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2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring Blends Sport and Crossover Utility

Skytrac engine technologies take 2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring crossover to the intersection of utility meets measurable sport driving performance. Pushing CX-5 to the limit, I was reminded of the driving goodness that is "zoom, zoom," yet I felt safe and comfortable behind the steering wheel.


2017 Mazda CX-5 is not as plush or family accommodating as some of the competitors in the ever evolving compact crossover, SUV segment. Much like little sister CX-3, the larger, yet equally nimble, CX-5 crossover, returns to market for 2017, mostly unchanged; and that’s fine for Mazda’s sport tuned, leather clad 2 row. Why change something that isn't broken? 2017 Mazda CX-5 blends sport and crossover utility in a fun to drive compact feature rich package.

There’s a place in the 2-row crossover segment for Mazda CX-5’s sport attitude

2017 Mazda CX-5 crossover may be the logical choice for the young at heart driver that demands measurable sport-sedan-like road handling and drive performance from a vehicle that’s as happy in the gravel as it is on the freeway. Capable of transporting 5 adults in relative quiet and comfort, Mazda CX-5 delivers crossover utility as promised, with the benefit of measurable on-tap performance. Looking for a subcompact crossover? Check out my Honda HR-V, Mazda CX-3 comparison.

True enough, Honda CR-V and Toyota Rav4 lead the compact crossover segment in sales, largely due to kid-friendly, family accommodating environs, fuel efficiency, and publically perceived superior active safety features. While competing 2-row crossovers may offer a larger, better connected interior, none outperform 2017 Mazda CX-5, when driven aggressively.

2017 Mazda CX-5 interior carries the maker’s DNA into the compact crossover segment

Inside 2017 Mazda CX-5 we discover a minimalist approach to crossover sport performance. Much like the CX-3, and Mazda Miata Touring, CX-5 sports one of the smaller dash mounted monitors in the segment; yet it all works very well.

Here you’ll find a very decent resolution backup camera, navigation, and a dial-rotation controlled menu for all vehicle settings. There’s a smart wheel, as well as manual knob adjustment for climate control. Both front driver and passenger seat in CX5 is power adjusted and heated. You’ll also discover 2 memory settings for the driver’s seat, although a bit awkwardly placed. What does Mazda CX-5 have in common with this car?

The Mazda CX-5 cabin design is pure Mazda: I appreciate the smooth, uncluttered composition of the cabin; both visually and pleasing to the touch. The seat comfort is better than most, and although bolstered for body-hold, not too firm. As with Mazda CX-3, the best seat in the cabin resides in row 1. Legroom in row 2 while adequate for the average size or smaller passengers, may be a bit challenging for the taller members of the tribe. Yet, the seat is relatively comfortable and well finished. With row 2 folded in the down position, Mazda CX-5 performs double duty as a capable hauler; good enough.

I like the “chunky” short-overhang Mazda CX-5 body,exceptional black mesh grill design, and 19 inch alloy wheels. Mazda’s SKYACTIVE-G 2.5 Liter 4 cylinder engine,(187 horsepower@6,000rpm/ 185 ft-lb torque@4,000 rpm) while not turbocharged, exceeds or meets horsepower and torque ratings in the compact crossover segment, while maintaining great fuel efficiency (31 mpg highway) -- it’s measurably quick, and handles well when driven aggressively. It’s that “zoom, zoom, thing that Mazda does so well.

I recommend a 2017 Mazda CX-5 test drive for those driver’s wishing for an injection of sport performance from their compact crossover. Find full Mazda CX-5 specifications and MSRP here.

What I like: Unique body style, standard feature packaging, overall drive and ride dynamic, responsive engine, seamless all-wheel-drive.

What I’d change: I’d like a bit more torque coming off the light, and throughout the midrange; less engine and road noise to cabin transfer; a more intuitive personal electronic connectivity and static monitor control.