2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD Test Drive

?2016 Mazda CX-9 Grand Touring AWD?
The ideally sized compact Crossover gains refinement
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. That first Mazda CX-5 represented a look into the future of the Mazda brand, embracing SKYACTIV? Technology and focusing on optimum fuel economy, while at the same time striving to deliver uncompromising dynamic handling and performance attributes.

The CX-5 has changed little from its inception. Last year?s Mazda CX-5 was essentially a carry-over from the 2014 model year where modest visual enhancements were implemented along with some significant feature and mechanical improvements. The 2016 model lineup continues with three 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 2016, the CX-5 features: a new grille and new foglight surround design; an upgraded center console, dashboard and armrest design; an electronic parking brake has been added, along with the MAZDA CONNECT? Infotainment System featuring a larger seven-inch fullcolor touchscreen display and multi-function commander control; available LED headlights for Touring and Grand Touring models; standard Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio controls; two new colors – Sonic Silver and Titanium Flash; Mazda?s Advanced Keyless Entry becomes standard on Touring models rather than being 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 remains as sort of the Baby Bear in terms of size in the fictional Goldilocks? 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 developed as its own 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 an improved driver-oriented cockpit, with Black as the base color throughout 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 2016 Mazda CX-5 was a Front-Wheel drive Grand Touring model, powered by the 2.5-liter SKYACTIV four-cylinder with the six-speed SKYACTIV- Drive automatic transmission. It wore a Soul Red metallic exterior finish and featured a Black and {Parchment-toned interior. The base price was set at $28,220 while options and the Delivery and Processing fee elevated the final tab to $32,890.
SUMMARY: The 2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring FWD comes loaded to the gills with standard features and equipment and may well serve as 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 from the 2.5-liter engine on the other hand could favorably benefit by adding turbocharging, but then, that would tend to defeat the SKYACTIV technology?s role in focusing on sustainable and efficient transportation. The towing capacity is rated at 2,000 pounds.
In the final scheme of things, the CX-5 crossover from the Zoom-Zoom folks at Mazda remains a pleasing and functional addition to their model offering, providing yet another sensible choice for the consumer seeking a reliable and versatile family transport in an ideally sized package. After all, size does matter.

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?[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: 2016 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring FWD [/wptabtitle]
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Base Price: $28,220.
Price as Tested: $32,890.
Engine Type and Size: SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter , DOHC, 16-valve inline four-cylinder with Advanced Direct Injection.
Horsepower (bhp): 184 @ 5,700 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 185 @ 3,250 rpm
Transmission: Six-speed SKYACTIV-DRIVE automatic.
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / Front Wheel 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 99V mounted on 5-stylized “V”?-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: 3,433 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 15.3 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 26 mpg city / 33 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.33
0 – 60 mph: 7.2 seconds

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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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