Test Driving the new 2013 Mazda CX-5

“2013 Mazda CX-5: A compact Crossover SUV”

2013 Mazda CX5

Mazda has developed the first member of the Zoom-Zoom family to incorporate the full array of SKYACTIV? technologies- the Mazda CX-5. It is a compact, five-passenger Crossover SUV.


The CX-5 for 2013 represents a look into the future of the Mazda brand. It embraces SKYACTIV? Technology which focuses on optimum fuel economy, while at the same time striving to deliver uncompromising dynamic handling and performance attributes. It is available in three levels of trim: 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, and all models will be powered by either the innovative Mazda SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter, DOHC, 16-valve inline, normally aspirated four-cylinder engine with Advanced Direct Injection, or a new SKYACTIVE? 2.5-liter, DOHC, 16-valve normally aspirated four-cylinder engine also with Advanced Direct Injection. The engines are mounted transversely up front with the 2.0-liter producing 155 horsepower at 6,000 rpm along with 150 pound feet of torque at 4,000 rpm, while the 2.5-liter generates 184 horsepower at a lower 5,700 rpm along with 185 pound feet of torque at 3,250 rpm – also lower than the 2.0-liter. Power from both engines is geared to the driving wheels through either a six-speed manual gearbox or an optionally available six-speed automatic


Mazda-CX-5 - Engine

The overall design form of the all-new CX-5 is not at all unlike that exhibited by both the CX-7 and CX-9 – it’s kind of a Baby Bear, Mama Bear and Papa Bear representation in terms of size. The CX-5 leads off with the familiar 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.

2013 Mazda CX5 - Back

Despite its similarity in form to its larger stablemates, the CX-5 really is all-new 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”.

2013 Mazda CX5 - Dashboard

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. An all-new 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.

2013 Mazda CX5 - Interior

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 first test 2013 Mazda CX-5 was an All-Wheel drive Grand Touring model with the six-speed automatic Sport transmission. It wore a Sky Blue metallic exterior finish and featured the Black-on-black interior. The base price was set at $28,595 while the Sirius satellite radio and Delivery and Processing fee elevated the final total to $31,480. I next experienced the 2.5-liter-powered version in the same trim level at the same price points but finished with a Soul Red metallic exterior and the same Black-on-Black interior.

SUMMARY: The Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD with the 6-speed automatic Sport transmission is 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.

2013 Mazda CX5 - Wheels

The ride quality is comfortable and the handling characteristics lean toward the sporty side of the chart. Acceleration in the 2.0-liter CX-5 seemed lacking, while the 2.5-liter delivered a more satisfying level of performance, but both would benefit from turbocharging. But then, that would tend to defeat the SLKYACTIV Technology’s role in focusing on sustainable and efficient transportation.

All in all, both versions of this latest crossover from the Zoom-Zoom folks at Mazda is a pleasing addition to their stable, and provides yet another sensible choice for the consumer seeking a reliable and versatile family transport By the way, the 2.5-liter only adds 1 mpg in both city and highway driving.

[wptabs style=”wpui-light” effect=”slide” mode=”horizontal”]
[wptabtitle] SPECIFICATIONS: Mazda CX-5-2013 [/wptabtitle]

Base Price: $28,595.
Price as Tested: $31,480.
Engine Type and Size: SKYACTIV-G 2.0-liter & 2.5-liter , DOHC, 16-valve inline four-cylinder with Advanced Direct Injection.
Horsepower (bhp):
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 2.0-liter : 150 @ 4,000 rpm / 2.5-liter:185 @ 3,250 rpm
Transmission: Six-speed Sport automatic.
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / AWD 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-“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: 3,426 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 15.3 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 25 mpg city / 31 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.33
0 – 60 mph: Not tested.


More from Our Auto Expert