Used Car Review
2015 Mazda CX-5: Used Car Review
The 2015 Mazda CX-5 is a top-rated entry in the compact-crossover-SUV segment. The CX-5 seats five passengers in two rows of seats and has 34.1 cu ft. of cargo space, with up to 65.4 cu ft. when the 60/40-split rear seats are folded flat.
Using car-based components, the CX-5 is more of a taller-riding and roomier Mazda3 hatchback than a trucklike beast of burden. Compared to compact crossovers such as the Chevrolet Equinox, Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V, the CX-5 excels at driving dynamics, offering precise steering and good handling that are unexpected in the segment. Lightweight construction and Mazda's SKYACTIV engine technology help the small crossover achieve impressive Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel economy ratings. Offerings include two engines, a modestly powered 2.0-liter 4-cylinder in Sport models and, available across the entire CX-5 line, a perky 2.5-liter 4-cylinder. Both front- and all-wheel drive (AWD) are offered. The maximum trailer tow rating is a modest 2,000 pounds with either engine.
The Mazda CX-5 is a great compact crossover SUV for small families and drivers who need roominess and versatility without sacrificing the ride, handling or fuel economy of a car.
What We Like
Performance of 2.5-liter 4-cylinder; good EPA fuel economy ratings; carlike ride and handling; roomy second row; good interior layout and fit and finish
What We Don't
Smallish 5.8-inch TomTom navigation screen; no power front passenger seat; 2.0-liter 4-cylinder lacks zip for merging and passing; poor rearward visibility; awkward cupholder location
Fuel Economy & Engine Specs
There are two engine choices for the 2015 CX-5. Sport models are available with a 155-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder. Its modest power output is matched with an equally modest 150 lb-ft torque rating. It features direct injection and SKYACTIV technology for improved fuel economy. Equipped with front-wheel drive, the 2.0-liter has an impressive EPA rating of 26 miles per gallon in the city and 34 mpg on the highway with the 6-speed manual transmission and 26 mpg city/32 mpg hwy with the 6-speed automatic. An all-wheel-drive version with the 6-speed automatic is EPA-rated at 25 mpg city/30 mpg hwy. It uses regular unleaded fuel.
Optional on sport AWD models and all Touring and Grand Touring models is a peppy 2.5-liter 4-cylinder rated at 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. It also features direct injection and SKYACTIV technology for fuel efficiency, runs on regular unleaded and is teamed solely with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel-drive versions are EPA-rated at 25 mpg city/31 mpg hwy, and AWD models get a 24 mpg city/29 mpg hwy sticker.
Standard Features & Options
The 2015 Mazda CX-5 is available in Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trims.
The CX-5 Sport offers standard air conditioning, cloth seats, a rear spoiler, 4-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio, USB and auxiliary input jacks, cruise control, push-button start, remote keyless entry, a trip computer, an outside-temperature gauge, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel with remote audio controls, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, 17-in alloy wheels, variable intermittent wipers, a rear wiper, and power windows, mirrors and door locks. Standard safety features include dual front- and side-impact airbags, overhead airbags, 4-wheel disc anti-lock brakes with brake assist, and stability and traction control. CX-5 Sport options include a reverse sensing system, Bluetooth, a 5.8-in color touchscreen display, HD Radio, Pandora radio compatibility, SMS text-message audio delivery and reply, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a garage-door transmitter, a compass, a 6-speed automatic transmission and fog lamps.
The CX-5 Touring adds Bluetooth phone connectivity, rear privacy glass, a backup camera, the 6-speed automatic transmission, fog lamps, auto-off headlamps, a 6-speaker audio system with HD Radio and a 5.8-in color display, Pandora compatibility, text-message audio delivery and reply, upgraded cloth seats, a power driver's seat with adjustable lumbar, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, a rear center armrest and a blind spot monitoring system. Touring models can also be optioned with a TomTom navigation system, a power moonroof, a 9-speaker Bose stereo, rain-sensing wipers, bi-xenon auto headlamps and an optional Smart City Brake Support system.
