When a car company has a good thing going even with a model that is long in the tooth, you don’t want to mess things up. Mazda aced the test with the all new CX-5 compact SUV.

My family spent a week in the San Juan islands driving the Eternal Blue Grand Touring AWD edition. We packed a lot of stuff in the rear hatch, along with four adults and a baby seat. While it was a little cramped for rear passengers(with the exception of our grandkid)the CX-5 was a joy to drive.

Unless you are a car person, or own the previous generation CX-5 you may not notice much difference unless they were parked side by side. I happen to love the current design language or every Mazda sport-ute. The CX-5 looks like an athlete in perpetual motion.

The interior is even more beautiful and refined than the previous generation with a bunch of soft touch material. High quality stitching and bright work and a nice and functional infotainment screen. Add to that comfy seats with an 8-way adjustable drivers seat, heated driver and passenger seats and steering wheel and a power moonroof and you are good to go. The only feature missing was Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Maybe next year.

Speaking of going The SKYATIV four-cylinder engine makes 187-horsepower. While it’s not whiplash inducing, I found it to be plenty adequate even with four plus people zoom zooming down the highway. The engineers from Mazda say that throttle response has been tweaked. I’ll take their word for it.

Here’s what else has been definitely been  tweaked. The windshield is thicker, there are new door seals, more underbody insulation and more carpeted areas than plastic. All this and more makes for a much quieter cabin.

I can always gauge what cars my neighbors like as they walk by our house with all the  different vehicles I’m lucky enough to review. Maybe Mazda should give me a cut. When I tested the previous generation CX-5 two neighbors ended up buying one. Another neighbor held out for the 2017.

Glad to help Mazda.

Gas milage isn’t spectacular, with 23 city and 28 highway and cargo space doesn’t match some of the other cars in the same class. But put all the pieces together and the CX-5 is cooler looking, has better fit and finish and for an SUV it is way more fun to drive than anything else in the segment.

The price of my test vehicle, a respectable $33,785.00

Great job Mazda

Mike West


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