2018 Mazda CX-5
2018 marks the second year for the current generation of the Mazda CX-5. As a high performing, fuel-efficient crossover SUV, the company got things right with this one. For people wanting an SUV that is on the smaller side, providing more maneuverability and fuel economy without sacrificing too much passenger and cargo space, the CX-5 is one of the best in its class. For the 2017 model year, Mazda redesigned the CX-5 to update the exterior and interior looks, along with the standard/optional features available on the three primary trims. Since the company got a lot of things right with this current generation, the 2018 CX-5 retains much of the successful recipe while offering a few additional standard and optional features.
The CX-5 comes in three primary trims: the Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring. Despite the smaller size of the CX-5 compared to larger SUVs and trucks, this vehicle puts out a lot of power for some decent hauling or off-roading. Using a four-cylinder engine, it offers 187 horsepower with 186 pound-feet of torque. Its smaller profile provides a tighter turning radius while still being capable of towing up to 2,000 pounds without issue. On the inside, the CX-5 now has more standard features in the lower trims such as Mazda’s safety package known as i-ACTIVSENSE that includes adaptive cruise control, blind spot detection, and more.
If fuel efficiency combined with more cargo and passenger space is a must-have on your shopping list for a new vehicle, the CX-5 is a great choice. The 2018 Mazda CX-5 starts at $24,150 with the FWD Sport trim.
31 MPG Highway
The CX-5 is a platform that provides a blend of convenience and safety features that other brands and models fail to offer as standard options. The 2018 model has also pushed more features from the “optional” category into the “standard” column without drastically increasing the basic price points of the trim lines. In other words, you will get more with the 2018 CX-5 than ever before without having to pay an additional expense in most cases.
Safety-wise, all of the trims come with Mazda’s standard set of airbags which include front and side driver/passenger airbags. Much of Mazda’s i-ACTIVSENSE safety package also comes standard on each trim. Included features include the blind spot sensor suite, front collision detection and automatic braking, and rear cross-traffic monitoring to detect hidden cars as you back up from a parking space. Optional features (some which are standard on the higher trims) are the adaptive cruise control that intelligently maintains distance between cars and the lane assist system.
The convenience features include many small creature comforts like powered windows, side mirrors, and adjustable front seats. The Grand Touring trim also has a two-position memory for the front driver seat so two different individuals can automatically adjust the seat to their liking with the push of a button. Mazda’s infotainment system uses the CX-5’s 7-inch display for basic navigation, smart device connectivity using Bluetooth, and voice control. The interior also sports a couple of USB charging ports to keep your smart devices charged while driving.
The 2018 Mazda CX-5 continues to take its design influences from the KODO – Soul of Motion design language that the company has used to steer the design of its vehicles since 2012. The result is a sleek exterior profile that looks smaller on the outside than inside. Having a narrow profile increases the efficiency of the drivetrain while preserving as much interior space as possible for passengers and cargo alike.
The CX-5 manages to avoid the boxy look that many crossover SUVs tend to borrow from their larger cousins. While a box-like design maximizes the interior space for holding people and cargo, it makes the vehicle less aerodynamic. For an SUV trying to maximize its efficiency, it is important for the exterior to be more curvy to keep air flowing smoothly over the surfaces. This is what the CX-5’s design does the best.
On the outside, the exterior has a large front end with a sleek nose. The front headlights and turn signals are narrow while still providing enough coverage to see clearly at night. The main passenger section of the SUV is tall to offer ample headroom inside. The curve of the roof is also gentle so the height of the rear cargo area is tall for awkward items. As a crossover SUV, the CX-5 offers plenty of ground clearance with higher trims using a 19in wheel diameter common with many off-roading vehicles.
The interior sports an inviting design that can comfortably seat five people across its two rows of seats. The 2018 model also includes more standard features and upgraded touches throughout the trim lines that were either nonexistent or optional before. For example, the Sport trim now gets a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob for added comfort and looks. The inside is large enough up front to comfortably seat taller individuals (above six feet) without hitting their heads or knees. The rear seats are smaller in legroom but still provide enough space for average kids and adults alike.
Mazda did their research when designing the basic engine options for the current generation of the CX-5. As a crossover SUV, this vehicle occupies an awkward space where companies have to balance the demands of better fuel efficiency while retaining much of the power and hauling capacity larger SUVs provide. Unlike other companies that often focus on one side or the other, Mazda has designed their engines to maximize fuel savings without sacrificing the amount of horsepower and torque that people expect from their crossover SUVs.
All of the three trims come with the same basic four-cylinder engine that offers 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. The 2.5L V4 engine also manages up to 25/31 city/highway fuel efficiency. Together, these specs offer a good balance between high capacity hauling/power and fuel economy that will please anyone used to a sedan or full-size SUV who feels like the grass is a bit greener on the other side. In total, the engine can tow up to 2,000 pounds.
One unique introduction to the 2018 CX-5 is Mazda’s Cylinder Deactivation technology. This feature will deactivate the two outer cylinders while the vehicle is cruising at higher speeds in order to improve fuel economy. Since the SUV doesn’t need as much engine power while maintaining a certain speed, it can get away on what becomes a temporary two-cylinder engine. This allows the engine to improve efficiency when needed while keeping the power of four cylinders when necessary.
Each trim offers customers either a standard forward wheel drive or an optional all-wheel drive, depending on how much traction you need. The forward wheel drive option will be slightly more fuel efficient and affordable while the all-wheel drive comes with Mazda’s intelligent traction control systems to maximize the vehicle’s grip on or off the road. Even with the engine driving all four wheels, fuel economy only decreases to 24/30 MPG city/highway.