Quick Spin: 2013 Mazda CX-5
Japanese automaker infuses fun into a segment known for bland compromise.
By Kirk Bell & James Tate
But a promising contender is jumping into the fray this year: the 2013 Mazda CX-5. The new Mazda boasts all the right stuff to be a game-changer in the segment: distinctive looks, spaciousness, technology and efficiency -- not to mention it’s a hoot to drive.
We drove the CX-5 on Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and the twisty roads of California's central coast.
Here's a quick look at what we like and don't like about Mazda's newest crossover.
Sporty handling: Hands down, the CX-5 is the most fun-to-drive vehicle in this class. It handles like a sporty compact car.
Quality interior: The CX-5's interior design, layout and materials are at or near the top of the class. It's not just a sea of hard plastic like you'll see in too many competitors.
Fuel efficient: The CX-5 is the most fuel-efficient offering in its class, with an EPA rating as high as 26 mpg city/35 mpg highway.
Slow: The CX-5's 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine struggles on hills and during passing maneuvers. It'll keep up with traffic, but it won't excite anyone.
Navigation systems: This is simply one of the worst navigation systems we’ve ever used. It lacks common features, it’s unintuitive, and flat-out gives bad directions.
No steering-wheel shift paddles: A vehicle with the CX-5's sporty character should have shift paddles on the steering wheel. The automatic transmission can be manually shifted only through the gearshift.
It would have the required power if they'd put their Skyactiv-D diesel engine in it.
Mazda, I'm waiting! You're at the top of my list, but I won't even consider it WITHOUT the diesel.
Clean diesel doesn't "smell". Get on with the program. Times have changed.
And I have no problem paying premium if I could only get the sportwagon diesel with a manual.
Precisely. Sky-D is the future. Nobody cares about Sky-G.
"Mazda, I'm waiting! You're at the top of my list, but I won't even consider it WITHOUT the diesel."
Same here, mazda! I am waiting for the 6-speed, Sky-D powered mazda6 sportwagon. No wagon, manual and diesel - no sale.
For all you smelly diesel fans,get ready to pony up another 3K for the 2.2 D engine.
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