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BUYER’S GUIDE: 2018 Mazda CX-5

Mazda has certainly been making great strides in the motoring world ever since it implemented its signature SkyActiv technology. With every release, Mazda has shown that it can push the envelope of design, performance, fuel economy, and ride experience. As the first fully-SKYACTIV model, the Mazda CX-5 is the Japanese car brand’s front-runner–the spear at the tip of its success, so to speak. With the introduction of G-Vectoring Control (GVC), the first system to enhance driving feel and improve passenger riding experience under the new SKYACTIV-VEHICLE DYNAMICS technologies, the CX-5 becomes an even more exciting crossover SUV, ready to take on any and all competitors in the market today.

Specification

Like many of the cars in the SKYACTIV lineup, the CX-5 is arguably the most stylish, and most fun to drive contender in its class. Aside from the suave exterior curves, refreshed interior styling and significantly improved driving dynamics, the SKYACTIV enhancements also introduced better insulation and safety systems. Three engine choices are on the table: two gas types (a 2.5-liter and 2.0-liter) and a lone diesel type (2.2-liter SkyActivD)–all are mated to a six-speed automatic. The higher displacement engines are on all-wheel drive systems while the 2.0-liter runs on its front wheels. As for overall dimensions, the Mazda CX-5 measures 4,550 mm long, 1,840 mm wide, and 1,675 to 1,680 mm high. Wheelbase is 2700 mm, and minimum ground clearance is 185 mm.

Exterior

Compared to the first-gen CX-5, the new model looks like it attended finishing school, with a sleeker front end, smoother wraparound headlights, higher beltline, and a more pronounced backlight and liftgate rake. The lengthened hood tapers smoothly to meet the grille, which stands an upright 90 degrees, giving the crossover a meaner visual impact. But design is far from the only exterior improvement. Adaptive LED headlamps come with a 12-split array for improved night visibility, switching on and off to automatically control the illuminated area and prevent glare to other drivers. An electric glass sunroof makes long trips on the highway much more fun and exciting.

Interior

Inside, the CX-5 offers near-luxury amenities complemented by an elegant white-on-black trim combo. Chrome highlights are well-placed, and the knobs and buttons conveniently laid out. The MZD Connect, Mazda’s new infotainment system, graces the center console. A multi-function command control knob located just below the shift knob controls what’s shown on the screen and allows swift and simple navigation of features. An Active Driving Display projects important driving information onto the windscreen so your attention is not diverted from the road. As for entertainment, it comes by way of a seven-inch touchscreen linked to a 10-speaker Bose sound system.

Space

As a four-seater crossover, every seating position in the CX-5 is designed to provide its occupant with a comfortable ride, so worry not about those long trips, because the cabin never feels cramped. As for cargo, a power liftgate ensures you can practically put in and carry anything that fits inside its 471 liter luggage capacity. Reclining rear seats allow you to fit in even more.

Safety

When it comes to added safety, front/rear parking sensors and six airbags are just the tip of the iceberg. You also get an anti-lock braking system, dynamic stability control, i-ACTIV AWD, and rearview camera. Advanced active safety features include i-Stop idling system, blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist, and lane departure warning.

Our Verdict

The 2018 Mazda CX-5 has all the makings of a great crossover SUV, but that doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for everyone. Visit your nearest Mazda dealer to see how well it suits your taste. Even if you find that it’s not the vehicle for you, it certainly won’t disappoint.

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