Not ones to sit on their laurels, Mazda has once again come out with a small SUV to rival the best in looks, fuel economy and drivability. Enter the 2013 CX-5.
Based on the brand new Ford Escape, the CX-5 is also a replacement for the long-in-the-tooth Tribute, which needed to go as it was around in basically the same form for what seems like forever.
Mazda is touting, as the most important feature, the fuel economy of the CX-5 as best in class for small SUVs; 35 MPG on the highway. That figure is actually quite substantial for any SUV that’s not a hybrid. Coupled with a City figure of at least 25 and the CX-5 will get a combined average of 28 or 29 miles per gallon, depending on whether you choose front- or all-wheel-drive and either the six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions.
The CX-5 achieves such lofty mileage figures by utilizing Mazda’s SKYACTIV technology in their 2.0-liter engine; which, in the CX-5, has an incredible 13:1 compression ratio that makes 155 horsepower and 150 lb.-ft. of torque. According to Mazda, and we really do believe them, that 13-to-1 compression ratio is the highest of any mass-produced vehicle. Most impressive.
Another way to achieve stellar fuel economy is to lower total vehicle and at just over 3200 pounds (with front-wheel-drive and manual transmission), the CX-5 is one of the lightest SUVs in the market, yet still has a 2000-pound towing capacity. Too cool!
As for the design of the CX-5, it’s striking from front to back: A new five-point "signature wing" front grille commands the front fascia. Its black elongated trapezoidal pattern adds masculine depth while eagle-eyed, wraparound headlamps extend out, seemingly flirting a head-turning "hello" to passersby. This is KODO. KODO, or "Soul of Motion," is a design language inspired by nature, which evokes how both startling beauty and immense power can be captured within a single motion. First unveiled in 2010 on the SHINARI concept car, a long-and-lean, four-door sports coupe, and then on the MINAGI concept SUV, from which the CX-5 is based, KODO exemplifies the direction of Mazda’s future sheet metal strokes.
As for pricing as features, here’s some bits from the press kit: CX-5 Sport models equipped with the optional SKYACTIV-Drive six-speed automatic transmission start at $22,095 MSRP. When equipped with Mazda’s all-new active torque-split AWD system (SKYACTIV-Drive models), the starting price is $23,345 MSRP. A Bluetooth Audio Package is available for an additional $400 MSRP and includes Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio connectivity, a 5.8-inch in-dash color information touch screen and HD Radio Technology.
Moving up to the Touring model, the Bluetooth Audio Package for Sport models becomes standard as are fog lamps, privacy glass, upgraded cloth seats, a six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, rearview camera (viewable via the 5.8-inch in-dash color monitor), an upgraded six-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3-compatible radio, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, steering-wheel-mounted audio, Bluetooth and cruise control functions, a Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) system as well as a rear-seat armrest with cup holders. SKYACTIV-Drive becomes standard on Touring models, which start at $23,895 MSRP (FWD) and $25,145 MSRP (AWD).
Available options for CX-5 Touring are the Moonroof/Bose and Technology packages. The Moonroof/Bose Package ($1,130 MSRP) adds a moonroof and the 225-watt Bose Surround Sound System. The Technology Package ($1,185 MSRP) adds the TomTom technology-based in-dash navigation module, an auto-dimming mirror with Homelink®, automatic on/off bi-xenon auto-leveling headlights, a pivoting Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), rain-sensing windshield wipers and an anti-theft alarm. Sirius Satellite Radio, which includes a four-month complimentary subscription, is a stand-alone option ($525) for Touring models.
For those with a sweet tooth for even more decadent luxury items is the CX-5 Grand Touring. The 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels of the Sport and Touring models are swapped for 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels. Other premium standard features include automatic headlights, heated outside mirrors, rain-sensing windshield wipers and a moonroof. Standard cabin amenities include leather-trimmed seat upholstery, heated front seats, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support, dual-zone automatic climate control, a Bose Surround Sound System and Sirius Satellite Radio. Available in either FWD or AWD configurations, the Grand Touring model starts at $27,045 and $28,295 MSRP, respectively.
A Technology Package, similar to the Touring model, also is available on the CX-5 Grand Touring. Priced at $1,325 MSRP, options include the in-dash TomTom navigation system, bi-xenon auto-leveling headlights with a pivoting Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS), an auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink, an anti-theft alarm and Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry.
A $425 MSRP trailer hitch (with harness and cover) option is available on all CX-5 models for consumers to fully utilize the vehicle’s 2,000-pound towing capacity.
So Mazda Still has some Zoom Zoom left in it’s blood. We can only hope the CX-5 drives as well as it looks!