Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.
You can interpret our ratings in the following way:
5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.
4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.
3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.
2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.
1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.
2018 Mazda CX-5 OVERVIEW
The compact crossover segment is hotter than a summer bonfire, and all automakers are trying to cash in on the resulting sales bonanza. Mazda is no different, and their contender in the fray is the CX-5, a sharp-looking 'ute with a design notably more sophisticated than it's wallet-friendly price tag suggests. For 2018, the CX-5 is taught a few more tricks in the interest of keeping competitors at bay and consumers in the showroom.
What's New for 2018
Belying the traditionally glacial movement of automotive manufacturers, Mazda is already updating their still-green CX-5, introduced just this past spring.The 2018 CX-5 will now include as standard a leather-wrapped shift knob and steering wheel, as well as a blind-spot monitoring system that offers rear-cross traffic alert. Mazda also tweaked the 2.5-liter engine, adding cylinder deactivation.
Choosing Your Mazda CX-5
There isn't too much to get tripped over when choosing a 2018 CX-5.
Under the hood, all models use a 187-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder – part of Mazda's familiar Skyactiv engine family – gains cylinder deactivation, a first for a four-cylinder in the North American market. With this technology, the engine can run on just two cylinders, allowing for better fuel economy while cruising. The EPA rates the front-drive CX-5 as being good for 25 miles per gallon city, 31 highway and 28 combined. All-wheel drive is a $1,300 option across the board and drops those numbers to 24/30/26.
Simply pick a trim level – Sport, Touring, or Grand Touring – and decide whether or not the available AWD is worth the additional dollars. As you'll see, every CX-5 comes well equipped, even the base trim. The options list, meanwhile, is pleasantly short.
Each trim is available with a single options package, and aside from the standard no-charge color palette, there are three premium hues available: Snowflake White Pearl Mica ($200), Machine Gray Metallic ($300), and Mazda's go-to choice for concepts and show cars, the salacious Soul Red ($595).
If the entry-level Sport tickles your fancy, splurge on the Sport i-Activsense Package. The ridiculous name will be forgotten long before the included electronic safety nannies become obsolete, and they could prove invaluable in a potentially hairy situation. And at just $625, these features don't get much more affordable.
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