“2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD”
All New ideally sized and refined compact Crossover
The 2013 Mazda CX-5 five-passenger Crossover SUV was the first Zoom-Zoom family member to feature Mazda’s full array of SKYACTIV® technologies. It offered a view of the Japanese brand’s future, incorporating SKYACTIV® Technology and focusing on optimum fuel economy, while at the same time striving to provide dynamic handling and performance attributes. SKYACTIV Technology is not a package or trim level, but rather, is an all-encompassing, deeply embedded philosophy that obtaining more power, more torque and more miles per gallon does not mean sacrificing fuel economy, design or safety.
The 2017 Mazda CX-5 is all new, with a significantly re-engineered body and chassis. Both the interior and exterior have undergone a complete redesign, enhancing the visual appeal. New added features include: G-Vectoring Control vehicle dynamics enhancement; windshield-projected Active Driving Display; full speed Mazda Radar Cruise Control; a two-stage reclining rear seat; heated driver and front passenger seats; rear A/C vents; and two rear USB ports for a total of four. Optionally available additions include: a heated steering wheel; power liftgate; and heated outboard rear seats.
2017 trim levels will include the base Mazda CX-5 Sport, starting at $24,045; CX-5 Touring; and CX-5 Grand Touring. The Cx-5 Touring may be ordered with the Preferred Equipment Package, which includes a BOSE® 10-speaker audio system with CenterPoint 2 and AudioPilot 2, a power glass moonroof, power liftgate, navigation, auto-dimming mirrors with Homelink and auto on/off headlights. Also available for the Touring is the i-ACTIVSENSE Package, with High Beam Control, Lane-Departure Warning, Lane-Keep Assist, Mazda Radar Cruise Control and Smart Brake Support. CX-5 Grand Touring further builds on CX-5 Touring with both packages, adopting leather seating surfaces, 19-inch alloy wheels, eight-way power driver’s seat with power lumbar support, SiriusXM satellite radio, rain-sensing wipers and heated exterior mirrors. There is also a CX-5 GT Premium Package with an Adaptive Front-lighting system, LED fog lights and LED tail lights, and comes with a windshield-projected Active Driving Display with Traffic Sign Recognition, a driver’s memory seat linked to the position of the Active Driving Display, a power front passenger seat, heated rear outboard seats, heated steering wheel and windshield wiper de-icer.
Exclusively powering all trim levels is a front transversely-mounted 2.5-liter SKYACTIV-G, DOHC, 16-valve inline four-cylinder engine with Advanced Direct Injection, which produces 187 horsepower at 5,700 rpm while developing 185 pound feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. The engine mates to a six-speed SKYACTIV-DRIVE Sport mode automatic transmission that gears energy to either the front wheels or to all four wheels via Mazda’s iACTIV All Wheel Drive. The engine is PZEV emissions rated in all 50 states.
Suspension componentry consists of Independent MacPherson Strut type with coil springs, twin-tube shock absorbers and stabilizer bar up front and -Independent, Multi-link type with coil springs, twin-tube shock absorbers and stabilizer bar in the rear.
Technological Highlights include: Windshield-projected Active Driving Display with Traffic Sign Recognition; MAZDA CONNECT™ infotainment system with 7-inch, full-color touchscreen display; a standard rearview camera; Multi-function Commander control; Mazda Radar Cruise Control with close proximity warning; standard Bluetooth® hands-free phone and audio; BOSE® 10-speaker surround sound system with Centerpoint® 2 and AudioPilot® 2.
Safety and Security features include: an Engine immobilizer anti-theft system; LATCH child seat safety tethers; Smart City Brake Support; Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist; Smart Brake Support; High Beam Control; and
Blind Spot Monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic Alert.
