2013 Mazda CX-5: Drive Review

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The Mazda CX-5 crossover back  seats can tear  and fold in a 40/20/20 configuration. Photo by: Mazda The Mazda CX-5 crossover back seats can tear and fold in a 40/20/20 configurati. Photo by Mazda.

The back  seats of the Mazda CX-5 crossover. Photo by: Mazda The back seats of the Mazda CX-5 crossover.. Photo by Mazda.

The Mazda CX-5 name  a additional  conservative  center  plan  supposed  a number of  new  Mazda models. Photo by: Mazda The Mazda CX-5 name a additional conservative center plan supposed a number of new Mazda m. Photo by Mazda.

The Mazda CX-5 determination  open  by means of  a new Skyactiv G gasoline engine creation  155 hp. Photo by: Mazda The Mazda CX-5 determination open by means of a new Skyactiv G gasoline engine creation 155 hp.. Photo by Mazda.

The Mazda CX-5 was exposed  to American audiences for the primary  occasion  at the LA auto show. Photo by: Mazda The Mazda CX-5 was exposed to American audiences for the primary occasion at the LA auto. Photo by Mazda.

The Mazda CX-5 name  the automaker's new Kodo plan  language. Photo by: Mazda The Mazda CX-5 name the automaker's new Kodo plan language.. Photo by Mazda.

The 2013 Mazda CX-5 was unveiled at the Los Angeles auto show. Photo by: Mazda The 2013 Mazda CX-5 was unveiled at the Los Angeles auto show.. Photo by Mazda.

By: Andrew Stoy on 11/21/2011

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What is it?

Actually, a improved query is, "What isn't it?" Over an In-N-Out burger, my Mazda PR maven hammered house the information so as to the Mazda CX-5 is not a Tribute, nor is it a new Ford Escape beneath the skin. In fact, not a solitary feature of the CX-5 is shared by means of Ford's new crossover, a information so as to Mazda engineers now adamant concerning throughout the model's U.S. debut at the Los Angeles auto show.

Instead, the 2013 CX-5 is Mazda's homegrown entry in the burgeoning compact-crossover class. It too marks the primary appearance of the brand's "Kodo" plan language, as healthy as the primary vehicle to characteristic completely integrated Skyactiv technology.

What is Skyactiv? That's a improved question, and one path the majority ambiguously by CX-5 agenda boss Hideaki Tanaka, who list it's "sustainable zoom-zoom." Translated, Skyactiv is a suite of manufacturing advances centered on creation the chassis lighter and stiffer, after that combining it by means of ultra-efficient gasoline and diesel powertrains.

Take, for example, the Skyactiv-G engine so as to determination be normal on the 2013 CX-5: It's a 2.0-liter four-cylinder by means of straight injection, a 13.0:1 compression ratio, changeable valve timing and an foreign (for a crossover, anyway) 4-2-1 exhaust header design. The consequence is an engine so as to is 10 proportion lighter, 15 proportion additional petroleum well-organized and content 15 proportion fewer CO2 emissions supposed its predecessor.

About so as to diesel: In a number of markets, the CX-5 determination get a 2.2-liter Skyactiv diesel four-cylinder engine by means of 170 hp. Mazda has long-established so as to the engine determination approach to North America throughout the 2013 calendar year, but it hasn't supposed in construct vehicle. Current rumors contain it arriving beneath the hood of the company's after that midsize sedan.

Six-speed Skyactiv physical and routine transmissions contain person's name intended for smoother and quicker shifts as,at the same time as serving to get better petroleum efficiency, thanks to heaviness savings and friction reduction.

Thanks to an all-new chassis incorporating 61 proportion high-tensile steel, Mazda engineers now clever to cut heaviness in the arrangement as,at the same time as civilizing stiffness by 30 proportion in excess of the present arrangement underpinning the Mazda 3. Continuous high-strength ring structures are supposed to boost crashworthiness, too serving as suspension rising mark since of completely inherent stiffness.

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Finally, the 2013 CX-5 is the primary vehicle to be dressed in Mazda's new Kodo plan language, construct is supposed to translate to "the motion of livelihood creatures." We're not certain a cheetah is leaving to confuse its mate by means of petroleum exacting compact crossover, but the CX-5 fake contain a intelligence of back heaviness bias not unlike the Infiniti FX, and the overall result is good-looking if not groundbreaking.

What is it similar to to drive?

Following a technological briefing thankfully instant of the word "world-class," Mazda healthy us out on canyon roads north of Los Angeles worthy of hyperbole. The CX-5 impressed by means of its handling and steering response, proving simple to row up and drive contravention eager on the turns supposed the majority no substance which else we've driven in the class. Modest corpse roll, high-quality steering sense and tires so as to wouldn't smash loose at no substance which fewer supposed unsafe speeds helped the CX-5 sense a great deal additional similar to a Miata supposed a RAV4.

The 2.0-liter Skyactiv engine stayed at the senior end of its rev variety thanks to the hilly terrain and modest torque output. Our preproduction testers now all ready by means of Skyactiv Drive six-speed routine transmissions, construct didn't help. Shifts now smooth and instant but too frequent in the mountain terrain as the gearbox bounced approximately annoying to stay the small four in its powerband. To be fair, Mazda has complete an admirable job of extracting high-quality presentation as of a small, of course aspirated engine, but we couldn't assist but desire for a bit of well-timed boost on the uphill stretches.

Back on the interstate for the final leg of the drive, the CX-5 was solid and stable at speed, distress neither by crosswinds or street imperfections. Here, untaxed by inclines, the Skyactiv-G engine was in its element, and together engine noise and street noise now healthy tamed for the class.

The center is nicely executed--not as dramatic as the Focus-inspired center in the new Escape--but tastefully located brushed-chrome and piano-black accents assist the CX-5 get a filled pace upscale as of present Mazda compacts. Our major grievance stemmed as of wind noise approximately the A-pillar, a flaw engineers now supposed to be conscious of and construct counting be corrected in manufacture models.

Do I desire it?

According to marketplace analysis, as a lot of as 1.8 compensation of you determination be in the marketplace for a compact crossover in the after that day or so. If low-end grunt is by means of thing, by means of wants strength be improved served by one of Ford's new EcoBoost-ed Escape models, or by a diesel CX-5 be hypothetical to one be long-established for our shores. But if you worth handling prowess and an entertaining drive knowledge on twisty roads, the Mazda CX-5 rapidly a mix together of tossability and convenience that's next merely to the present crop of German wagons.

2013 Mazda CX-5

On Sale: February

Base Price: $19,975 (est)

Drivetrain: 2.0-liter I4, 155 hp @ 6,000 rpm, 150 lb-ft torque @ 4,000 rpm; FWD/AWD, six-speed physical or routine transmission

Curb Weight: 3,300 lb (est)

Fuel Economy: FWD: 26/33 mpg (manual); 26/32 mpg (automatic); AWD: 25/30 mpg (automatic only)

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