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  • Anthony Sophinos
    Automotive Editor - December 22, 2017

    Expert Rating

    3.5 (Good)
    25 City / 31 Highway

    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.

    Mazda CX-5

    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).


    As the entry-level model, the $25,125 Sport comes standard with cloth seats, LED headlights, a seven-inch touchscreen and infotainment unit, Bluetooth capability and 17-inch wheels. That's not a bad collection of stuff for a base model.

    Buyers can get a heightened sense of security with the available $625 Sport i-Activsense Package, which equips the CX-5 with a suite of safety features that include lane departure warning, high beam control, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, and forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking. These items are standard on the rest of the CX-5 range.


    A step up from the Sport is the Touring, at $27,190.

    The Touring comes with all of the Sport's standard features, as well as the i-Activsense Package. It also includes 19-inch wheels, leatherette seats, six-way power drivers seat, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, and two rear USB ports.

    The Touring Preferred Package runs for $1,200 and adds an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bose 10-speaker sound system, power liftgate, power glass moonroof, and a navigation system.

    Grand Touring

    At $30,620 the Grand Touring is the CX-5 dressed to the nines. On top of what comes with the Touring and Touring Preferred Package, it also offers as standard a two-position memory driver's seat, six-way power passenger seat, leather seats, LED fog lights and taillights, and SiriusXM radio.

    The Grand Touring also includes active front lighting, a feature which uses steering inputs and vehicle speed to orient the headlights towards where the driver intends to travel.

    The optional $1,395 Grand Touring Premium Package comes with a head-up display, heated steering wheel, heated rear seats, and windshield-wiper de-icer.

    CarsDirect Tip

    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.

    Get your price on a Mazda CX-5 »

    Best Mazda Deals & Lease Offers In January

    Mazda's holiday offers have concluded but there are still deals to be found. The No Payment for 90 Days is no longer being offered, however, promotional financing rates have... View All Mazda Lease Deals


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