2015 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring FWD Test Drive

?Mazda CX-5 for 2015: An ideally sized compact Crossover?

Mazda developed the first member of the Zoom-Zoom family to incorporate the full array of SKYACTIV? technologies- the 2013 Mazda CX-5. It was and is a compact, five-passenger Crossover SUV. The 2013 Mazda CX-5 represented a look into the future of the Mazda brand. It embraced SKYACTIV? Technology focusing on optimum fuel economy, while at the same time striving to deliver uncompromising dynamic handling and performance attributes. Enter the Mazda CX-5 for 2015.

The CX-5 has changed little from its inception. The 2015 Mazda CX-5 is essentially a carry-over from the 2014 model year where modest visual enhancements were implemented along with some significant feature and mechanical improvements. It continues with three available trim levels: CX-5 Sport; CX-5 Touring; and CX-5 Grand Touring, all of which are available in either Front-Wheel drive or All-Wheel Drive. Added for 2015, Mazda?s Advanced Keyless Entry at standard on Touring models instead of part of a Grand Touring package, operated by a button on the door handle.


The base Sport models will be powered by Mazda?s SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter , DOHC, 16-valve inline, normally aspirated four-cylinder engine with Advanced Direct Injection. The engine is mounted transversely up front and produces 155 horsepower at 6,000 rpm along with 150 pound feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. Power is geared to the driving wheels through either a six-speed manual gearbox in Sport models or an optionally available six-speed automatic transmission. The automatic transmission is standard on Touring and Grand Touring models. Last year, a new SKYACTIVE-G 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine was introduced as the standard energy source for CX-5s in Touring or GT trim.

The overall design form of the Mazda CX-5 is not at all unlike that exhibited by both the CX-7 and CX-9 – it?s kind of the Baby Bear in terms of size in the fictional Bear family. The CX-5 leads off with Mazda?s familiar signature trapezoidal grille flanked by jewel-like headlamps that wrap around into the suggested fenders with pronounced fender wells. A lower air intake below the grille is flanked by inset, integrated fog lamps. The sculpted hood slopes into the sharply raked windshield that meets the roof, which arches gently down and rearward. The tail of the CX-5 showcases an inward pinched greenhouse, with an integrated roof spoiler lip above the rear sloping backlight. The wrap around taillamps ride just below the rear hatch glass and chiseled rear fascia that sports an inset diffuser encompassing the dual exhaust outlets. In profile, the CX-5 displays a rear rising beltline and shoulder, along with a carved upper rocker character line.


Despite its similarity in form to its larger stablemates, the CX-5 really was introduced as an all-new vehicle from the ground up, from design sketches to production. It began with Mazda?s familiar philosophy Jinbai Ittai, which translates as a oneness between vehicle and driver – an inherent trait throughout the entire Mazda line. KODO, another Japanese term, denotes a design language inspired by nature and translates as ?Soul of Motion?


Moving to the inside, the interior of the CX-5 delivers a driver-oriented cockpit, with Black as the base color through out the entire cabin, enhanced by sculpted, seating available in two colors with a choice of either two cloth fabric patterns or genuine leather. The choices are Black-on-black or sand-on-black. Gauges and switchgear are well placed for optimum user friendliness. A 5.8-inch in-dash touch screen enables intuitive phone, audio and navigation functions (when so equipped). Enhanced steering wheel controls allow for a more straightforward operation of the infotainment system. Push-button start is standard with an optional advanced keyless entry system. Other available features include Bluetooth? phone and audio connectivity and iPod? audio playback. USB and auxiliary jack connections are standard, located in the center console storage bin. iPod information may be accessed via the infotainment screen.


SKYACTIV Technology is not a package or trim level, but rather, is an all-encompassing, deeply embedded philosophy that obtaining more power, more torque and more miles per gallon does not mean sacrificing fuel economy, design or safety. Its first North American application was in Mazda’s best-selling vehicle, the Mazda3, which was refreshed for the 2012 model year with a SKYACTIV engine and transmissions. CX-5 was the first global vehicle to receive all SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY components, from chassis and suspension componentry to body composition and powertrain elements.

Safety is not forgotten either, standard offerings include six airbags (front, side and full side-curtain), four wheel disk brakes, anti-lock brakes (ABS), daytime running lights (DRL), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), a Traction Control System (TCS) and a tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS). Also available are a Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) system, Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) with auto-leveling bi-xenon headlamps and a rear view camera with graphic overlaid distance guidelines.

My test 2015 Mazda CX-5 was a Front-Wheel drive Grand Touring model with the six-speed automatic Sport transmission. It wore a Deep Crystal Blue metallic exterior finish (one of two new colors) and featured the Black and Sand-toned interior. The base price was set at $27,970 while options and the Delivery and Processing fee elevated the final sticker total to $30,510.

SUMMARY: The 2015 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring FWD with the 6-speed automatic Sport transmission comes loaded with standard features and equipment and may well prove to be the ideally-sized crossover SUV. It?s compact and highly maneuverable. It is also reasonably fuel-efficient and is definitely priced right, considering its most impressive content.


The ride quality is comfortable and the handling characteristics lean toward the sporty side of the equation. Acceleration on the other hand could use a boost in extreme driving scenarios, such as passing another vehicle on a steep grade. Turbocharging would certainly take care of this issue, but then, that would tend to defeat the SLKYACTIV Technology?s role in focusing on sustainable and efficient transportation.

In the final analysis, the CX-5 crossover from the Zoom-Zoom folks at Mazda is a pleasing and functional addition to their model offering, and provides yet another sensible choice for the consumer seeking a reliable and versatile family transport.

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[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2015 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring FWD [/wptabtitle]

Base Price: $27,970.
Price as Tested: $30,510.
Engine Type and Size: SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter , DOHC, 16-valve inline four-cylinder with Advanced Direct Injection.
Horsepower (bhp): 155 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 150 @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission: Six-speed Sport automatic.
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / FWD drive
Suspension: Front -Independent, MacPherson Strut type coil spring with twin-tube shock absorbers and stabilizer bar.
Rear -Independent, Multi-link type coil spring with twin-tube shock absorbers and stabilizer bar.

Brakes: Power, diagonal hydraulic assist four wheel discs (vented front) with ABS, EBD, BA, DSC and TCS.

Tires: Toyo A23 P225/55 R19 mounted on 5-spoke alloy wheels.

Wheelbase:?106.3 inches

Length Overall:?179.3 inches with license plate holder.

Width:?72.4 inches

Height:?65.7 inches

Curb Weight:?3,375 lbs.

Fuel Capacity:?15.3 gallons

EPA Mileage Estimates:?25 mpg city / 31 mpg highway

Drag Coefficient:?0.33

0 – 60 mph: Not Tested


Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles as well.

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