Under The Hood: 2017 Mazda CX-5

For all you zoom-zoom fanatics out there, Mazda has released its new 2017 CX-5 at a base MSRP of $24,045. While it’s not leading the mid-size SUV pack, it does hold its own, with an updated electronics and infotainment system, driving assist features, and luxury trim options. The 24 city/31 highway EPA-estimated fuel rating isn’t anything to dismiss either.

Performance Specs

Mazda packs a 187-horsepower, 185 lb-ft torque, 2.5L four-cylinder VVT engine under the hood of this 2017 model. Complete with SKYACTIV technology, the CX-5 offers a six-speed automatic or manual transmission, with AWD and FWD options. Consumers can choose from one of four trim packages; the most basic trim package is the Sport, followed by Touring, Grand Select, and finally, Grand Touring.

J.D. Power rated the CX-5 a three for initial quality overall. Earning a 4.5 for powertrain quality design — mechanically, the CX-5 did average in terms of features and accessories, body and interior, and overall quality. Not necessarily exceptional, the CX-5 presents a decent model under the Mazda name. The 2017 CX-5 has yet to be safety-rated.

Features and Packages

Standard Sport trim models offer the Mazda CONNECT infotainment system with voice command, all viewable on a seven-inch full color touchscreen. Equipped with a rearview camera, keyless entry, push button start, and Bluetooth capabilities, the CX-5 will surely take care of all your electronic needs. The steering wheel features audio controls for ease of access and safety concerns, and daytime running lights help illuminate your path. The LED headlights, dual exhaust, and 17-inch wheels all spruce up the CX-5’s exterior, giving it a mildly-sporty look. The electronic parking brake, cloth seats, and tire pressure monitoring system complete this trim level.

For those looking for a bit more luxury, the Grand Touring (MSRP $29,395) package offers similar features as those found in the Sport trim model, with some additional accents. Bose speakers accentuate the infotainment system, which is also SiriusXM radio capable. The sunroof allows you to get that convertible feeling without having to spend convertible money. LEDs are featured in the headlights, daytime running lights, fog lights, and taillights for all those dark and gloomy days and pitch-black nights. The leather seats are three-way heated in the front, and the rear liftgate is powered for ease of access. Along with the standard front and side air bags, the Grand Touring option also includes blind spot monitoring, Smart City Brake Support, and Lane Departure Warning. The technological features on the CX-5 will keep any driver safer on the road.

Mazda offers the 2017 CX-5 in the following colors: Sonic Silver Metallic, Deep Crystal Blue Mica, Eternal Blue Mica, Machine Gray Metallic, Soul Red Crystal Metallic, Jet Black Mica, and Snowflake White Pearl Mica.

Image via Mazda North American Operations

Pros and Cons

The 2017 Mazda CX-5 is a capable SUV priced for those purchasing on a budget. As you contemplate the competition, consider these pros and cons. Ultimately, your choice should be based on your highest priorities, and which vehicle fulfills your needs the best.

Edmunds found the handling and steering of the CX-5 to be enjoyable and the ride to be quieter on the highway than in previous models. Kelly Blue Book puts the five-year cost around $35,000. Ranked among its competitors, the CX-5 comes in at ninth on this five-year cost list, but it is only third behind the Jeep Wrangler and the Nissan Juke in terms of class horsepower.

At the same time, Consumer Reports did note that this model is 155 lbs heavier than its predecessor, and that the infotainment system requires some time investment to really become proficient. Due to its girth and limited horsepower, it’s not the fastest SUV out there. Obviously, there are much nicer interiors on the market in terms of quality, but considering what most consumers value in regard to capabilities, the CX-5 checks a lot of boxes.

So, if you’re considering a mid-size SUV, take a good look at the CX-5. It doesn’t possess as high quality of an interior as the Audi Q7 offers, nor is it as terrain-capable as the Jeep triplets — the Compass, Patriot, and Cherokee — but when it comes to available space, quality, and gas mileage, the CX-5 is a good vehicle.

You might not get those gawking stares next time you go to the grocery store, but you’ll be the one grinning after you’ve visited your mechanic. The CX-5 is a competent SUV, abreast of the technological times and keeping pace with fuel economy expectations.

Mazda’s CX-5 vs. The Competition

The CX-5, for good or bad, finds itself in a rather well-populated class. The mid-size SUV range could also arguably include crossovers, another segment which is booming in the automotive industry.

Other vehicles in the CX-5’s class include, as mentioned, the Jeep Patriot, Compass, and Cherokee, the Audi Q7, the Ford Escape, the GMC Terrain, the Honda CR-V, the Kia Sportage, the Chevy Equinox, the Subaru Forester and Crosstrek, the Mitsubishi Outlander, the Infiniti QX30, the Volkswagen Tiguan, the Hyundai Tucson, Nissan Rogue and Juke, the Toyota Rav4, and finally the Mercedes-Benz GLA.

Kelly Blue Book rates the CX-5 alongside the Acura MDX, with the Honda CR-V and Audi Q7 leading. In terms of gas mileage, the CX-5 falls to number 14 on the list, trailing behind the Subaru Forester, Chevy Equinox, Hyundai Tucson, and the Honda CR-V. Though not as powerful as its rivals, the Mazda CX-5 does offer competent interior and exterior quality for its price. Of course, if you’re looking to take the kids to school in style, the Mercedes-Benz GLA should be at the top of your list. The Volkswagen Tiguan and the Nissan Juke tie for smallest in terms of interior room, and the Tiguan is your best bet for an economy car.

The next time you find yourself at a dealership, consider the 2017 Mazda CX-5. The cost of buying and owning a car is not included in the sticker price; multitudes of other fees could potentially determine which vehicle is the best choice for you in the long run. The CX-5 offers a competent interior and exterior quality, a respectable gas mileage, and you won’t be racking up your credit card with pricey maintenance bills, as you might be with other vehicles. Mazda has come a long way since the zoom-zoom days of old, and the 2017 CX-5 is a competitive SUV capable of keeping up.

Image via Mazda North American Operations