The 2016 Mazda CX-5 is a good-looking crossover that comes packed with plenty of features and has pricing that makes it an affordable family car. It takes things a little further by adding on handling that puts other crossovers to shame.
Mazda hasn’t designed a subdued, refined crossover in the CX-5. The car has a long, bulbous hood that makes it look larger than it really is along with big wheel arches. They’ve redesigned the grille and added LED headlights on select models. The styling suits the CX-5 giving it a rugged appeal that won’t have it lost in the growing see of crossovers on the market.
Inside there is room for 5 passengers and they’ll be comfortable no matter where they take a seat. Even with a 6-foot passenger stretching his legs up front, rear seat passengers have ample leg room, too. The driver benefits from a tilt and telescopic steering wheel that is leather wrapped and features audio, cruise, and Bluetooth controls. The sport seats are also leather trimmed and 8-way power adjustable for the driver with power lumbar support. The passenger has a 6-way manually adjustable seat with height adjuster and both of those front seats are heated.
Seating is supportive and comfortable. They’re perfect for long rides with enough support to prevent aches without becoming too stiff. Despite being a crossover, the cabin also feels spacious. The design lends itself to feeling open and roomy. Where some crossovers let you know very uncomfortably that they are not full-size SUVs, the CX-5 does a good job of making you forget.
The Grand Touring model we tested sits at the top of the lineup. It has a very long list of standard features including a Bose AM/FM/CD/MP3 system with 9-speakers, HD Radio, 7″ color touchscreen, and Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio. They also pack in a suite of safety features including 24-hour roadside assistance, tire pressure monitoring, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, dynamic stability control, traction control, and hill start assist. You get it all for $28,220.
That’s a darn good starting price for such a well-equipped crossover. Optional features on our tested model included the Activesense Package ($1,500) with radar cruise control, lane departure warning, smart brake support, and high beam control. There was also the Tech Package ($1,505) which included navigation, LED headlights, fog lights, combination tail lights, and daytime running lights. These plus several small options brought the total up to $32,360 making this a heck of a value.
Power for the CX-5 comes from a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine with 184 horsepower and 185-lb-ft of torque paired to an automatic transmission. It is very responsive, immediately jetting the car forward when you press on the gas, even when already at speed on the highway. It’s a little loud, but only during very hard acceleration so the majority of the time it’s a nice quiet engine that won’t disrupt the peace of the cabin.
If you’re looking for a more performance-oriented drive, then flip to sport mode with the toggle by the gear shift. You’ll hear the change in how high the engine revs before shifting and feel it in a tighter, sportier drive. It won’t turn this into a sports car, but it does give it additional character on the road.
At all times, handling in the CX-5 is solid and crisp. There is very little roll and even quick lane changes on the highway won’t leave the driver feeling out of control. It comes into its own on twisting roads and lets you take full advantage of that Sport mode.
Crossovers are all about flexibility in a more compact form and the CX-5 offers plenty with 40/20/40 split folding rear seats. There is 34.1 cubic feet with the rear seats up or 65.4 cubic feet with those seats flat. Haul nothing but cargo on weekends or tuck the family and all their stuff in there with ease.
The 2016 Mazda CX-5 is a popular crossover with good reason. It has great styling that make it pop along with safety and convenience features to make it a comfortable ride. Add in great pricing and it continues to be a star in the crossover market.
2016 Mazda CX-5
Base Price: $28,220
Price As Tested: $32,360 (not including destination charge)
- Value Pricing
- Spacious Interior
- Fun to Drive
- Occasional Loud Engine Noise
- Limited Options in Base Trims