2017 Mazda CX-5 evaluate – Roadshow

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If it ain’t broke, do not repair it, goes the outdated saying. Whenever you’ve received a successful components, it is often not a good suggestion to go twiddling with issues, lest you by accident wreck a wonderfully good factor.

Clearly no person advised Mazda this. The Mazda CX-5 was solely simply launched in 2012 and has quickly risen to grow to be the best-selling mannequin in Mazda’s lineup. Over time, Mazda continuously tweaked this small SUV’s components, giving it a number of revisions, facelifts and midyear refreshes. And now, simply 5 years post-launch, Mazda debuts the CX-5’s second technology.

Has Mazda’s fixed revising watered down the 2017 Mazda CX-5’s successful components or has messing with success left the SUV higher than earlier than?

The 2017 CX-5 is simply the second technology of Mazda’s small SUV, but it surely advantages from many revisions and advances made on earlier mannequin years.

Wayne Cunningham/Roadshow

In 2016, the launch of Mazda’s CX-9 SUV was additionally the launch of the automaker’s “Mazda Premium” initiative. The automaker is stepping its sport up, hoping to distinguish from its conventional competitors by providing extra premium autos with higher interiors, supplies, consolation and a focus to element. The brand new CX-5 is the second within the lineup to get the “Mazda Premium” therapy.

In comparison with the 2016.5 CX-5 that I examined final yr, this 2017 mannequin, in Grand Touring Premium trim, boasts extra comfy seats, a cabin with nicer leather-based and actual stitching and even a steering wheel that Mazda reconfigured for higher consolation. The cockpit options the identical nice Mazda ergonomics that I liked in prior CX-5s, however now the dashboard boasts an improved design that appears a category above the older cabin, with new metallic accents and a powerful horizontal theme.

What you’ll be able to’t see within the photos is the ridiculous consideration to element that Mazda dropped at noise discount. That very same obsessive nature that led its engineers to cut back weight by shaving wire harnesses on the MX-5 roadster has been utilized to chasing pointless decibels within the CX-5’s cabin. A little bit of carpet right here, a seam crammed there, door seals improved, physique gaps lowered — dozens and dozens of tweaks have been made with the outcome being that the CX-5’s cabin is noticeably quieter at freeway speeds.

This crossover SUV additionally options higher obtainable tools, together with an influence liftgate, auto-leveling LED headlamps and a full head-up show (HUD) that places speedometer, pace restrict knowledge pulled from the brand new site visitors signal recognition system, navigation and extra data proper within the driver’s sight-line.

The outstanding HUD grew to become an integral data supply whereas I drove the CX-5, with clear and helpful graphics projected immediately on the windshield. Past automobile pace and turn-by-turn instructions, it additionally popped up a cease signal icon when when the automobile’s digital camera detected an precise cease signal forward. The HUD confirmed blind spot alerts as nicely, so I did not even want to show my head to know if one other automobile was within the subsequent lane over.

The CX-5’s head-up show not solely present pace and route steerage, however contains blind-spot alerts.

Wayne Cunningham/Roadshow

That blind-spot monitor contains rear cross-traffic alert when reversing at low speeds, and is a part of Mazda’s i-ActivSense suite of driver help applied sciences — the total vary of which is accessible on the CX-5.

The suite additionally contains adaptive cruise management that works in low-speed site visitors, a ahead pre-collision alert with automated emergency braking, and lane departure warning with lane protecting help.

The engine bay hasn’t modified a lot for this second technology, however the obtainable choices have been pared down. Gone is the outdated 2.Zero-liter with guide transmission base mannequin combo; Mazda’s 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G engine with normal six-speed automated transmission is now the one mixture obtainable for the North American CX-5 at launch (Mazda guarantees a diesel model afterward.)

The two.5-liter’s output hasn’t modified a lot. It is now rated at 187 peak horsepower — a modest acquire of simply three ponies — and the identical 185 pound-feet of torque. Mazda claims barely higher throttle response for the brand new mannequin however, whereas the accelerator pedal did have a quick really feel, I did not discover an excessive amount of of a distinction on the street. The two.5-liter is as full of life because it’s ever been and that is a superb factor.

The CX-5 might be had in each front-wheel- and all-wheel-drive, the latter of which I drove. Though all-wheel drive would give me a bit extra confidence on slippery roads, the CX-5 does not have any driver management over the system, akin to a locking differential.

