Mike West Road Test: 2016 MAZDA CX5

Maybe Mazda let me drive the 2016 CX-5 for a week so I would be even more jazzed for the completely new CX-5 that goes on sale later this year. The current model is a big seller for Mazda, so they don’t want to mess with a good thing. So for now a short review of the outgoing model and why it’s such a great car, about to get even better.

The best thing about the current 5 is that for an SUV, it’s a blast to drive. Mazda is really great at engineering cars that people look forward spending time in. Mazda gave me the 2.5-liter 184-horsepower version. You can downsize and go with the four-cylinder engine that makes 155 horsepower and still be happy.

Mazda, like other car makers has upped their game in the interior department with high quality plastics and super firm but comfortable seats. Like BMW, Mazda has a nav screen that looks like a small tablet on top of the dashboard. The system is controlled by a knob and it’s pretty easy to use. The screen is crisp and bright and never got washed out even direct sunlight.

The only ergonomic snafu, as least for a person of my stature were the interior door handles. It’s a long reach since they sit so far up front of the door.

If you are looking for a lot of cargo space, you might want to look at the Subaru Forrester. But the Mazda has others beat when it comes to rear seat leg room.

Mazda also has a lot of competitors beat when it comes to price. Base price is around $24,000. Add the touch screen and the price starts rising. The top of the Grand Touring model I drove with leather, moonroof, heated seats and a great sound system tapped out at around $34,000.

Gas mileage is a respectable 24 city and 30 highway with an average of 26 miles per gallon.

I love the 2016 CX-5 and I’m super excited to drive the all new model in a couple of months.

 

Mike West CBS

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