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Review: 2016 Mazda CX-5 Touring

Bozi Tatarevic October 8, 2015 Mazda Reviews, Reviews 4 Comments

Mazda CX-5 Touring

Some may look at the Mazda CX-5 as just another dot in a sea of crossovers but it offers so much more. The steering and suspension stand out and the fuel economy beat out the hybrid CUV that currently sits in my driveway.

While many enthusiasts may write off any crossover as just another appliance, the CX-5 deserves our attention. I had the chance to try out a front wheel drive model in Touring trim and enjoyed the experience. I previously had a chance to try out a 2014 CX-5 with the 155 horsepower 2.0-liter engine and found it to be adequate but slightly lacking in highway merging situations. The 2016 CX-5 Touring model I tested came equipped with the 184 horsepower 2.5-liter engine and showed a measurable improvement in acceleration.

The day after I received the car I had to make a 400 mile round trip for work and got a chance to get better acquainted with the CX-5. I usually swap cars with my wife when I make these trips as her Saturn Vue Hybrid is much more efficient than my Cadillac STS. I make this trip at least once a month and the Vue usually comes in at around 27 MPG. The CX-5 beat that easily and averaged 31 MPG on the trip which saw a little over half the time spent on the highway.


I was impressed with the drivers seat as it was able to hold my large frame firmly and provide comfort for the long ride. The view from the drivers seat is comfortable and the infotainment control knob in the center console was easy to get used to. I hooked up my phone via Bluetooth and listened to some of my favorite podcasts on the way to my destination. My tester was equipped with the $1,130 Moonroof/BOSE package so it came with 9 speakers. The audio was crisp but I am not sure that it’s worth the cost over the base system.


The infotainment system worked well for the most part but I did find a few issues with the TomTom navigation system and Bluetooth. I made a stop at a classic car dealer on the way back and when I tried to get back on my path home, the navigation system routed me to an old road which is now a dead end due to a new highway. I experienced a similar issue a couple more times but it appears that it could be remedied by a visit to the TomTom website for a free one-time update. The Bluetooth connection was usually very smooth and connected quickly whenever I turned the ignition on but it failed to reconnect a couple of times which required removing my phone and adding it back.


The remainder of the week consisted mostly of city driving and the fuel economy average settled at around 29 MPG. These numbers beat out the Vue once again, as it averages about 25 MPG on the same drive cycle. Since my wife is the main drive of the current CUV and potential future ones i asked her to give me her opinion. She was pleased with the CX-5 and loved the fuel economy, infotainment system, and the interior so much that I am now looking for one as a possible replacement for the Vue.


The steering was responsive and very car-like while the suspension was comfortable and predictable. I took it down some of my favorite local back roads and enjoyed the experience. Like other Mazda’s, it proves to be sportier than some of the other choices in its category. The brakes were responsive and the all-season tires provided good grip. The CX-5 does quite well in its intended capacity of getting around town and performing grocery store duty, the chassis is set up well enough that it .

The base CX-5 starts at $21,795 but opting for the Touring trim will set you back $25,215. My tester featured a few options including the Moonroof/Bose package at $1,130 as well as a $200 cargo cover, and a $100 rear bumper guard. Door sill trim plates added another $125, along with a set of wheel locks at $55, and cargo mat at $60. All of these options and the $680 delivery fee brought the tester to a $27,765 total price. This is an affordable price for everything that is included in the package but I would personally opt for the Touring model and only add the cargo cover.


Engine: 2.5L I4 SKYACTIV-G
Power/Torque: 184-hp / 185 lb-ft
Transmission: Automatic (6 Speed)
Drivetrain: FWD
Curb Weight: 3748 lbs.
EPA Fuel Economy: 29 MPG (26 City / 33 Highway)
Fuel Economy During Test: 29 MPG
Test Duration: 550 Miles
Base Price: $21,795 Touring Trim: $25,215
Total Price As Tested: $27,765

(Full disclosure: Mazda provided the vehicle and a full tank of gas for the purposes of this review.)

Images: ©2015 Redusernab/Bozi Tatarevic, All Rights Reserved


  • George Goshgarian

    A relative just picked one of these up with a 6 speed manual. I didn’t know such a thing existed, but it does, and it’s very cool.

    • I am glad such a thing exists, it would be even better if it was available with the 2.5L

      • CPT Mike

        @ Bozi – Agreed. We’ve had our 2015 6-spd 2.0l since Feb 2015, we’ve put 15,000 miles on it and I love the gearbox, the brakes, and the suspension. It handles great and when I’m solo, it is quite enjoyable to drive.

        Unfortunately, the praise ends there. The stock Geolandars are worthless, and the engine, while great in a Miata, isn’t brilliant in a 3300lb vehicle. With wife, kid, self and a weekends worth of support gear, getting passed on freeway up hill grades by Ma and Pa Kettle in their tour-bus sized RV is not uncommon. We tried towing a 5×8 u-haul with a drivetrain for a 240z contained therein through the hills of the ozarks and while we all survived, it was not what I’d call a pleasurable experience.

        If we lived in the city and never had to haul gear or tow small trailers, this would probably be adequate. Unfortunately, we’ve had to acquire a 3rd vehicle (a pickup) to fill the gaps in capability that opened up when we swapped our 4Runner for the CX-5.

  • HoondavanDude

    I drove a relative’s new AWD CX-5 on a 600 mile road trip through in the northeast last winter and came away impressed. It handled the snow great (w stock tires) and was comfortable to drive. I thought it had plenty of power (w two adults in it) and still returned gas mileage in the high 20s.

    We had some issues with fogging/icing on the windshield, which I remember driving me nuts. Maybe it’s just been so long since i drove in those conditions. It Could have just been user error, but definitely reminded me of the random flaws I’ve discovered in rental cars that you’d be hard-pressed to find in a test drive.

    6-speed is FWD only…which makes me Sad. As far as I know, Subaru makes the only CUV that you can buy both in AWD and manual transmission.

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