I was talking yesterday with a young lady in her late 20s and the next vehicle on her shopping list needed to be an SUV or Crossover. She wanted to be free to take off camping or on a road trip with confidence knowing she could handle most terrains. Women, and quite honestly, I too, enjoy the extra seating height that you get with SUVs and Crossovers. That said, let’s not forget the extra versatility and cargo capacity. One excellent choice in this very competitive market is the 2016 Mazda CX-5.
The Mazda CX-5 is heading into its fourth year and for 2016, this Mazda has been slightly updated with styling improvements and touches of refinement. Some of the changes for 2016 include a new grille, new 19” alloy wheel design on the Grand Touring trim, electronic parking brake replaces hand brake, and Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio on the Sport model. The mid-size crossover segment is crowded with fellow class mates including the Ford Escape, Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4.
For 2016, the Mazda CX-5 is featured in three trim levels: Sport ($22,083), Touring ($25,400), and Grand Touring ($28,316). The Sport is now equipped with the SKYACTIV-G 2.5L engine that replaces the 2.0L on the Sport automatic transmission FWD model, where the manual transmission models keep the 2.0L. All other models come with the SKYACTIV-G 2.5L engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission. All trim levels come standard with Front Wheel Drive and are available in All Wheel Drive. Only the Sport trim is available with a 6-speed manual transmission.
Mazda is known for taking the sporty design elements of its sedans and incorporating them into their crossover vehicles. The CX-5 is no exception with its bold lines and athletic stance, big wheel arches, and a rising window line. The roofline runs similar to the recently unveiled CX-3 model – raised at the front as it melts into the rear hatch.
The interior is layered in soft-touch surfaces and premium materials that adorn the cabin. Cloth upholstery is standard; however, real leather is an available option. My test model was the Grand Touring in two-tone white and black with luxury seats. Other manufacturers have a tendency to overload a vehicle with low-end materials like replica- wood trim. The CX-5 does not follow this trend which helps contribute to its upscale interior. Mazda upgraded the CX-5’s info-tainment system for 2016, which includes a new 7-inch touch screen.
The 2016 Mazda CX-5 seats four adults and one child comfortably. In the back seat, the middle bench is best reserved for smaller individuals. A child might fit best here. Behind the rear seats, the CX-5 can hold up to 34.1 cubic feet of cargo and with the rear seats folded, the capacity increases to 64.8 cubic feet.
The CX-5 engages the road as it controls winding roads with precise steering and good feedback. The ride is comfortable; however, I would give higher marks to its competitor, the Chevrolet Equinox.
- Bose® AM/FM/CD/SAT radio
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert
- Push Button Start
Safety on the 2016 Mazda CX-5 has very good ratings earning the best possible grade of Good in all five crash tests of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, rear cross traffic alert, and forward collision warning with low-speed automatic braking are available in both CX-5 models.
In Summary –The 2016 Mazda CX-5 is a great crossover for the money. Many of its competitors come with more features, but at a higher price. The reworking of this Mazda for 2016 helps to elevate the CX-5. It is worth taking a test drive and having a little fun while you’re at it.
2016 Mazda CX-5 Touring FWD
Base price: $28,220as driven: $32,660 (including destination & optional
Engine: 2.5-liter SKYACTIV-G 4-cylinder
Horsepower: 155 @ 6,000 RPM
Torque: 150 @ 4,000 RPM
Transmission: 6-speed automatic
Drive: FWD Drive
Turning circle: 36.7 feet
Cargo space: 34.1 cubic feet
Curb weight: 3,212 pounds
Fuel capacity: 14.8 gallons
EPA mileage: City 26/Hwy 33
Wheel Base: 106.3 inches
Warranty: 6 years/60,000 miles powertrain limited
Also consider: Ford Escape, Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V, Nissan
Rogue, Subaru Forester and Toyota RAV4