The EPA’s estimates put the brand new CX-5’s financial system at 24 metropolis, 31 freeway and 27 mixed mpg for the front-driven fashions and 23 metropolis, 30 freeway and 26 mixed mpg for fashions outfitted with all-wheel drive. I managed a mean of 25 mpg, nearly hitting the EPA quantity.

The aforementioned enhancements to noise discount and numerous different generational modifications have left the brand new CX-5 a bit over 100 kilos heavier than the outgoing mannequin — positive to boost some eyebrows amongst Mazda featherweight purists — however you would be exhausting pressed to note the extra mass from behind the wheel.

2017 Mazda CX-5

Mazda does effective work on the CX-5’s cabin, particularly in making it quieter.

Wayne Cunningham/Roadshow

The largest change from the earlier mannequin is a way more supple experience. I personally did not thoughts the outdated CX-5’s agency experience, however lots of its patrons did. So, Mazda has softened the experience to take in bumps higher. The CX-5 now rides smoother and, after all, transmits much less street noise into the cabin.

Apparently, the steering nonetheless feels incredible and the dealing with is participating regardless of the softening of the experience. That is partially resulting from firmer mounting factors for the steering rack and suspension for higher management and a few rejiggering of the geometry to account for the softer suspension bits.

Mazda has additionally added its G-Vectoring Management to the listing of the CX-5’s normal options. Consider it as a kind of proactive stability management aimed toward enhancing efficiency. It pulls off all kinds of tips like barely dipping engine torque simply as you begin cornering to shift weight onto the entrance wheels and enhance preliminary responsiveness. It is adequately subtle that I by no means seen it working and, together with the bodily tweaks, helps preserve the brand new, softer CX-5 feeling enjoyable on a twisty little bit of street.

The maps within the CX-5’s infotainment system look good, however its lack of linked options places it behind a lot of the competitors.

Wayne Cunningham/Roadshow

Let’s not sugar coat this bitter tablet. The Mazda Join infotainment system within the middle of the dashboard simply is not excellent. It is navigation is nice sufficient to get from level A to B and its easy interface is practical, however as Mazda pushes the CX-5 upmarket into extra premium competitors, it is simply not going to chop it anymore.

The maps within the navigation system look good, even exhibiting 3D-rendered buildings in city areas. However the lack of on-line vacation spot search is a strike in opposition to the CX-5 within the more and more linked automotive world. Distinctive to Mazda, nevertheless, is the inclusion of crimson mild and pace cameras within the map database, with the automobile truly giving me a warning once I approached an intersection outfitted with a red-light digital camera.

The CX-5 is lacking options akin to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which may simply fill the digital media gaps in a low-distraction means and immediately enhance the navigation expertise. I am protecting my fingers crossed for a midcycle refresh or software program replace that steps up the dashboard tech.

2017 Mazda CX-5

Small SUVs have confirmed to be very talked-about, so the CX-5 faces heavy competitors.

Wayne Cunningham/Roadshow

For this second technology, the brand new “Mazda Premium” CX-5 goals to punch means above it is conventional class. Mazda benchmarked its small SUV in opposition to the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Lexus NX, and comes out wanting fairly good. Certain, the BMW and Audi trounce the Mazda’s pitiful tech choices, however the cabin consolation and on-road really feel is not too far off the mark. The Lexus, specifically, had greatest watch its again.

That mentioned, I do not suppose too many entry-level luxurious and premium patrons will likely be cross-shopping Mazda with these luxurious manufacturers — the badge on the grille simply does not carry the identical cache. For now, nevertheless, relative to conventional opponents such because the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, the CX-5 finds itself in a significantly better place than earlier than and is a a lot stronger competitor.

The 2017 Mazda CX-5 goes for a base worth of $24,045 earlier than the vacation spot price. Nonetheless, my love for the HUD propels my trim alternative all the best way to the highest, the Grand Touring trim priced at $29,395. Because the HUD solely comes as a part of a further $1,830 Premium bundle, the overall with vacation spot runs to $32,760. Add $1,300 for all-wheel drive.

If I may do with out the HUD, probably the most wise choice is the Touring trim, at $25,915 earlier than vacation spot. Including the I-ActiveSense bundle for a paltry $625 brings in adaptive cruise management and lane protecting help, making it a cushty automobile for street journeys. Unusually, Mazda does not allow you to additionally select its Most popular Tools bundle together with I-ActiveSense, which might add navigation and upgraded audio, so stick with the smartphone for navigation. That places a CX-5 Touring mannequin at a complete of $27,480 with vacation spot. Once more, add $1,300 for all-wheel drive.


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