in Affordable Compact SUVs

MSRP: $21,545 - $29,220
Invoice: $20,939 - $28,387
MPG: 26 City / 35 Hwy
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Mazda CX-5 Review

The 2015 Mazda CX-5 ranks 2 out of 24 Affordable Compact SUVs. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Mazda CX-5, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2015 Mazda CX-5 is ranked:

If you're looking for a sporty compact SUV that is fun to drive, gets good fuel economy and has plenty of passenger space, reviewers agree that the 2015 Mazda CX-5 fits the bill.

With its standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, reviewers agree that the 2015 CX-5's acceleration is quite lackluster. Most prefer models equipped with the larger 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, saying the added power gives the CX-5 more punch for passing on the highway. A six-speed manual transmission is standard with the base engine and a six-speed automatic is available, which reviewers say shifts quickly and smoothly. The 2015 CX-5 returns up to 26/35 mpg city/highway, according to the EPA, which is good for the class. Many test drivers praise the CX-5 as being one of the most fun-to-drive SUVs in the segment, with agile handling, responsive steering and brakes that offer better pedal feel than most rivals. Most critics say that its ride quality is comfortable as well.

Test drivers write that the Mazda CX-5's cabin has a clean design and is built with mostly high-quality materials. Most agree that the front seats are comfortable and offer ample side support, though some find them a bit hard on longer trips. Others add that the rear seats have plenty of head- and legroom. Although it isn't class-leading, the CX-5's cargo capacity is on par for the class and reviewers find the space useful. Many critics comment that the CX-5's available navigation interface has a small screen with lackluster display quality, and say the system is hard to use and confusing. A four-speaker stereo with an auxiliary input and USB port is standard. Bluetooth, an upgraded Bose stereo system, HD Radio, navigation, a moonroof, blind spot monitoring, a rearview camera and low-speed automatic braking are optional.

  • "Now entering its third year of production, the 2015 Mazda CX-5 continues to climb the sales charts, quickly becoming one of the most well-reviewed and desirable compact crossover SUVs around. While the Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4 still dominate as sales-volume leaders, neither has the sporty handling or clean, uncluttered instrument panel of the CX-5, nor can they match its impressive highway fuel economy of 35 miles per gallon. The CX-5 is also one of the few crossovers that still offers the option of a manual transmission." -- AutoTrader
  • "With its spacious, functional interior, impressive fuel economy and top safety scores, the 2015 Mazda CX-5 is a top pick among small crossovers. The fact that it's also fun to drive comes as a bonus." -- Edmunds
  • "In keeping with Mazda's sporty image, the Mazda CX-5 is actually fun to drive, and offers a manual transmission on the base model. … Add it up, and the 2015 Mazda CX-5's combination of sporty style, fun-to-drive dynamics, and very good fuel economy make it a strong choice for those who don't want to see themselves coming and going." -- Kelley Blue Book

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Other SUVs to Consider

Test drivers say the GMC Terrain has a quiet, spacious cabin and features upscale materials. Reviewers also like the Terrain's composed ride and straightforward infotainment and navigation systems.

The Honda CR-V has more overall cargo space than the CX-5. Reviewers like its classy interior design, and unlike the CX-5, the CR-V comes standard with a rearview camera and Bluetooth.

Compare the CX-5, Terrain and CR-V »

Details: 2015 Mazda CX-5

The 2015 Mazda CX-5 seats five, has standard front-wheel drive and is available with all-wheel drive. There are three trim levels. The Sport trim features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and standard six-speed manual transmission, while Touring and Grand Touring trims have a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine and six-speed automatic transmission. The automatic is available on the Sport trim as well. The CX-5 gained the larger engine option for the 2014 model year, but otherwise has changed very little since it debuted for the 2013 model year. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2013 to 2015 model years.

See full 2015 Mazda CX-5 specs »

Review Last Updated: 6/5/14

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