Mazda is selling both engine options concurrently, so try both and see which you prefer.
In all other aspects, the CX-5 proved to be an absolute charmer. Every passenger who rode in it was gobsmacked by the quality and value it offers. The comfortable, relaxing ride, impressive real world fuel economy, and strong list of standard and available content makes CX-5 a surefire winner for Mazda.