The basic design form of the Mazda CX-5 is not at all unlike that exhibited by both the CX-7 and CX-9 – it remains as the Baby Bear in terms of size in the fictional Bear family. The CX-5 leads off with Mazda’s familiar, but now more aggressive, signature trapezoidal grille flanked by jewel-like headlamps that wrap around into the suggested fenders with pronounced fender wells. A lower air intake below the grille is flanked by inset, integrated fog lamps. The more smoothly sculpted hood slopes into the sharply raked windshield that meets the roof, which arches gently down and rearward. The nose is now more shark-like. The tail of the CX-5 showcases an inward pinched greenhouse, with an integrated roof spoiler lip above the rear sloping backlight. The wrap around tail lamps ride just below the rear hatch glass and chiseled rear fascia that sports an inset diffuser encompassing the dual exhaust outlets. In profile, the CX-5 displays a rear rising beltline and shoulder, along with a carved upper rocker character line. Despite its similarity in basic form to its larger stablemates, the CX-5 really was developed as its own vehicle from the ground up, from design sketches to production. It still begins with Mazda’s familiar philosophy Jinbai Ittai, which translates as a oneness between vehicle and driver – an inherent trait throughout the entire Mazda line. KODO, another Japanese term, denotes a design language inspired by nature and translates as “Soul of Motion”
Moving to the inside, the interior of the CX-5 delivers an improved driver-oriented cockpit. Gauges and switchgear are well placed for optimum user friendliness. The in-dash touch screen enables intuitive phone, audio and navigation functions (when so equipped). Steering wheel controls allow for a straightforward operation of the infotainment system. Push-button start is standard with an optional advanced keyless entry system. Other available features include Bluetooth® phone and audio connectivity and iPod® audio playback. USB and auxiliary jack connections are standard, located in the center console storage bin. iPod information may be accessed via the infotainment screen.
Safety is not forgotten, with standard offerings including six airbags (front, side and full side-curtain), four wheel disc brakes, ABS, daytime running lights, Dynamic Stability Control, a Traction Control System and tire pressure monitoring system. Also available are a Blind Spot Monitoring system, Adaptive Front-lighting System with auto-leveling bi-xenon headlamps and a rear view camera with graphic overlaid distance guidelines.
My test 2017 Mazda CX-5 was an All-Wheel drive Grand Touring model, powered by the 2.5-liter SKYACTIV four-cylinder with the six-speed SKYACTIV- Drive automatic transmission. It wore a Soul Red metallic exterior finish and featured a Black and Parchment-toned interior. The base price was set at $30,695., while options and the Delivery and Processing fee bumped the final tally to $34,380.
SUMMARY: The 2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD steps up to the plate loaded with standard features and equipment and serves well as the ideally-sized crossover SUV. It’s compact and highly maneuverable. It is also reasonably fuel-efficient and is definitely priced right, considering its most impressive content.
The ride quality is comfortable and the handling characteristics lean toward the sporty side of the equation. Acceleration from the 2.5-liter engine on the other hand could favorably benefit by adding turbocharging, but then, that would tend to defeat the SLKYACTIV technology’s role in focusing on sustainable and efficient transportation. Towing capacity is rated at 2,000 pounds.
In the final scheme of things, the CX-5 crossover from Mazda still merits the Zoom-Zoom mantra, and remains a pleasing and functional member of their stable, providing yet another sensible choice for the consumer seeking a reliable and versatile family transport for those with active lifestyles.
SPECIFICATIONS: 2017 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring AWD
Base Price: $30,695.
Price as Tested: $34,380.
Engine Type and Size: SKYACTIV-G 2.5-liter, DOHC, 16-valve inline four-cylinder with Advanced Direct Injection.
Horsepower (bhp): 187 @ 5,700 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 185 @ 4,000 rpm
Transmission: Six-speed SKYACTIV-DRIVE Sport mode automatic.
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / iACTIV All Wheel Drive.
Suspension: Front -Independent, MacPherson Strut type coil spring with twin-tube shock absorbers and stabilizer bar.
Rear -Independent, Multi-link type coil spring with twin-tube shock absorbers and stabilizer bar..
Brakes: Power assisted diagonal hydraulic four wheel discs (vented front) with ABS, EBD, BA, DSC and TCS.
Tires: Toyo A36 P225/55 R19 99V mounted on 5-stylized Split “V”-spoke alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 106.2 inches
Length Overall: 179.1 inches with license plate holder.
Width: 72.5 inches
Height: 66.1 inches to top of shark fin antenna.
Curb Weight: 3,655 lbs.
Turning Circle: 38.7 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 15.3 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 23 mpg city / 29 mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.33
0 – 60 mph: 7.2 seconds
Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.