The CX-5 Grand Touring gains SiriusXM radio, a Bose 9-speaker premium audio system, a power moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather seats, heated front seats, heated side mirrors, auto headlamps, rain-sensing wipers and 19-in alloy wheels. CX-5 Grand Touring options include navigation, advanced keyless entry, bi-xenon headlamps, Smart City Brake Support and a security system.
The CX-5 is Mazda's best-selling crossover SUV, but it isn't as well known as competing entries from Toyota, Honda, Ford and Subaru and therefore can be a relative used-car bargain. All-wheel drive is nice to have but unnecessary in most cases, as front-drive CX-5s with decent snow tires can tackle the vast majority of winter-weather driving situations.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued the following safety recalls for the 2015 CX-5:
The fuel filler pipe may rupture and leak in a crash, increasing the risk of a fire.
The laser sensor for the Smart City Brake Support system may detach from its windshield bracket, disabling the system and increasing the risk of a crash.
The lower attaching hardware for the front struts may loosen from the steering knuckles, causing a loss of steering control and increasing the risk of a crash.
The liftgate support struts may corrode and break, allowing the liftgate to drop unexpectedly and increasing the risk of injury.
Recall repairs are required by law, even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed and, if not, will fix the car at no charge to you.
Safety Ratings & Warranties
NHTSA gave the 2015 CX-5 a 5-star overall rating, with five stars for front and side impacts and four stars for rollover resistance.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2015 CX-5 as a Top Safety Pick +. It gave the CX-5 Good ratings for small- and moderate-overlap front impacts, side impacts and roof strength, as well as head-restraint and seat performance.
Mazda sold the 2015 CX-5 with a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty, a 5-year/unlimited-mileage corrosion-perforation warranty and 3 years/36,000 miles of roadside assistance coverage.
Mazda's certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles can't be more than 6 years old or have more than 80,000 miles on the odometer. Every CPO Mazda CX-5 receives a 150-point inspection. Each also receives an additional 1-year/12,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty on top of the remainder of the existing 3-year/36,000-mile coverage and an extension of the vehicle's original 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty to 7 years and 100,000 miles. Also included is an AutoCheck vehicle-history report and 24-hour roadside assistance.
Other Cars to Consider
2015 Chevrolet Equinox -- Chevy's Equinox seats five, but its rear seat slides fore and aft to allow owners to custom-tailor passenger and cargo space according to the task at hand. The Chevy's base 182-hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine offers a competitive 22 mpg city/31 mpg hwy EPA rating, and an optional 301-hp 3.6-liter V6 packs highway zip. New for 2015 is 4G LTE mobile internet connectivity.
2015 Dodge Journey -- Not as much fun to drive as the CX-5, the Dodge Journey nevertheless packs a lot of interior space and can carry up to seven passengers, as long as the rearmost pair are junior-size. The Journey excels in offering hidden storage compartments, with one under the front passenger-seat cushion and two under the rear floor. An optional 8.4-in Uconnect touchscreen infotainment system trumps Mazda's small screen. Engine choices include a 173-hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder and a 283-hp 3.6-liter V6.
Many competing automakers claim their crossover SUVs offer a carlike driving experience, but Mazda's CX-5 truly does. Among CX-5 trim levels, there are no bad choices, but we'd advise a Touring model, as it comes standard with the larger 2.5-liter engine, a power driver's seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, a backup camera, Bluetooth and an up-level audio system with a 5.8-in display -- plus it offers navigation and a power moonroof as options. As good as the CX-5's manual transmission is, it's only available with the smaller, 155-hp 2.0-liter engine, and for pleasing performance as well as resale-value purposes, you'll want the 184-hp 2.5-liter engine to move this 3,200-3,500-lb SUV through traffic. Look for a low-mileage example that's been loved and maintained, and be sure to check out Mazda CPO vehicles. Check with the dealer to ascertain that any possible safety recalls have been addressed on the vehicle you're thinking of buying.